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:
[00.07.02-GURNEY suggesting that DEAN was withholding information and keeping NIXON in the dark.] Senator GURNEY. April 15. That strikes me as very surprising. All of these very important matters, at least to me, about, Watergate were being discussed in these very crucial meetings of the 20th, the 21st and 22d and then there is no communication with the, President Until April 15. Why is this so? I don't understand. [00.07.26-DEAN contends that he stopped talking to the President because HALDEMAN and EHRLICHMAN were setting DEAN up to fall in order to protect themselves] Mr. DEAN. Well, as I told you, -when I came, back from Camp David, the signals that I got, were very clear to me. I had discussed matters of the, coverup very openly with Mr. Haldeman in the past, and suddenly we weren't discussing those things. I was sent into a, meeting that I didn't want to attend with Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Magruder; I had had conversation within the next day or so with Mr. Ehrlichman, and I could tell, when you deal with somebody for a long period of time, you can tell if there is a change of attitude, a different posture. They realized where I stood at that point, that I was not going to involve--or be involved in the coverup 'any further. They went to California. While they were in California I had seen no change in attitude on behalf of anybody on the White House staff or for that matter the President after the fact I had given him what I thought was the most shocking way I could present the situation to him, and I decided at that point that I would definitely retain counsel, I would assess the circumstances and I -would make. my decision on what to do. Senator GURNEY. You retained counsel April 30? Mr. DEAN. I Made calls--I retained counsel on April 30, had made calls--- Senator GURNEY. When did counsel--- Mr. DEAN. I mean not April 30, March 30, excuse me. Senator GURNEY. March 30. When did your counsel go to the prosecutors, Federal prosecutors? Mr. DEAN. I 'believe the first meeting they had was on the afternoon of April 2. Senator GURNEY, Then there -were a number of meetings after that, is that correct? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. [00.09.08-GURNEY wants to suggest that DEAN was holding out for immunity before testifying} Senator GURNEY. And they were, discussing -with the Federal prosecutors the, subject of immunity all this time; is that, correct? Mr. DEAN, I wasn't -present at those meetings. Senator GURNEY. Do you know whether they were, did they tell you? Mr. DEAN. I believe they did discuss immunity; yes. I don't think it was discussed -as immunity as such as let's find out, have discussions with Dean and his testimony to find out what his testimony is about, whether he is a witness, whether he is a defendant, they all went into the discussions of immunity as I recall. Senator 'GURNEY. Of course, we can find that out from the prosecutors. Mr. DEAN. I am sure. you can, sir. [00.09.46] Senator GURNEY. Did you advise Mr. Haldeman when you engaged counsel, criminal lawyer, on March 30? Mr. DEAN. No, I did not. They were on the west coast and counsel advised me to stop and try to avoid any further discussions with anybody who was involved in the coverup and I tried to avoid conversations relating to the coverup as much as possible. Senator GURNEY. And you didn't advise Mr. Ehrlichman? Mr. DEAN. No, I haven't, completed yet. Senator And it -was-the, 8th of April, to the best of my recollection that I wills going to have a meeting directly with the prosecutors. And arrangements had been made whereby my testimony had been explained in some degree to the, prosecutors by my attorneys and an arrangement had been worked out whereby' I could deal directly with the prosecutors so they could see first hand or hear first hand, and ask questions of me in a manner that anything that was given to them would not be used against me later. That meeting -was scheduled for the 8th, as I recall, and before that meeting, I called Mr. Haldeman in California to tell him that I was going to meet with them. [00.11.07-HALDEMAN reacts to DEAN'S proposal to cooperate with prosecutors] The reaction I got from that call made it evident to me, very clearly evident, that that wasn't what they -wanted, because I recall that 'Mr. Haldeman told me-- there is something that stuck in my mind because I had never heard the expression before. He said, "Well, John, once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it is awfully hard to get it, back in." Senator GURNEY. I remember that. But that was what, 6 days after your attorneys had started to meet with the Federal prosecutors, is that correct ? Mr. DEAN. That is correct, and I did not reveal at, that time to 'Mr. Haldeman when I talked to him what I would do and in fact, I decided I would go ahead and talk to the prosecutors. I also would like to state that, at this point--- Senator GURNEY. Now, wait a, minute. Are you saying that on April 8, you didn't tell him, Mr. Haldeman, that you were going to talk to the Federal prosecutors? Mr. DEAN". That is correct: I did not. Senator GURNEY. I understood you to say that you did. Mr. DEAN. I called him to tell him. When I got that, reaction--I said I had a meeting scheduled with them. When I got that reaction from him, I didn't, say whether I would or I would not. It, -was while they -were flying back east' that day that, I received a call from Air Force One requesting that I appear In Mr. Ehrlichman's office, when they arrived back in the city. I departed from a meeting -with the prosecutors to go see Mr. Ehrlichman and Mr. Haldeman at the White House. [00.12.27]