.Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
[00.55.00-GURNEY continues to question DEAN about his meetings with NIXON at the time he decided to go to the prosecutors]
Senator GURNEY. You are right. That is true. Now, why was that? You had been meeting with him almost daily there, in March on a number of things many of which had touched on the Watergate affair, according to your testimony.
Why was there this total and you had sudden absence of any other contacts, meetings, or phone calls with the President?
Mr. DEAN. Well, I call only tell you -what my impression of the situation is. When I met with him on the 22d in the, afternoon--let's say it was the, afternoon of the 21st--I had gotten rather factual and open in a meeting with Ehrlichman and Haldeman and the, President that I thought they could be indicted, that, I could be indicted, and I was disagreeing with most everything that, was being said in the meeting.
I subsequently had a meeting the next day, on the 22d, in the morning, with Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and myself. There was further discussion of--one of the first things that came out, in the, meeting was the fact when Mr. Ehrlichman asked -Mr. Mitchell if Mr. Hunt's problems had been taken care, of, referring to the fact, that Hunt had made. demands. Mr. Mitchell said, "I don't think that, Hunt has any Problems anymore.".
Then there was the afternoon meeting in the President's office in which there was more discussion about how to handle this committee and deal with it, vis-a-vis the White House and the President and the President's Posture on executive privilege. I again had quite evidently shown. a different posture than I had before.
Senator GURNEY. Well, that really---
Mr. DEAN. I have not finished. I was looking to see if the chairman wanted me to proceed.
Senator ERVIN. There is a vote on now, and we will have to take a short recess,
[00.57.10-MacNEILL v.o. states that there will be several rollcall votes that interrupt the afternoon session, when the senators return, GURNEY will continue, trying to pin down DEAN'S meetings with NIXON and the Prosecutors.]
[00.57.29-cut to after recess]
Senator ERVIN. The committee will resume
Senator GURNEY. Mr. Dean, WE were discussing the time lapse, between those meetings with the President, the last meetings on the 20th and 21st and 22d and your next, communication with him, which was April 15, as I recall.
[DEAN describes a meeting in which it is clear that NIXON, HALDEMAN, and EHRLICHMAN are all interested in continuing the coverup]
Mr. DEAN. Yes, Senator, and I believe I was explaining that it was after the, meeting on the 22d, that a afternoon, when we met again with Mr. Mitchell, Haldeman, Mr. Ehrlichman, and the, President, and there was more discussion of dealing with this committee, some discussion about the fact that the Executive privilege statement was too broad and that the President would probably have to retreat somewhat to a position, this is Mr. Mitchell's suggestion, and he saw this to be the only problem in dealing with the committee.
And then, on the 23d the President was going to Key Biscayne, and I believe he probably was in Key Biscayne when he called me, I am not certain because of the time frame. As I said, I had been surrounded by the, press and was it my house and I talked to Ehrlichman that morning I morning about the, McCord letter. and then the President called and suggested I go to Camp David, and I would say that was the last time I talked with him until April 15 at which time I sent him a message.
[00.59.11-DEAN gives his opinion on the role of HALDEMAN, EHRLICHMAN, AND NIXON at that stage when the coverup was in jeopardy]
Now, why did this happen? In my estimation, it was becoming Very evident to certainly _Mr. Haldeman, Mr. Ehrlichman, and probably the President, who was present during the meeting on the afternoon of the 21st, that I was; not playing the coverup game any more, and certainly -when I came back from Camp David that was very evident to them. in my meetings with Mr. Haldeman, my subsequent
meeting with Mr. Mitchell and my meeting----
Senator GURNEY. When were they?
Mr. DEAN. This was on the 28th.
Senator GURNEY. The meeting with Mitchell.
Mr. DEAN. Mitchell and Magruder. Mitchell and Magruder had met with Haldeman, and then when Mr. Haldeman called and asked me to come, back from Camp David and I had a brief meeting him, as I said, we had for many, many, many months, we talked very openly about----