Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, June 29, 1973 (1/2)

Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Year Shot:
1973  (Actual Year)
Tape Master:
Original Film:
[00.07.26-DEAN discusses his meeting with NIXON in April, 1973, after DEAN'S decision to go to the prosecutors] And I might add that that came up again on -Monday afternoon, when he told me he had checked and determined that indeed, that it was the 21st. Senator BAKER. Was it the -21 21st? Mr. DEAN. Yes, it was the 21st. Senator BAKER. What else, sir? Mr. DEAN-. We had some discussion about the fact, that I had discussed no national security matters with the prosecutors, or he instructed me that, I could not deal with national security matters or any matters with regard to executive privilege, assured him that I had not at that, point had any such conversations with the prosecutors. [00.08.22-DEAN relates a story that seems like NIXON'S attempt to get on the record (and the White House TAPE RECORDERS) denying complicity in making the PAYOFFS to the WATERGATE BURGLARS for their silence at trial] It 'was toward the end of the conversation that he raised on his own and asked me, if I remembered when he, had mentioned the fact, that it would not be any problem to pay $1 million and I said. "Yes, I recall that conversation. " He said, "Well, of course, I was joking, I was only joking when I said that." Then shortly after that. I recall that he got up from his chair and walked behind his chair to the corner of the office. I don't know if it is the chair he normally sits in when he Is in the Executive Office Building but he has one favorite chair over beside his desk. [00.09.11-avoiding the tape recorders?] He got up and went around the chair and in back of the chair find in a barely audible tone to me, but I could hear what he was saying. he said, "I was foolish to talk with Colson about Executive clemency for Hunt, was I not?" I don't recall making any statement or response to that. It was sort, a declarative statement and I said nothing. Senator BAKER. What else? [00.09.45-DEAN discusses the wrapup of his April 15, 1973 meeting with NIXON] Mr. DEAN-. Well, as I say, shortly after he got out of his Chair, I don't recall him getting back in his chair and we began exchanging some Pleasantries, as I was leaving the office. As I was leaving the office, he said to me, "say hello to your pretty wife" and some things of this nature, which I came home and conveyed to her, because she always liked to hear those things. [Mrs. DEAN, smiling] Then also, as I was standing by the door, I remember I had the door open and I turned to the President, who was standing not 10 feet, away from me, and told the President that I certainly hoped that the fact that I -was going to come forward and tell the truth did not result in impeachment of the President. And I told him that I hoped the thing would be handled right, and he assured me that it would be handled right. And the meeting ended on that note. [00.10.40] Senator BAKER. Is that the last meeting or conversation you had with the President? Mr. DEAN. -No, sir; I met with him the next Monday morning, in which he called me and asked me to come in the office. I received a call while I was, before I really left to come in. Senator BANTER. Hold it just 1 minute The next meeting would have been April what? Mr. DEAN. April 16. Senator BAKER. And is that the last meeting? Mr. DEAN. No-, sir-- well, there were two meetings on the 16th, one call on the 17th and then a call on Easter morning. [pan over audience, all faces looking rather grim at hearing DEAN'S testimony] Senator BAKER. It is 3:15 and I promised to take 20 minutes and I have taken an hour. I am, sorry for that and I haven't the slightest intention of proceeding even to my second question, which was to ask your assistance in identifying the probable areas, of conflict between your testimony and that of other witnesses. Mr. Chairman, I thank you for this time and I am willing to yield at this point. [00.11.39-DEAN acknowledges that his testimony will be strongly contested] Mr. DEAN. Mr. Vice -Chairman, I might just comment briefly on your second question. I am quite aware of the fact that in some circumstances, it is going to be my word against one man's word, it is going to be MY word against two men, it is going to be my word against three men, and probably in some cases, it is going to be my word against four men. But I am prepared to stand on my word and the truth and the knowledge and the facts. I have. I know the truth is my ally in this and I think ultimately, the truth is going to come out.