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:
[00.35.22-GURNEY continues to interrogate DEAN about his meetings with the President] Senator GURNEY. Well, you had a meeting with him the 14th of March, did you not? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. Senator GURNEY. I mean, the 15th. Mr. DEAN. On the 15th after the press conference I met with him, yes. Senator GURNEY. WHAT did you discuss? Mr. DEAN. The President after the press conference called Dick Moore and I over to his office and I call recall very vividly that the President was very relaxed, he completed the press conference, and he was--his initial comment to both Moore, and I was he was surprised that after having made a rather historic announcement about the, opening up of liaison offices with Peking and the announcement of the appointment of Ambassador Bruce to fill that post, that the first question that the press had asked after he had read this announcement was whether or not Dean would appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Gray hearings. From there the discussion became rather rambling. It was the President's recollection of his handling of the Hiss case, Mr. Moore's recollection of how the President, had handled the Hiss case, and it was -what I would call more of a social conversation than a working conversation, [00.36.45] Senator GURNEY. Then, you did not discuss anything about Watergate at that meeting? Mr. DEAN. No, sir. Senator GURNEY. All right. March 16. You had a meeting with him on March 16? Mr. DEAN. On the 16th we discussed matters on how Mr. Ziegler should follow up on matters that had arisen during the press conference. I recall that one of the things the President had tried to accomplish--- Senator GURNEY. GURNEY. I am just trying to shorten it up. Did you discuss Watergate with him at all? Mr. DEAN. Not specifically, no. Senator GURNEY. All right, March 17. You had a meeting that day? [00.37.19-funny stuff] Mr. DEAN. March 17? Yes, that was St. Patrick's Day and I recall the President had a green tie on [laughter] and sitting in the oval office. Senator GURNEY. Well, that is probably true. [00.37.29-DEAN'S account indicates that NIXON was aware of the program to interfere with the GRAY hearings as part of a coverup plan] Mr. DEAN. He was very relaxed and be had his feet up on the desk and was very--the thing that stuck in my mind from that, particular conversation' was that he wondered if the Senate -would bite the bait that he had put out at his press conference on litigating over the question of Dean and executive privilege because he was convinced if they did you would never see, any of the White House staff before the Senate. Senator GURNEY. Well, if he was all that relaxed, I guess you didn't discuss Watergate. Is that, a fair thing to say? Mr. DEAN. I think that is correct, Yes. Other than as I say -we. were, just following a consistent theme that, had been developed at La. Costa regarding dealing with Watergate issues, he was continuing during these meetings where I referred to Gray discussing the fact that he was very distressed that, Gray was turning over FBI files that, related to Watergate. Senator' GURNEY. Well, now, what about March 19, there, was a Meeting -with him then, as a matter of fact, two meetings. Did you discuss Watergate on those meetings? I am not sure of whether there were two or not, were, there one or two, do you recall? It looks like, two on this log. Mr. DEAN. Well, what happened on that, as I recall, I don't know what records you are, reading from. Senator GURNEY. I am reading from a White House log which was furnished the committee. Mr. DEAN. All right. Now what I recall there, is I came, to the President's office and he wanted to discuss, it was a discussion of the media problems related to the Gray hearings, and some of the postures he, had taken on executive privilege and as the conversation proceeded I realized it was a media-type area he was getting into. Senator GURNEY. Again if I can help shorten it, that is what it says here, too. that you discussed these judiciary problems. Mr. DEAN. That is right. Senator GURNEY. You did not discuss Watergate? Mr. DEAN. No, and the, reason--I don't know, the meeting was interrupted when I had suggested that Dick Moore come down and join the discussion, and the President indeed called for Dick Moore and Dick Moore came in to the meeting. Senator GURNEY. Now what about March 20 here, there were one, two--no, three phone calls at one meeting as I see it here. Do you recall what they were about? Mr. DEAN. Yes, I do. On the 20th--the preceding evening, on March 19, we, had discussed the matter of the fact that a number of charges were -being made that related to my involvement in the. Watergate that were coming out of the Senate confirmation hearings of Mr. Gray, and -we discussed whether I was--I was very anxious to send written interrogatories as we had offered the committee at that time. [00.40.31]