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:
[00.47.29-GURNEY continues to try to put a sinister spin on DEAN'S failure to run straight to NIXON and tell him of the coverup-DEAN reiterates his earlier testimony that that was not the standard pattern.] Senator GURNEY. Well, of course, you must, have realized that this coverup business, at least, after it had gone, on for a little while, was pretty serious, did you not? Mr. DEAN. I did not like it from the outset. I do not think anybody liked it. Senator GURNEY. Do you not think as the President's attorney, you should have tried to go to him and warn him. about what was you being done? Mr. DEAN. I probably should have but I was assuming everything I reported to Mr. Haldeman and Ehrlichman was also being reported to the President. Senator GURNEY. Let us go and discuss for a moment. the FBI reports of the investigation Did you first go to Mr. Kleindienst for these reports? Now, I am talking about the 302 form, you know, FBI interviews with witnesses? Mr. DEAN. Right. I do not recall whether it was Mr. Kleindienst or Mr. Petersen that I first discussed this with I was being asked to get the reports, I had talked with---- Senator GURNEY. Who asked you to get the reports? Mr. DEAN. Initially, the request came from Mr. Mitchell, and I believe that was as a result of Mr. Mardian's desire to see the reports. Mr. Ehrlichman and Mr. Haldeman thought it was a good idea that I see the reports, and I had--at what point in time I actually raised this with either Petersen or Kleindienst, my recollection is I did talk to Mr. Petersen about it at, some time and he, suggested I go directly to Mr. Gray, and I cannot really with specificity tell you at what point in time I went to Gray, but, I do recall discussing it with Mr. Gray. [00.49.10-GURNEY raises a red herring of details] Senator GURNEY. Let us get back to Mr. Kleindienst though, because this is extremely important, I think. The Attorney General is head of the Justice Department and, of course, the FBI is under the Justice Department. Are you sure, you cannot recall whether you ever talked to him about getting these 302 forms? Mr. DEAN. It is very possible, as I said, Senator, it is very possible I did. I have---- Senator GURNEY. Well, you have recalled in minute detail in 245 pages of the testimony of almost everything Mr. DEAN. I understand that. I have tried to the best of my recollection to recall everything. I do not, recall specifically whether I talked to Mr. Kleindienst about this subject. The major item--- Senator GURNEY. Well, Well, do you recall if you talked to Mr. Petersen? Mr. DEAN. Yes, I just stated I did recall I did talk to Mr. Petersen. Senator GURNEY. What did you recall of that conversation? Mr. DEAN. I recall he suggested that I go directly to Mr. Gray. Senator GURNEY. Did either Mr. Petersen or Mr. Kleindienst or anybody, according to your recollection tell you that you could not get these FBI reports, that the President himself would have to get them and Mr. Kleindienst or Mr. Petersen would have to give them to the President? Mr. DEAN. I do not necessarily recall that it, was stated as you have stated it. I was told that the best way to deal with this situation is go directly to Mr. Gray. Mr. Gray initially said to me, "Why do you not read them in my office?" I said that would be, a, rather cumbersome arrangement. [00.50.34-DEAN and GURNEY butt heads a bit over the details] Senator GURNEY. Then, you have, no recollection that the Attorney General or Mr. Petersen told you that you could not have them unless you got them through the President? Mr. DEAN-. Well---- Senator GURNEY. Is that correct? Mr. DEAN. I have read this in the paper, Senator, that this was--- Senator GURNEY. Well, so have I, and that is -why I am asking you. Mr. DEAN. I do not recall it. frankly. Senator GURNEY. Well, Then let's go to Mr. Gray and your conversations with him about the 302 forms. What -were they? What were the conversations? Mr. DEAN. The conversation with Mr. Gray, well, I think as we initially discussed it, Mr. Gray told me that he thought that I could read them in his office, I told him I that was awkward. and when we discussed it, he. wanted some assurance that this information was being reported to the President. As I recall. I gave him Such an assurances that it was being reported to the President. [00.51.31-GURNEY harps on the fact that GRAY and DEAN have a sharp disagreement about the disposition of the files] Senator GURNEY. Can you recall that conversations more specifically because Mr. Gray testified at quite some. length before the Judiciary Committee on this in response to many questions. What is your recollection of it? Mr. DEAN. Well. Senator, I have, in preparing all my testimony. I have done this. I have not sought to go through in detail all of the press accounts, I have not, sought, to go through in detail all of the Gray hearings, for example I have not, sought to sit, and watch these hearings. Senator GURNEY. I understand that, and. all. I Want is your impression. Mr. DEAN. Yes. My impression-- Senator GURNEY. That is all. Mr. DEAN. [continuing]. Is what I am giving, and the receipt or non-receipt of the FBI interviews was not a very big thing for me, and that is why it doesn't strike very clearly in my mind. Senator GURNEY. Well, it was a pretty big thing for Mr. Gray. Mr. DEAN. I appreciate that. Senator GURNEY. Pretty nearly shot him out of the saddle as far as being the, head of the FBI is concerned. [00.52.23-here a split-screen shows GURNEY'S visible consternation over DEAN'S ability to respond to his grilling with competent answers-GURNEY chews his nails, etc.] Mr. DEAN. Well, I appreciate, that, Senator, and to the, best of my recollection, 'Mr. Gray said to me that, after I gave him assurance it was going to be reported, that he, would work something out. Now, I don't recall when I first received the initial reports. I only recall that it was after a summary report was prepared on the 21st 'Of July, as I recall the date, and I showed that report to the people at the 'White House and the people at the reelection committee, that the pressure began that I let others read the raw FBI reports. [00.53.04]