Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
[00.55.30-DASH questions DEAN on his recollection of discussing with NIXON the issue of PAYOFFS to keep the BURGLARS silent at trial]
Mr. DASH. Now, is that to your recollection, a correct statement of how, that conversation took place, or is your statement the correct---
Mr. DEAN. No, sir; my recollection is there was no discussion of the--it appears to me what they have done is take what I did raise on the 21st regarding Mr. Hunt's direct threat of a blackmail nature to John Ehrlichman and confused it with an earlier meeting which occurred on March 13, when the $1 million conversation came, up, and put the two together some way.
Mr. DASH. Now do you recall the. President ever telling you that it was wrong to pay this $1 million?
Mr. DEAN. To the contrary. He said it would be no problem to raise, the $1 million.
Mr. DASH. Now, also, the next item in this memorandum states that the, President spoke to--I think that was Mr. Dean spoke to Haldeman's return of the $350,000, He said that Haldeman and Ehrlichman possibly had no legal guilt with regard to the money matters.
Did you make such a statement?
Mr. DEAN. No, sir.
Mr. DASH. Let me go back again:
[00.56.39-DASH returns to the White House statement, which asserts that DEAN in March 1973 did NOT inform NIXON of his activities in the coverup]
Mr. Dean said nothing of his role with regard to the coverup money. He -said nothing about his discussions with Magruder helping him prepare for the grand jury. He said nothing of his instructions to Caulfield to Offer executive clemency,
Mr. DASH. Was that true, on the 21st?
Mr. DEAN. I think the contrary is true and I will rely on my statement, Mr. Dash.
Mr. DASH. Now, there is another reference on that meeting on the 21st which we have from this oral communication from the White House. It says "Dean said Colson had talked to Mr. Hunt about executive clemency."
Is that the way you had put it to the President?
[00.57.31-the issue of EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY discussed]
Mr. DEAN. No, sir. As I recall, this initially came up on--the 13th was the first time it, came up and the second time it came up was on the 15th I believe I have testified several times to the. way that did occur and I respectfully disagree with that interpretation.
[00.57.49-COMMON SENSE INDICATES THAT NIXON MUST HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE CLEMENCY OFFER]
Mr. DASH. Well, but, as stated, if in fact Mr. Dean had said that Colson had talked to Hunt about Executive clemency, and there is nothing further in this memorandum, if the President had not authorized Executive clemency, would you have expected the President to have raised a question about that and called upon you or somebody who had authority to have Mr. Colson retract that?
Mr. DEAN. Only the President can promise Executive clemency and Mr. Colson was quite aware, of that. I think that the facts are that, in fact, Mr. Colson had talked to the, President, who in turn had--then Colson talked to Mr. Bittman, who in turn talked to Mr. Hunt.
Mr. DASH. Well, I just want the, record to show that in this submission by the White, House, to the committee, the reference, to the Executive clemency merely shows that Mr. Dean said Colson had talked to Hunt about Executive clemency. There was no reference to any action of the President, whether he had said that he had not authorized that and whether in fact, he indicated that, whoever had done that, especially Mr. Colson, with Mr. Hunt, that that was to be retracted.
The, submission does not have that in it in a reconstruction of the so-called White House log.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to just have, this introduced as part of the record, which I have already identified as a memorandum based on a call.
Senator ERVIN. Without objection, it will be, so identified. and made, a part of the record.
Senator BAKER. Mr. Chairman, I think that is appropriate to make that a part of the record, but I think its character ought to be understood. This does not, as I understand it, represent a definitive "White House position," but rather are the transcribed notes of a telephone conversation between Mr. Buzhardt an attorney of the White House, and Mr. Thompson, which were turned over to Mr. Dash and reviewed subsequently by Mr. Garment and Mr. Buzhardt.