Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activiti...

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Location:
488814_1_1
Yes
Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
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Timecode:
1973  (Actual Year)
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-
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10416
113002
[00.44.32] Senator TALMADGE. You knew, of course, that Mr. Liddy had previously presented massive intelligence plans to Mr. Mitchell, I believe You were there on two occasions? Mr. DEAN. Yes I was. Senator TALMADGE. Then you testified that 'Mr. Strachan told --- Mr. DEAN-. Senator, I might correct that they were massive on the, first, occasion and a very tailored-down version On the second and. I must say I was very late in attending the second meeting and The meeting was shortened after I arrived. Senator TALMADGE. Each meeting was scaled down further? Mr. DEAN. That is right. Senator TALMADGE. Intelligence plan. Then Mr. Strachan told you that Mr. Haldeman ordered him to go through Mr. Haldeman's files and destroy materials which included documents relating to wiretap information from the Democratic National Committee is that correct? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. Senator TALMADGE. Then you told 'Mr. Ehrlichman about the meetings with Liddy and Mitchell and about your subsequent conversations with Mr. Haldeman, and Mr. Ehrlichman's reaction in a meeting which _Mr. Colson attended, was to tell you to get Liddy to have him tell Hunt to get out of the country. is that correct? Mr. DEAN. Well, you are, tying two meetings together Senator. I might straighten that out for you. The meeting I reported to Ehrlichman was in midafternoon and Mr. Colson was not present. I was reporting my meeting with Liddy at, that, point, I did not discuss -with him the facts that Strachan had brought to my attention because I assume he was aware from his conversations with -Mr. Haldeman that that, in fact, had occurred. He, told me to come back to a meeting later that evening with Colson. He said he -was aware of the fact that Colson wanted to meet with him and I should be present at that, meeting. Senator TALMADGE. Then shortly thereafter Mr. Ehrlichman told you to throw the contents of Hunt's safe in the river, is that correct? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. Well, he told me I should throw the briefcase in the river and he told me to shred the documents. [00.46.27-a big question about the logic of DEAN'S statement is addressed-it all is dependent on the facts of lines of communication and authority in the White House whether this is believable] Senator TALMADGE. -Now, after all of those facts occurred, were available to you, why did you not, as counsel to the President go to him at that time and tell him what was happening? Mr. DEAN. Senator, I did not have access to the. President. I never was presumptuous enough to try to pound on the door and get in because I knew that just did not work that way. I know of efforts of other White House staff to get in. I have seen. for example one of the reporters sitting in this room, Mr. Mallenhoff, memorandums he tried to send in to the President and they are just blocked when you try to send information in. Senator TALMADGE. You mean you were counsel to the President of the United States, and you could not get access to him if you wanted to, is that your testimony? Mr. DEAN. No, Sir, I thought it would be presumptuous of me -to try, because, I felt. I was told my reporting channel was Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman and I was reporting everything I knew to them. Senator TALMADGE. It Seems like to me after finding evidence of a conspiracy of this magnitude it -was incumbent upon you as counsel to the President to make every possible effort to see. that he got that information at that time. Mr. DEAN. Senator I was participating in the coverup at that time. Senator TALMADGE. -Now, another question. When you met with Attorney General Kleindienst on the 19th and 20th of June, I believe, there you told him you had no idea there 'would be a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters Did you tell him about the meetings of January 27 and February 4, 1972. with 'Mr. Liddy and Mr. Magruder and Mitchell during, when buggings were considered? Mr. DEAN. No, sir, I did not, Senator TALMADGE. Why did you not tell him at that time? Mr. DEAN. Because I knew that would put him in a position that he Would have to pursue his investigation that way, and 'Mr. Kleindienst had told me when we talked generally, in very broad generalities about the thing that he said he would never sit in the Attorney General's Office and prosecute Mr. Mitchell and I did not want to put this On Kleindienst at this point in time. Senator TALMADGE. In other words, you were still participating In the coverup. Mr. DEAN. Well, this -meeting had occurred on. the 19th or 20th. Senator TALMADGE. Yes. Were you chosen to tell Mr. Kalmbach, Mr. Mitchell, Ehrlichman and Haldeman wanted him to raise money to pay for The silence Of the Watergate defendants? Mr. DEAN. Well, I became the courier of good and bad news between the committee, concerning what, each quarter was doing concerning the coverup. I think that occurred for this reason: One, Mr. Mitchell had known me -and trusted me, with this type of information and, Haldeman and Ehrlichman knew and trusted me. There was a--particularly after--this reporting requirement or requirements. this reporting scheme, developed very early on. Ehrlichman and Mitchell, I would have to say, had a rather strained relationship and this made it convenient to avoid some of those strains, and there was also a longstanding competition between Mr. Mitchell and certain persons in the White House so that this made it convenient, they didn't -want to deal with one another so I was the convenient vehicle to deal with. [00.49.52]