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:
[00.24.33] Mr. THOMPSON. Did you tell the prosecutors about the Ellsberg break-in? Mr. Dean. Yes, I did. Mr. THOMPSON. So you had resolved that question? Mr. DEAN. NO, I did not tell them the totality of It. What I said was that they had evidence in their files that they should reexamine because it indicated a break-in I did this because there is case law my lawyer told me about,. He said, John, you are. committing another crime if you do not tell and you have to reveal this to them and they are on that case. He said, there is an ongoing prosecution. You must give them enough so that they can look at their files and make the determination. [00.25.05-MORE attempts to dismantle DEAN'S CREDIBILITY] Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. Dean, is it your testimony that you were, not in effect bargaining for immunity or seeking immunity? Mr. DEAN-. My lawyers, were very heavily discussing immunity with the prosecutors at that time. Mr. THOMPSON. And you failed at, the U.S. attorney's office in that attempt, did you not? Of course, I might add that that is a very proper thing for attorneys to pursue. The fact is they -were. Mr. DEAN. That, is right. What happened is my lawyers worked out, what they called a phase I with the--- Mr., THOMPSON. Phase, I? Mr. DEAN. Phase, I, in which I would--- Mr. THOMPSON. You did not have any better luck than the other phase I. Mr. DEAN. I -would discuss with the prosecutors everything I could remember. everything I could tell them and the evidence could -not be used against me so they could assess what they wanted to do with that. That was the design of phase 1, which I did. Mr. THOMPSON. All right. And then contact was made -with Mr. Dash. Mr. DEAN. Mr. Dash made contact -with us. Mr. THOMPSON. Well, either way you want to put it, you discussed the matter with Mr. Dash, who very properly, of course, was seeking any information he could get and talked with you about these matters. Then, for the first, time. as far as I know--you correct, me. if I am wrong--after that, some time after that, the stories started appearing quoting sources close to you to the effect, that you had met with Nixon more than 40 times to discuss the coverup, that Nixon had substantial knowledge, about -what the, White, House people were doing and all those things. [00.26.52-THOMPSON challenges DEAN again] Now, I do not want to leave an unfair implication if I am wrong about this, but the obvious question is whether or not you -went to the prosecutors gave them what you thought, might be enough to get immunity, and having failed there, came to this committee and offered a little more in order to get immunity for this committee. Was that or Was that not your strategy? Mr. DEAN,. I believe that is not correct. Mr. THOMPSON. In what, points does that thesis break down? Mr. DEAN. Phase I had effectively gone into' abeyance. Mr. THOMPSON. Were we considered phase II? Mr. DEAN. No, no, I am talking about the off the record discussions with the prosecutors had gone into abeyance by the time Mr. Dash contacted us, because we were giving them so much information so fast and the thing was tumbling so quickly that they were in pursuit of it and it became more and more difficult for me. There -also was the increasing demand for a special prosecutor. The prosecutors didn't know their own status. Meanwhile, Mr. Dash asked to discuss it with my attorney and he said, you are going to be called. you are going 'called soon and I want to know what it is all about. So he was given the story, Mr. THOMPSON. Of course, you did get immunity from this committee, use immunity. One last question, Mr. Dean. The reason I ask this, of course. is that your statement is replete with references about your desire to uncover the coverup and your desire to tell the truth in all these matters. Before you were, forced out of the White House--as you stated, you started making contact with the prosecutors on April of this year, you had substantial difficulty with Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman concerning their desire, to get Mitchell to take the rap and get them off the hook. Why didn't, you resign, call a press conference, and tell the, entire truth about the matter if you wanted it to come out, substantially, before you--- Mr. DEAN. When I was at Camp David-I went up on the 23d. On the 25th, I talked to a lawyer, and I told him I wanted to take some steps. He cautioned me, saying, for gosh sakes. don't do anything until you do talk to a lawyer. So it, was when I came back from Camp David on the 28th that I again began calling to obtain a criminal lawyer. He told me--he said, John, he said, I know you want to get the truth out, and that was the first thing we told the prosecutors. He said, you don't have to run in a machinegun to do it. You have a Constitution, you can protect your rights, YOU can go forward, and I am going to represent you, I am going to represent you the best way I know as a member of the bar and I will give you the best counsel I can. I have tried to follow his counsel and simultaneously get the truth out. [00.29.54]