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:
[00.40.31-GURNEY continues to interrogate DEAN about his meetings with NIXON.] Senator GURNEY. But those discussions were about the 302 files, I think, and the Segretti letter probably. Mr. DEAN. What happened as I recall, probably. recall, Senator Ervin had been on nationwide television the -preceding Sunday, on Meet the Press or Face, the Nation, and had made, some statements about sending the Sergeant at Arms down to arrest people at, the White House, and there had also been questions that had been raised regarding the reason that principal interrogatories would not be sufficient because you could not cross-examine a written interrogatory. I think that everybody at the White House agreed that you can't cross-examine written interrogatory. Senator GURNEY. I might Say the chairman of our committee was very persuasive and effective on that; he convinced everybody that you could not. Mr. DEAN. Well, the White House, realized he had a very convincing point, I will assure you. Senator GURNEY. Well, again, if we can shorten it, except for matters like that the Watergate coverup was not discussed; is that a fact? Mr. DEAN. Well, now, there -was an effort in those meetings to get a draft letter up where Dean could explain some of this. This wasn't what I -would call baring all the facts of the Watergate and how I -was going to answer that letter. I submitted a copy of the draft of the response which you have as an exhibit before the committee. Senator GURNEY. Well, I now--- [00.42.06-DEAN talks about expressing a desire to meet with NIXON to personally fill him in on the implications of WATERGATE] Mr. DEAN. Then on the 20TH, of course,, I had a call that, evening from the President and we were talking further about, some of the, things we talked about. during the day, and it was at the fail end of the conversation that I said to the President, "I would like to meet with you the next day to give you a report, on some of the implications of the Watergate." Senator GURNEY. Well, thank: you, Mr. Dean; I am sorry we too so long to get through there, but I was trying as I am sure you understand, to get a rundown of the actual discussions, direct discussions with the President---- Mr. DEAN. Mr. Gurney, I might say this--- Senator GURNEY [continuing]. On Watergate. Mr. DEAN [continuing]. That just, I know that every time I entered the oval office I appreciated the enormity of dealing with the President of the United States, at no time did I ever feel I withheld anything from the President and I think anyone who went in there and is asked any question by the President does not withhold anything, just as when I am saying something about the President I realize the enormity of that also, and I wouldn't lightly or in any way intentionally say anything that I did not know to be, the facts as I knew them in my mind. [00.43.32] Senator GURNEY. Well, in summary, let me simply state my understanding of what we found out here: I understand it is your own testimony that you did not think the President had anything to do with the planning of the, Watergate break-in or the break-in; is that a fact?, Mr. DEAN. I have no knowledge of that, at all, sir. [00.43.56-GURNEY wants to emphasize the fact that DEAN did not tell NIXON about Watergate prior to March 1973, which would support the thesis that NIXON was ignorant of the coverup] Senator GURNEY. Mr. Dean, I think it is also true, at least according to my understanding, that during the rest of the year 1972 between June 16 or was it the 17th, the day of the break-in, except for a meeting on September 15, even you have not testified to any discussions with the President about Watergate. Isn't that correct? Mr. DEAN. Well, Well, 'sir, at the meeting on the 15th, Senator, we got discussing some very narrow semantic--- Senator GURNEY. I understand, but what I say, except for- that meeting isn't that correct? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. [00.44.33-GURNEY is insistent on his point of view] Senator GURNEY. And, of course, it is understandable here that you and I have different interpretations of that. Your interpretation is that when the President said to you, "Bob tells me you have done a good job, you interpret that as meaning he knew all that you had been doing on Watergate and I simply say that the interpretation can be assessed to that that he was talking about the investigation you were doing in connection with the FBI. [00.45.04-DEAN shows that NIXON was clearly complimenting him on the coverup] Mr. DEAN. I would call the Senator's attention to the other phase of the conversation in which I told him that I didn't think that this thing could continue indefinitely and at some point in time it would likely unravel. Senator GURNEY. I understand, and the records show that and the facts show that. Mr. Dean, I am simply saying you and I have a different opinion on that point. [00.45.20]