Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activiti...

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.Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Year Shot:
1973  (Actual Year)
Tape Master:
Original Film:
[00.37.00-GURNEY forces DEAN to again defend his professional ethics, part of a strategy to discredit DEAN to defend the WHITE HOUSE] Senator GURNEY. Were these papers in connection with your venture? Mr. DEAN. Yes, they were. Senator GURNEY. Not The law firm--- Mr. DEAN. No. There were standard forms that were used on virtually every application for filling out various, forms of the application and I was as preparing my own, my rights, and Mr. Fellows and some of these aspects of it. I also had some papers on--there is an outfit that does incorporations--FM I believe is the name, of it--where -you just pay the fee, and they do all the incorporating work. It is nothing you do yourself. I think there were some papers related to that in there. When these were discovered, I -was called into the office the next morning when I came in. I remember there -was a Very serious snowstorm that night, and I was late coming in. When I came in, I was asked to come into one of the senior partner's office. He asked me to explain what I -was doing. I had learned, I had seen that my desk had been rifled the night, before and I was quite annoyed by it, so I decided I would say nothing. I said, I have nothing to say about this. There, then ensued--he said, -well, if you are not going to tell me anything about this, you, are fired, I said, I am not fired, because I have already resigned. He said. you can't, resign, because I have already fired you. So that was the session. Later, one of the other associates said, John, you had better go back and talk this over with him, I did. I thought the matter was resolved. The, next, I heard about it was when the civil service did an examination and there -was a comment in that examination that I had been dismissed for unethical conduct. At that time, I asked one of the lawyers that had been at the law firm if he would look into it, because I said I am prepared to take this to the Ethics Committee, if necessary. He looked into it, the person who had made the comment, that it was an unethical charge, retracted the comment, and the Matter was left at that. Senator GURNEY,. When did the matter occur in the civil service files? Was that in connection with your employment at the House Judiciary Committee? Mr. DEAN. "No. it -was after I left the House Judiciary Committee. As the Senator knows, the House, does not run civil service examinations staff. Senator GURNEY. Was it in connection with your employment at the Justice Department? Mr. DEAN. No, sir; it was not. While I was with the House Judiciary Committee, I developed legislation that created the National Commission on Reform of Criminal Laws. Senator GURNEY. I am talking now about the civil service information Mr. DEAN. I am explaining Senator. I was asked to go on the staff as the Associate Director of that Commission. It was at that time, when I was joining that staff, that this matter arose. Senator GURNEY. And regardless of the ethics involved, and I do understand your contention and the letter you read was that it was not an ethical matter. Mr. DEAN. It was not unethical to me; no, sir. [00.40.12-GURNEY wants to hammer this point home, regardless of how redundant] Senator GURNEY. But as far as your termination of employment with the law firm, I do understand that you were discharged; is that right? Mr. DEAN. I would say it -was a rather heated discharge as a matter of my unwillingness to discuss the matter with the person who was a senior partner in the organization. Senator GURNEY. Now, to get back to the break-in ,it the, Watergate, as I recall your testimony, there really wasn't anything in Watergate or much of anything in the activities surrounding the Committee, To Re-Elect the President from that February 4 meeting until the Watergate break-in. And I understand you got back from the Philippine Islands on the 18th and then returned here to Washington and went in your office on the 19th. Is that correct? Mr. DEAN. That is correct, Senator. [00.41.09-GURNEY wants to make DEAN seem intensely involved in WATERGATE by the inferences of his questioning-the "BLAME IT ON DEAN" strategy that would come to be favored by the White House] Senator GURNEY. Then, as I recall, you said that you had received phone calls that day and talked to a number of people-Caulfield, Magruder, Ehrlichman, Strachan, Colson, Sloan, and you later called Liddy and Kleindienst Why all these calls if you weren't that closely associated with what they were doing over there in the political field? Mr. DEAN. Well, Senator, I would say that my office,, -was one that, one, I did have some dealings with the reelection committee, I did know all the parties involved. My office normally was asked to investigate or look into any problem that, came up of that nature. When any wrongdoing was charged--an administration office, for example, when the grain deal came, up--and I think as the Senator will recall, during the ITT matter, my office had some peripheral involvement in that. [00.42.15] And I believe we had some dealings with your office on that matter. [00.42.20]