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:
[00.39.22] Senator TALMADGE. What was the President's reaction when you told him about the complicity of the, individuals in the, White House? Mr. DEAN. Well, I felt he had not gotten the. message that I -was trying to convey through to the President, and I think that the subsequent meeting that afternoon and the meeting the. next day with the President indicated to me that there was more concern about this committee and its hearings than doing anything- affirmative about What I told the President. In fact the strategy was then developing that John Mitchell should step forward and if he did that there would be lack of concern and interest in the postactivity as opposed to the preactivity and hopefully they would all go away. Senator TALMADGE. What did the President say -when you told him about these individuals? Mr. DEAN. About which individuals, Senator? Senator TALMADGE. 'Of you and Ehrlichman and Haldeman all being subject to indictment. Mr. DEAN. I don't recall the President's reaction as much as I recall Mr. Ehrlichman's reaction when he expressed displeasure. There was a general discussion, and I was at Just amazed at the discussion going on and I just kept shaking my head because, the President -would say to me "Do you agree with this?" And I would say "No, I don't," and finally I said "the reason I don't agree with this is because I think that Mr. Haldeman, Mr. Ehrlichman, and I are indictable for obstruction of justice,." Senator TALMADGE. Did the President seem surprised when you gave him this information ? Mr. DEAN. No, Sir, he did not. Senator TALMADGE. I believe at the same time he discussed with -you that he should not have, talked -with Mr. Colson about Executive clemency did he not ? Mr. DEAN. No, sir, that, -was a meeting--that occurred on two times. On March 13 when -he had asked me where, the pressure, was coming from for the money he told me about the fact that Colson had come. to see him despite Ehrlichman's instructions that 'he not do so, and be expressed an annoyance at that occasion. Then, on April 15 of this year at the very end of the conversation I remember very vividly the President getting, up out of his chair, walking behind 'the chair to the, corner and in a very audible, almost inaudible tone, turned to me and said, "I was probably foolish to talk to Colson about clemency for Hunt, wasn't I?" That, -was his statement. Senator TALMADGE. Now, to turn to another matter. Do you have any idea, why it -was you that Mr. Ehrlichman asked to check into the after the Watergate entrance? Mr. DEAN. I Would only assume because I had become the White House firefighter at that time, and I was given assignments of this nature whether It was the, as I say, the Lithuanian defector or any conflict of interest problem that came up. I investigated a lot of those. I dealt with all of the Presidential appointees before they were appointed to clear them for conflict, problems or any problem that came up, ,in any improprieties that had come, to our attention was sent to my office so -we could investigate them and find out. if they could be embarrassing to the President so it was very natural, of course, for it to come to me. Senator TALMADGE. Did you really believe Mr. Liddy when he told you that no one in the White House -was involved? Mr. DEAN. Well. given the nature of my statement, in reflecting back that time he did not, even mention to me Hunt's involvement, and how much Mr. Liddy would know about White House involvement in this I do not know. I think that he would only have probably hearsay knowledge from Mr. Magruder in his dealings with Magruder as to who in the White, House. would or would not be involved. I do not know what, dealings he had with the White House other than the dealings he had had with me. Senator TALMADGE. Let us see if I have the sequence on the immediate aftermath of the break-in correct now. Immediately upon your return to Washington after the break-in in June., you saw Mr. Liddy, whom you knew had provided massive intelligence plans to Mr. Mitchell, is that correct? Mr. DEAN. Well. Sir, I will give you the sequence. As I arrived back on Sunday night the 18th. I was informed by my assistant that McCord had been arrested, one of the individuals arrested and that one of the Cubans had a check from 'Mr. Hunt. The next morning I had a conversation -with Mr. Caulfield. who repeated the same thing to me. I then had a call from Mr. Ehrlichman or I had a call from Mr. Magruder who told me that this whole thing is Liddy's fault and I should look into it. I then had a call from Mr. Ehrlichman who, I reported to him that this was, had been, told me and he said "I think you ought to meet with Liddy." I then -met with Mr. Liddy about noon and he gave, me his report. It was in that afternoon that 'Mr. Strachan came into my office and told me that he had been instructed by Haldeman to destroy documents. [00.44.32]