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:
[00.13.50] Mr. THOMPSON. All right. Mr. Dean, let me move now, if I may, to Why you have talked about your involvement in the coverup, why you Participated in the coverup. In any way was it because of the fear that you had about your own personal involvement up until that time? When you beard about the, break-in at the DNC -what. 'went through your mind? Did you have fear concerning your Own personal involvement in the matter up until that time? Mr. DEAN. When I first heard of the, break-in on Sunday the 18th, I frankly thought that it involved Mr. Colson, as I believe I testified. It was on Monday I learned--- Mr. THOMPSON. Why? Mr. DEAN. Why? Well, I was aware, of the fact, that Mr. Colson had suggested burglaries in the past, specifically the, Brookings Institute, and the name Hunt I immediately associated with Colson. Mr. THOMPSON. When did you learn about the name Hunt? Mr. DEAN. I think I first met Mr. Hunt in August. Mr. THOMPSON. I am sorry, when did You find out that, Mr. Hunt was involved in some way in the break-in? Mr. DEAN. On Sunday, I did not know about the break-in, I knew about the fact there was a Cuban who had a check written out to Mr. Hunt to some, country club In his possession when he -was arrested. Mr. THOMPSON. You learned this in your telephone call from California or did you learn this after you returned to Washington? Mr. DEAN. I learned this after I returned on Sunday night, the 18th. Mr. THOMPSON. So I assume, your immediate reaction--you returned to Washington and learned about the Hunt matter? Mr. DEAN. That is correct, and my reaction that Colson was involved. Mr. THOMPSON. Go ahead in regard to Yourself. Mr. DEAN. Yes. Then, on the 19th when I talked to Magruder and learned that he had indicated it -was Liddy's fault and after talking to Liddy. I was not personally concerned about myself because I knew very -well that I had not authorized any such thing, that I had not, known about anything from February until that time. Mr. THOMPSON. Let Me explore that point with You, not necessarily from the standpoint of whether or not You did in fact have any culpability at that time, but what it might appear to be. After all, you had introduced Liddy, to 'Mitchell had You not? I believe you had in fact recommended. or sent, anyway, Mr. Liddy over to the, Committee To Re-Elect You explained how this came about-- starting from the, standpoint of somebody investigating the matter from outside-- that you sent Mr. Liddy to the Committee To Re-Elect. You did attend the January 27 meeting -when these, matters were discussed, you did attend the February 4 meeting when these matters were discussed Very possibly -when somebody talked about these meetings very possibly it could get out that a conspiracy of some kind was in the, making. You know the law of conspiracy, generally, if a person involves himself in a conspiracy and one of his coconspirators subsequently commits an overt act, he very well may be held responsible for what one of his coconspirators does. You are a lawyer. I am sure you realize that. Liddy did come to You after' those meetings in February and March to solicit, your help in getting this plan approved and you said you turned him off at that time. Strachan and Magruder did Call 'you when they were, having trouble with Liddy to get you to help them on one of their problems with Liddy. Evidently, Strachan or Magruder or Liddy himself felt, that you had some involvement. Mr. DEAN. Maybe we can come back at some other time and I will explain that to you. Mr. THOMPSON. All right, I am finished. I am talking about all of these things. Did you not, at one point, say to Yourself, it looks like I am Possibly involved in this thing or very much involved in this thing, therefore, I am going to participate in a coverup? Mr. DEAN. When I learned, for example, talking to Mr. Strachan, that he had been instructed to destroy records, that, was my greatest concern at that time. If it had been merely John Dean, we, would have had far fewer problems because I would have been willing to step forward as I did with Ehrlichman. I told him exactly what my involvement was -when I was first, asked by him what it -was. The stakes were too high regarding any personal feelings that I had regarding myself. I had no criminal problem. If they -wanted to fire me on the basis of 'the involvement I had, fine. If we could reelect the President, fine. John Dean certainly would not, stand in the way of that. People were removed from the White House for far less. [00.18.53]