Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, June 29, 1973 (2/2)

Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Year Shot:
1973  (Actual Year)
Tape Master:
Original Film:
[01.10.06-DEAN discusses March 21, 1973, when he dissented from HALDEMAN and EHRLICHMAN on continuing the coverup, telling NIXON that HALDEMAN, EHRLICHMAN, and DEAN were probably indictable for obstructing justice] Well, when I went, to Mr. Ehrlichman's office when he was counsel he did not have any law books in his office either. And he said, "Would You bring me a copy of that section of the code," as I did have the law books in my office and I thought, I told him he ought to look up section 1503 of title 18 of the, United States Code and particularly read the annotations thereunder. [01.10.31] Senator BAKER. All right, sir. What did Mr. Haldeman if anything, when you indicated to the President that, you disagreed because you thought Ehrlichman, Haldeman. and Dean were indictable? What reaction did you have from Mr. Haldeman, particularly -what did he say? Mr. DEAN. I had discussed this with Mr. Haldeman on earlier Occasions. I do not recall a reaction at that meeting that afternoon because I had already talked to him about this in a meeting he and I had had shortly after the election and before the version of the Dean report which was put in writing and has been submitted to this committee as an exhibit. Senator BAKER. But more to the point and just for the moment, did Mr. Haldeman say anything to you -at that juncture? Mr. DEAN. I cannot recall him saying anything at that point, no. [01.11.13-a hint that NIXON, with HALDEMAN AND EHRLICHMAN, was working to set up MITCHELL for the blame] Senator BAKER. Did the President say anything at that point? Mr. DEAN. No, this is toward the end of the meeting, and I am sure the discussion was that Dean is wrong, because there was no change. There was discussion about the fact that Mr. Mitchell, that was part of the discussion at that meeting, that Mr. Mitchell should come down the next morning. In fact, when Mr.--during the morning meeting, at the conclusion of the meeting the President called for Mr. Haldeman to come into the office and -what he told, what -the President told Mr. Haldeman was, is, -that "John Mitchell should come, down and you all should have a meeting with him." Senator BAKER. We are, back to the morning meeting? Mr. DEAN. We are back to the morning meeting but that is because I am not going into every detail and jumping back and forth to try to explain it to you. [01.12.09] Senator BAKER. All right, sir, go ahead. Mr. DEAN. The next meeting with the President., and I am leaving out the intervening meetings with Haldeman and Ehrlichman at this point, the next meeting with the President occurred on the afternoon of the 22d. Senator BAKER. Before you go to that, Mr. Dean, did the President say anything that you can recall, or let me, put it in two parts, did the President say anything when you said Ehrlichman, Haldeman, and Dean might be indictable and if he did say something if you can recall, what did he say? [01.12.39-DEAN says that he can't recall NIXON'S reaction to his statement that DEAN, HALDEMAN, and EHRLICHMAN were indictable-must not have been a very strong, surprised reaction?] Mr. DEAN. I cannot recall what the President, said. I thought I had dropped a bomb -which I obviously had in front, of the President, and certainly the explosion was still going over in my ears and I was not listening, I was looking at Mr.----- Senator BAKER. But you have no recollection that the President did or -did not speak. Mr. DEAN. No. As I recall, the meeting ended on the note that "Let us have Mr. Mitchell come down and you all have a little discussion with Mr. Mitchell about these problems the next morning. Senator BAKER. Who suggested that? Mr. DEAN. I do not know. I am trying to be very careful. Senator BAKER. All right,, would you move on to March 22? Mr. DEAN. To the meeting with the President that afternoon? Senator BAKER. Yes, Sir. [01.13.28] Mr. DEAN. The. meeting with the President. on March '22 was like many, many meetings that I had attended, in -which there was a general discussion of this committee, questions of executive privilege at one point in that meeting, the President picked up the telephone and called the Attorney General because he had a report from Mr. Timmons that apparently Mr. Kleindienst was not dealing with you On working out problems with this committee, and Mr. Mitchell referred to the fact that the President had had no problems excepting the fact that there is probably -in over--he has overstated the executive privilege position and he is taking a beating on that and there should be some retraction or pulling back to a point on that. [01.14.22] Senator BAKER. This was John Mitchell's advice? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. Senator BAKER. Go ahead, sir. Mr. DEAN. At one point during the discussions I asked the President to excuse, myself because I was working on a statement with Mr. Ziegler regarding the Gray comment that I had probably lied. I went from--you are, familiar with the President President's Executive Office, we were sitting On the, sofa in the office and Mr. Haldeman was sitting in a chair or Mr. Haldeman and Ehrlichman were on the sofa and the President was on a chair facing as you were, facing us on the right and Mr. Mitchell in a chair on the left and I pulled up a chair at the other end of the table between the President and Mr. Mitchell and I asked to excuse myself to go handle, this matter. The, President asked me what it was about. I explained to him what, it was about, he said "Go over to the corner and use the phone by the table," which I did and went over and had a quiet conversation with Mr. Ziegler for 10 minutes or so on the telephone, and then I rejoined the meeting and the discussion was still focusing around this committee, and the executive privilege question. [01.15.35]