Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, July 10, 1973 (1/2)

Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Year Shot:
1973  (Actual Year)
Tape Master:
Original Film:
[00.25.40-GURNEY gives MITCHELL a chance to put blame on DEAN for the coverup] Senator GURNEY. Dean testified before the committee that when he got into this whole Watergate affair, and you will recall that he was Out in the Philippine Islands, I think and returning---- Mr. MITCHELL. Yes. Senator GURNEY. That this occurred--that the coverup had already begun. My recollection of the first important meeting that he had with anybody was this is June 19 meeting. Mr. MITCHELL. No, sir. Senator GURNEY. Was there any discussion of the coverup at this meeting? Mr. MITCHELL. -No, sir; Senator, let me go back and refresh your recollection of Mr. Dean's testimony and I am sure these gentlemen here can correct me if I am wrong on the general subject matter. Mr. Dean said that by the time that he came to my apartment to the June 19 meeting, the coverup had already begun, because, we had--and I am just, quoting Mr. Dean--he had met with Liddy, he had met, with Magruder, he ad met with Strachan and been advised that they had destroyed documents. He said he had met with Ehrlichman and Colson and that they were trying to get Hunt out of the country. I am not vouching for these as facts. I am just telling you what Dean said that he did that, day, in which he came to the conclusion that the coverup had already started by the time he, got to the meeting of the 19th. He also testified that he did not discuss any of those subject matters with us at the meeting in my apartment on the 19th. [00.27.11] Senator GURNEY. Were any specific, instructions given at that meeting to anybody? Mr. MITCHELL. go; because I don't, think we had anything to provide specific instructions for. I think what we were really looking at was what was the PR aspects of it, where were we going to be hit next with another broadside, and how we were going to respond to it. And of course, you did that from day to day as the UPI and the AP carried the stories. Senator GURNEY. Incidentally, why do you think Dean was there at the meeting? Mr. MITCHELL. I don't know. In trying to reconstruct that in my mind--because I had completely forgotten about the meeting until the testimony--I would have believed that somebody-it was not me, but it was probably that Bob Mardian, or it could have. been Fred LaRue, we were flying in back in an aircraft that needed an interim stop, as I recall--probably called ahead to the office and said, get so-and-so so we, can find out what is going on in connection with this. [00.28.24] Senator GURNEY. Turning to the coverup payments now, I think we have already discussed this business about the supposed meeting where you thought that somebody ought to get in touch with Kalmbach to raise the money for the coverup, and you have denied that this took place. Is that correct? Mr. MITCHELL. I specifically deny this with respect to the so-called meeting of June 28, in which Dean puts it in -a sequence, on June 28, where the CIA thing flops and then there is a meeting with Mardian, LaRue, Dean, and myself, and I say to Dean, you go get somebody the White House to call Kalmbach. I tell you that that meeting didn't happen, because I was in New York. [00.29.20] Senator GURNEY. Was there any other meeting where that, occurred, or something like that occurred? Mr. MITCHELL. NO; there has been a question here today as to whether or not I had a meeting on January 19, -which would have been the eve of the inauguration, with Dean and Kalmbach in which Kalmbach was asked to re-enter the fundraising activities. I have recollection of that whatsoever. And as I said before, the way that Kalmbach excited from fundraising activities due to his notoriety, I would have found it very difficult for me to suggest that he, got back into it. Senator GURNEY. Do you have any personal knowledge about the coverup money, how it was raised, by whom, who paid it? Mr. MITCHELL. I have--well, let me see, if I can answer all of your questions. First, of all. I have never met with any of the defendants, I have never talked to any of them, I have never talked to any of their lawyers except, Maroulis on that occasion that I have, mentioned. I have never handled any negotiations in connection with it. I have never even seen until I have seen the exhibits here and letters that letter or letters-- that were written by Hunt. [00.30.47]