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:
[00.47.56-THOMPSON takes one last stab at questioning DEAN, seemingly trying to suggest that DEAN attempted to rip off the CRP and skip town to avoid being called to account for the coverup] Mr. THOMPSON. What were your campaign duties, Mr. Dean? Mr. DEAN. I don't know what you mean by campaign duties. Mr. THOMPSON. You were counselor to the. President, and I believe you mentioned in the past, that Mr. Haldeman in effect realized what your duties would be during the campaign. I assumed you would have slightly different role, perhaps, during a campaign than you would in a nonpolitical year? [00.48.20] Mr. DEAN. That is right. I certainly was not involved in any political aspects. I would say the basic, thing, a number of filings required by the President required research of the State laws to define and describe, exactly what the President himself would have to sign as a candidate for the Office of President of the United States. These could not be handled by the reelection committee. They would require a notarized Presidential signature. The President -was traveling around the country from time to time, we would have to send them with a military aide, We would have, to be not only aware of what the 50 States required we would have to be aware Of when they required it. That was probably the most consuming of the campaign activities. [00.49.05] I would say that my largest campaign activity was the coverup of the Watergate. Mr. THOMPSON. Let, me ask you if this would. be correct and I am reading from page, 38 of the transcript Of our executive session. [READING] My principal area of concern would be that the white. House itself would stay in full compliance with election laws. And I can say from that point on, we didn't miss one thing regarding the election laws themselves which was a rather voluminous and time-consuming task because as the candidate the President had a lot of filings that required his signature itself and were handled in the White House. Mr. DEAN. I think that is saying in another way what I have just said. Mr. THOMPSON. You left on October what 13th? Mr. DEAN. That is correct. Mr. THOMPSON. Well, several weeks would have had you returning after the election Mr. DEAN. That is correct. Mr. THOMPSON. Would not that have presented a little problem for you considering there was a required filing on the 15th, 6 days next Preceding the election? Mr. DEAN. At, that time. we had a routine system set, up for filing. Mr. Wilson had devised a calendar with all the check dates. There was not a daily filing period. I can't recall any particular filing period in that time, there may have been, I don't have the calendar in front of me. These would be forwarded by that time routinely to the President for signature. He was used to them by that time. He would sign them, they would come back notarized and he. would forward them back to the appropriate State requiring it. In fact, I would say the weeks, preceding the, election -were some, of the slowest weeks during my time at the White House. [00.50.47] Mr. THOMPSON. Was It Slow in terms of campaign contributions that were coming in? Mr. DEAN. We didn't receive campaign contributions at the White House. Mr. THOMPSON. Were you ever called upon to interpret the propriety of accepting such campaign contributions, foreign contributions, anything of that nature? Mr. DEAN. Yes; that periodically, came up, yes, indeed. [00.51.06-THOMPSON questions DEAN, trying to insinuate that DEAN was preparing to skip town in October of 1972] Mr. THOMPSON. But you were going to go on a honeymoon, from which you would not return, if you had your preference, until after the election? Mr. DEAN. Let me explain when I went to Florida, what the situation is in Florida. There are two villas that are set aside, for White House staff. I had to retain that privately rather than take it at Government expense, obviously, being on a honeymoon. That runs $100 a day. I also said that because when I am in Florida, you have the entire signal telephone system. As I think my -wife can attest, while I was at the White House, there was virtually no time, that I was out of contact with the remainder of the staff at any time. And as you well know, you can conduct business by telephone and get staff doing things as easily as you being present in the office, and that is how, often, you operate in the office. I also had a very trusted deputy who could handle things in my absence and if he had a judgment he wanted my attention drawn to, I certainly was available for him to call and reflect on that judgment. Mr. THOMPSON. So then you were planning to be gone for several weeks? Mr. DEAN. I had hoped to. That had been our intention; yes. [00.52.23] Mr. THOMPSON. That -was your intention. Did you know anyone when you were working at the White House, have contact with any one whose first name is Jane? Mr. Did I know anybody at the White House by the name of Jane? Mr. THOMPSON. Yes. Mr. DEAN. I know several Mr. THOMPSON. Start closest to you, if you would. Mr. DEAN. Yes; I have a secretary by the name of Jane Thomas. Mr. THOMPSON. That is the name, I think, that I am interested in. If I am not, we will go back to it. Do you have a travel office, or did you have a travel office, at the White House that sometimes made accommodations for you for the trips that you would take? Mr. DEAN. Yes; I generally had my secretary make travel accommodations through the travel office. Mr. THOMPSON. Do you recall whether or not -you had Jane Thomas make travel accommodations for this particular honeymoon trip? Mr. DEAN. I do not have the foggiest recollection. [00.53.20]