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:
[00.33.49-DEAN responds to the charge of the WHITE HOUSE question that DEAN implicated others in receiving funds to pay off the WATERGATE DEFENDANTS in order to protect himself] Mr. DEAN. Well, if you will recall my testimony on that when I spoke with Mr. Stans, I told him Mr. Fielding would be over to pick up the package. I also informed Mr. Stans that Mr. Fielding would not know what he was picking up. I was quite, surprised and I must say annoyed when Mr. Fielding came back and told me that he had realized that he had received cash. I did not have any desire to involve Mr. Fielding in this, because he had not been in involved in it before that. I assumed when he was making the trip that he -would be no more than an innocent agent in the matter and he would be unknowing as to what he was doing. I still think to this day he didn't know what the full purpose of that money was and I told him at the time, I said, "Well, don't worry about it. It is nothing for you to be concerned !about." Senator INOUYE. Mr. Dean, you have testified as to your close working relationship to your deputy. Mr. Fielding. It was he who you sent to pick up the $22,000 from' Mr. Stans, he who helped you to sort, the documents from Mr. Hunt's safe and he who sent to England to retrieve Mr. Young's secretary. Did Mr. Fielding know that you were involved in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, perjure testimony, and pay defendants for their silence? Mr. DEAN. I have no idea what Mr. Fielding knew. I didn't discuss these things with him. When he, to the best of my 'knowledge, his involvement merely was dealing with, going through the material in Mr. Hunt's safe, -with me, -and then dealing with Miss Chenow and going to England to get, her and brief her, He also assisted in briefing Mr. Krogh and he also accompanied me when Mr. Ehrlichman requested that he join me, In preparing himself for his interview before the FBI because, it related to matters with the plumbers unit. Mr. Fielding had become familiar with some of the problems of the Plumbers unit as a, result of dealing with Chenow and he had also talked to David young, who Was in the Plumbers unit. So, he was more knowledgeable than I was. That is my knowledge of Mr. Fielding's knowledge. [00.36.14-the WHITE HOUSE questions attack DEAN'S assumption about others' knowledge of the coverup] Senator INOUYE. Mr. Dean, if your deputy, Mr. Fielding, who worked so closely with you and who carried out, some of your missions connected with the, conspiracy, had absolutely no knowledge of the coverup conspiracy, how do you so blithely assume that others on the White House staff, and even the President, did know of your conspiracy? Mr. DEAN. Did know of my conspiracy? [00.36.42] Mr. DEAN. Well, I wouldn't classify it as my conspiracy. I would say that involved others in a coverup operation. I recall that I was involved with others on countless occasions, Mr. Fielding complaining to me that I was leaving him out, I wasn't explaining to him what I was doing. We had had a very close working relationship. I think today, Mr. Fielding is very happy that I did not. tell him what, I was doing or involve him any more than the degree he was involved in the entire matter. In fact he has subsequently thanked me for not involving him. Senator INOUYE. The question was, if I may repeat, it, again, if your deputy, Mr. Fielding, who worked closely with you and who carried Out some of your missions connected with the conspiracy, had absolutely no knowledge, of the coverup conspiracy, how do you so blithely assume that others on the White House staff and even the President did know of the conspiracy? Mr. DEAN. Well, as I say, I don't know how many other people on the White House staff know of the conspiracy to--not my conspiracy but the general coverup conspiracy. I certainly know that I was getting instructions from Mr. Haldeman and Ehrlichman and I know of my conversation 'with the President. I know that there -Were Other people on the staff who were quite aware of the fact that the White House was not baring its soul on this matter. There. were, as I said, parallel coverup situations with regard to Mr. Segretti, where, people who were not involved in other aspects become involved in that. There was the Patman hearing, where it was quite evident that the White House did not want to have the Patman hearings. There were a series of various phases to the coverup and various people in the White House knew. [00.38.53-the WHITE HOUSE questions call into question DEAN'S account of meetings with NIXON] Senator INOUYE. Mr. Dean, beginning in late May and early June there Were a Series of newspaper stories reporting -what you had told various investigators which quoted sources close to you as to what he had said. A number of these news reports, for example, the page 1 story in the Washington Post of June 3, alleged that you began your private meetings with the President either early in the year or as in the case of this particular story beginning on January 1. According to your testimony your first. private meeting with the President in 1973 Was not until February 27. Did you or did you not, tell investigators and/or friends that You began' meeting with the President, either the first of the year or beginning January 1, and were these stories an attempt to exaggerate the length -of time which You had been dealing directly with the President and by implication imparting to him knowledge of the Watergate? [00.39.58]