Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
[00.57.50-GURNEY wants to suggest that DEAN has cooked up his allegations against the PRESIDENT to get an immunity deal from the committee to protect himself from prosecution]
Senator GURNEY. But none of what has transpired here as far as your testimony is concerned can be used against you in a further criminal proceeding Isn't that correct?
Mr. DEAN. That is correct. If it is impossible-or If it is possible to take the lead problem out of an individual's testimony.
Senator GURNEY. Now, just in summary, Mr. Dean, I wonder if we can go over the salient points of the 5 days. Again as I understand it, to your own knowledge you have no knowledge that President Nixon was ever involved in the, planning or the break-in at Watergate; is that correct?
Mr. DEAN. I have no direct knowledge of that, that, is correct.
[00.58.35-GURNEY tries to get the last word on DEAN by asking for a summary of DEAN'S infrequent contact with NIXON in 1972, hoping to leave the impression that NIXON was out of the loop on WATERGATE and the COVERUP]
Senator GURNEY. Then. in the year 1972 the only meeting you ever had with the President on Watergate was on September 15, is that correct?
Mr. DEAN. Yes, and I believe -we have been over that in detail.
Senator GURNEY. We have been over that in detail, and I don't think it would serve any purpose to go over it again.
In 1973 the two occasions that you did discuss Watergate -with him prior to March 21, was that meeting on February 27, is that that correct?
Mr. DEAN. Well, as I, in answering Senator Baker's questions yesterday I don't know if you were present, Senator. we, were, going through all of the circumstantial situations leading up to the meetings that occurred in February and March. and the fact that there was a developing strategy that had occurred in California at the La Costa meetings and on the tall end of those and consistent with those I had a number of meetings with the President where subjects related to that particular California policy-setting meeting were being continually
[00.59.49-GURNEY wants to pin down that DEAN can't link NIXON to any according-to-hoyle CRIMES before February, 1973]
Senator GURNEY. I understand that, but I mean the direct involvement of the possible criminal activities of Watergate February 27 -was the first meeting was it not, when, as you testified the question of obstruction of justice came up, isn't that correct
Mr. DEAN. That, is correct.
Senator GURNEY. And you stated that you might be implicated in some way in that, and the President said no. he didn't think- so. Isn't that the substance of that?
Mr. DEAN. That is correct.
Senator GURNEY. Then, on March 13 you also-
Mr. DEAN. That was, I believe, on the 28th that came. up, Senator.
Senator GURNEY. Twenty-eighth. All right.
Then one other meeting on March 13 you had another conversation with him that involved this Executive clemency business, Isn't that correct?
[01.00.35-DEAN discusses CLEMENCY and PAYOFFS, and his discussion with NIXON on those subjects-DEAN tells the same story he has been telling for 5 days]
Mr. DEAN. On March 13 we discussed both clemency and the fact that this was no money. The way the clemency came up as you will recall is that at the he end of another conversation I raised with him the fact that there were demands being made for money, for continued money, there was no money around to pay it. He asked me how, you know, how much it was going to cost. I gave my best estimate,
Which I said was $1 million. He, in turn, said to me, "Well, $1 million is certainly no problem to raise." and turned to Mr. Haldeman and made a similar comment, and then he came back after, just a brief discussion on that, and I remember very clearly the way he pushed his chair from His desk as he was looking back at Mr. Haldeman to get, you know, the same message through to Mr. Haldeman, you know, that $ 1 million is no problem.
Then he came back up, he rolled his chair back up toward the desk and said to me who is making the principal demands for this money at that point in time.
I said they were coming principally from Mr. Hunt through his attorney, and he turned to the discussion of the fact that, he had talked with Mr. Ehrlichman
and Mr. Colson about clemency for Mr. Hunt and he expressed annoyance at the fact that Mr. Colson had come to him contrary to an instruction that the President was aware of that Colson wasn't to raise this with him.
Senator GURNEY. So there -were discussions-
Mr. DEAN. Then we went on to discuss the delivery, you know, how this money was delivered and I told him that it was laundered and told him I was learning about things that I had never known about before, and I recall very vividly how Mr. Haldeman thought this was very funny and started laughing.
Senator GURNEY. So there were really two main discussions on Watergate, the money, the coverup money that you have just discussed and also the Executive clemency, and Mr. Haldeman was present during these discussions?
[01.02.37-DEAN tries to steer GURNEY away from his strictly legalistic construction of the COVERUP. GURNEY wants to force DEAN to admit that he can't strongly pin NIXON to involvement in actual CRIMES]
Mr. DEAN. Well, Senator, not to take anything away from your interpretation but a lot, of the discussion that occurred regarding the press conferences the. positions we were, going to take on executive privilege, and the, like, had direct, implications on unraveling the Watergate.
Senator GURNEY. Well, I understand that. Indeed, I do, but I am talking about the criminal activities. Certainly press conferences, Executive clemency do not involve any criminal activity. I am just trying to pinpoint the criminal parts of it, and then, of course, there was the meeting on March 21.
Mr. DEAN. I might add that In, as I told you, in one point in time when I went to discuss this with counsel, who is an experienced prosecutor, he said that oftentimes intervening events show intention and purpose. That is why I have tried to report everything I know to the committee as fully as I know.
Senator GURNEY. I understand that, and I as a committee, member am extremely glad you did, because I do think it sheds a lot of light and it will help the deliberations of the committee when other witnesses come before it. I am not in any way deprecating the importance. of all of the events that surrounded these transactions in Watergate, but I am trying to pinpoint the criminal parts of it.
And that really is the sum and substance of your direct knowledge, direct conversations -with the President on the criminal activity?
Mr. DEAN. On the March 13 meeting.
Senator GURNEY. Well, I also said the March 21.
Mr. DEAN. THAT is correct. We have gone over the March 21 meeting.
Senator GURNEY. Yes; we don't need to go over it again. I am just pinpointing that time-----