Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
[00.43.22-BAKER questioning DEAN on his March 13, 1973 meeting with NIXON in which NIXON allegedly told DEAN it would be "no problem" to raise $ 1 million for the express purpose of keeping the Watergate BURGLARS silent at their trials]
Senator BAKER. I take it from that that Mr. Haldeman was present during this portion of the conversation?
Mr. DEAN. Yes, he was. Yes. he was.
Senator BAKER. Go ahead, Sir.
Mr. DEAN. It was then he -asked me -who was putting the pressure for this, and I said it was principally coming through his attorney and at that point the President raised the fact that Mr. Hunt, or he had had discussions with -Mr. Haldeman--I mean with Mr. Ehrlichman and Mr. Colson about clemency for Mr. Hunt.
Senator BAKER. I am sorry, my mind wandered.
At that time he, the President, said that he had had conversations?
[00.44.03-NIXON had been informed of the COVERUP strategy of EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY for the defendants by at least two people before meeting with DEAN in MARCH 1973]
Mr. DEAN. That is correct. And he also went on to tell me that, with some expressions of annoyance, Mr. Colson had been told not to raise this with him, and he also said that Colson had raised it with him though, contrary to an instruction that he had received from 'Mr. Ehrlichman.
Senator BAKER. Was Mr. Haldeman present during this portion of the conversation?
Mr. DEAN. Yes. he was.
Senator BAKER. Go ahead. sir.
[00.44.30-DEAN informed NIXON that there was MONEY LAUNDERING involved in the PAYOFFS and the COVERUP]
Mr. DEAN. From there, he then asked me, he said, "How is this money handled?" and I said, "Well, I don't know all the details but I know there is a laundering process so the money cannot be traced to any source."
And I explained what, I knew about, the laundering process, and I said, "I am learning about things I newer knew about and the, next time I will know better how to handle these matters," and I do remember very vividly at this point Mr. Haldeman commenced with a rather good belly laugh. He thought this was quite funny, and that was that, the meeting really ended on that note. There was no further discussion on that -point.
Senator BAKER. Thank you, sir.
Would you move on to the next occasion.
Let me, while you -are, looking--
Mr. DEAN. I just don't want to in' miss any of the points I have in here. I am very clear -in my mind an the principal ones but I want to make sure there is no minor point that I miss also.
Senator BAKER. All right. I fully understand that. I am asking you to hurry through this, and you should fully understand, Mr. Dean, if there are other points in your testimony that bear directly on this question, the fact that you don't identify them now does not mean that you do not stand on your statement as previously made. I am simply trying to organize it for the committee's purposes.
Mr. DEAN. I understand.
Senator BAKER. While you are looking let me ask you this: It seems Mr. Haldeman was present during, that meeting most of the time. Was there any significant conversation between you and the President before Mr.
Haldeman came in?
[00.46.16-the question of who can CORROBORATE DEAN'S allegations]
Mr. DEAN. As I say, this conversation had commenced before, Mr. Haldeman came in. It was interrupted and I went back--Mr. Haldeman sat down while I was telling the President about this and then Stayed on during the remainder of the conversation.
Senator BAKER. Do you remember at what point he came in, what point in your conversation?
Mr. DEAN. I don't think I had gone much further than telling the President that there were problems in raising money.
Senator BAKER. So it is fair to say, I assume, that Mr. Haldeman was there. for virtually -all of the. conversation?
Mr. DEAN. Yes, I think that is correct.
Senator BAKER. All right, sir, proceed if you will.
Mr. DEAN. At least, you know, 90 percent of the conversation, I would say.
Senator BAKER. Thank you.
Mr. DEAN. The next, occasion that I raised the matter -with the President myself was when he called me on the evening of the 20th, I had gone home, I was at home, as I recall, it must have, been about, I don't know, 7:30, 7:15, sometime, in that period of time, he called me and I went down to my living room to take the call.
Senator BAKER. This was on March 20?
Mr. DEAN. That, is correct. March 20. We -were having a rather rambling conversation. I at this point, because. of events that had proceeded over the last couple of days, told the President I would like to meet with him the next morning to discuss the implications of the, Watergate case that I thought I ought to bring to his attention as they affected the White House staff and himself. And he said, well, why don't you try to meet with me about 10 o'clock the next morning. Then We'll go to the meeting at 10 o'clock. That, was on the 21st.
[00.48.00-DEAN testifies about preparing his "CANCER ON THE PRESIDENCY" speech to NIXON]
As I told you, after the conversation with the President, and on the evening, the preceding evening. and the next, morning I thought, both on my way to work in the morning and when I entered the office in the, morning how I could most dramatically present the situation which I thought had to end that very day--it could not proceed another hour as far as I was concerned--in a way that would be very meaningful to the President and based on my thought and my--some discussion I had had with Mr. Moore the preceding, day, I decided I Would tell the President that there was a cancer growing on the Presidency and something had to be done about the cancer because It was growing daily and if there were not immediate surgery, it was going to kill the President himself.
So I started with lines to that effect.