Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, July 10, 1973

Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Year Shot:
1973  (Actual Year)
Tape Master:
Original Film:
[00.02.00-MITCHELL testifying about his decisions not to tell NIXON about the illegal activities in the White House] Mr. MITCHELL. Well, I am sure it occurred to me and probably on hindsight I probably should have. I do not think there is any doubt about, it. Mr. DASH. Did you not think it was the President's prerogative to know what to do about these matters? Mr. MITCHELL. The decision had to be made, and it is a tough one, whether or not he is not. involved in it but he does not know about them, will this go away. I knew they were going to change the personnel in the White House and hopefully they would be gone and he would not have to deal with it and he could go on to his second term, the second Presidency, without this problem. [00.02.35] Mr. DASH, But you were taking a major risk. were you not. Mr. Mitchell? Mr., MITCHELL. I think you are taking a major risk any time you have to deal with the White House horrors under any circumstances. Mr. DASH. 'Now, you spoke to the President quite frequently on the telephone. you met with him, your logs indicate, so you did have plenty Of opportunities. and on no occasion. I think it is your testimony. did you speak to the President a bout these matters? Mr. MITCHELL. Now. which matters are we talking about? Mr. DASH. Again, the White House--- Mr. MITCHELL. About disclosing these, matters. Mr. DASH. Disclosing the matters, the White House horrors, the break-in. [00.03.12] Mr. MITCHELL. I did not--well, let US not pass this over to the point where--on the 20th of June when I talked to him I apologized to him for not knowing what the hell had happened and I should have kept a stronger hand on what the people, in the committee were doing, et cetera. And then, further on down the road in these political meetings that are shown on the, logs. there were discussions about appointing a commission of the type of the Warren commission to Investigate this matter. and special prosecutors and things like that. I do not want to leave the, impression that it was never touched under any circumstances. [00.03.50] Mr. DASH. I am not talking about when you talked about Watergate as such. I am talking about the so-called coverup, the White House horrors and what your own knowledge, based on information given you, as to who was involved in the he break-in of the DNC. Mr. MITCHELL. I answered that I did not talk to him about it. Mr. DASH. I know, but on the 20th----- Mr. MITCHELL. I also answered in hindsight it probably would have been a better idea if I had. Mr. DASH. Now, also on March 27 did Mr. -Magruder come to see you in New York? Mr. MITCHELL. Yes. sir, he did. [00.04.23] Mr. DASH. And do you recall that he testified that he came, because he began to be aware or concerned that things might, unravel and, therefore'. wanted assurances from you that he be taken care of. Do you recall that? Mr. MITCHELL. I recall very well, Mr. Dash. because, of the fact that there Was, based In the McCord letter to Judge Sirica, and -Mr. Magruder wanted to talk to me about the potentials of his being brought back before the grand jury on a perjury count. [00.04.54] Mr. DASH. Did you promise him at that time, as he testified, that to the best of your ability, though you no longer were in office, you would help him to either get Executive clemency, support, or rehabilitation, any of the things we have been asking about? Mr. MITCHELL. Let us take Executive clemency. No, I have never promised that to anybody. Obviously, there is no basis upon which I could. With respect to, you were talking about support and so forth, what I told Jeb Magruder was that I thought he was a very outstanding young man and I liked and I worked with and to the extent that I could help in any conceivable way, I would be delighted to do so. And this was exactly the same conversation that we had the next day down at Haldeman's office. [00.05.45] Mr. DASH. Did Mr. Magruder then ask for that meeting with Mr. Haldeman? Mr. MITCHELL. Oh yes. Mr. DASH. Did he feel he needed that assurance from somebody still in the White House? Mr. MITCHELL. That is right. Mr. DASH. And met with Mr. Haldeman on the 28th of March? Mr. MITCHELL. 28th of March, that is correct. Mr. DASH. What kind of assurances were being sought by Mr. Magruder there and what was being given to him? [00.06.00] Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Magruder was again concerned--well he did not express it too directly--that he thought he might become the fall guy. It seems to me that everybody around this town involved in this all thought they -were going to become a fall guy. Mr. DASH. Did you, Mr. Mitchell? Mr. MITCHELL. Did I? No. Contrary to the story that I have read I did not believe that, to be the case, I AM quite, anxiously waiting to see if there is some possibility of that other than some misguided counsel who wrote a piece of paper from which cross-examination was to be made. [00.06.43] Mr. DASH. Getting back to Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Magruder's meeting with you on March 28--- Mr. MITCHELL. Yes, it was the same general discussion, "I may have problems with my perjury, I don't have any money, am I going to be deserted, -are you people still going to be friends, will I be able to get counsel," this type of conversation. [00.07.12]