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:
[00.18.55-committee room, hearing not yet in order, all standing, Mrs. DEAN walking toward seat] Senator ERVIN. Please come to order. Senator Gurney. Mr. DASH. Mr. 'Chairman, before Senator Gurney begins, for the record, an issue came up a little, while, earlier. Mr. McCandless was questioning whether the full list of so-called enemies or the, contributors that Mr. Dean submitted has now been released. My statement was that it has. That was based on the fact that all -we received from having been copied, we thought that was the complete list. But I have just been informed that additional lists are still down in the copying room for more copies of the additional materials that 'Mr. Dean had submitted to us. Since they have now been received by us, we -will give you a complete copy. It, has quite a few additional names, and they will also be, released and members of the committee will get copies. Mr. McCANDLESS. Thank you very much. [00.19.59-GURNEY resumes] Senator GURNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Dean, finally, before, wrapping up here, I would like to pin down the occasions this year -prior to March 21, the meeting with the President, when you and he discussed the coverup of Watergate. Mr. DEAN. You mean direct conversations? Senator GURNEY. That is right. It seemed to me there were one or two and I think they involved Executive clemency. Those are the ones I am talking about. [00.20.33-DEAN discusses conversations with NIXON] Mr. DEAN. All right. There was a, direct conversation about my reporting to him on Watergate on February 28, when he told me that I should come in and report to him because Haldeman and Ehrlichman were principals. It was, I believe, the meeting on the--may I check my list? I want to be accurate on this. Senator GURNEY. Yes, indeed. [00.21.22-DEAN gives indication that NIXON was approving of his conduct of COVERUP business] Mr. DEAN. All right. It was the meeting on the 27th that I had with the President -when he, told me to report directly to him. It was in the meeting on the 20th--well, also I might add at the conclusion of that meeting, as we were, walking to the door to leave the office, he again complimented me on the fact that I had done, a good job during the campaign, that this had been the only issue that they had had that they had tried to make something of it but they had 'been unable to make anything of it and he was very complimentary of my handling of the job. It was not dissimilar from a compliment he, had paid me earlier. I again repeated to him that, this thing had been contained, but I was not sure that it, could be, contained indefinitely. [00.22.12] He then told me we have got, you know, you have got to fight back on situations like this. And I can recall something I cannot express in writing, a gesture. when he, sort of put his fist into his hand and said, "You have just got to really keep fighting back and I have got confidence in you that you can do that and this thing will not got out of hand." Now, the meeting on the 28th, there was discussion about some of the strategy that had been developed at the La Costa meetings regarding dealing -with the Attorney General and developing--- Senator GURNEY. Again, I am really only interested in what I call the criminal activities. I think really, they are the coverup. We are, not talking about the planning and break-in but direct, conversations with the, President on that--not strategy meetings about the. committee or that, but only the criminal activities. [00.22.55-GURNEY does not want to hear a detailed explanation, if DEAN can't express NIXON'S involvement in a sentence, GURNEY won't accept it as evidence] Mr. DEAN. Well, Senator, it's hard for or me to separate something like this out because we have a continuing sequence that evolved continuously virtually, from the 19th until this thing finally ended bringing me to the hearing room today. It dealt -with every aspect of the matter from press relations to--- Senator GURNEY. Well, I understand, but my recollection of the testimony--and obviously, it isn't nearly as accurate as yours, because I have only heard you go through the statement once. I think I have gone through it once myself. but I am talking about, these case--, where you and the President, directly discussed Watergate, the coverup. It seems to me there were either one or two that involved Executive clemency. Those are the ones I am talking about, [00.24.03] Mr. DEAN. All right. Your question is, then, when did -we discuss clemency? That came up at the meeting on the 13th--- Senator GURNEY. Of March? Mr. DEAN. Of March, and again on the 15th of April, in which he had told me that he, thought it was foolish for him to have talked to Colson. [00.24.22]