WATERGATE TIMELINE

by Charlie Citrine

 

I al væsentlighed samlet af materiale fra en nu nedlagt oversigt på Washington Post.

                                  

January 20,1969 Richard M. Nixon elected the thirty-seventh president of the United States
1969 Ehrlichman suggests to Caulfield that he leave the White House and set up a private security business that would provide security to the 1972 Nixon campaign. This project, Sandwedge, would be similar to the Kennedy security firm, Intertel.
June 5, 1970 With the goal of increasing cooperation between various intelligence agencies within the government, a meeting was called in the Oval Office. Those in Attendance: Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Helms, and chiefs of the NSA and the DIA. Nixon aide Tom Charles Huston was assigned to work with the heads of these agencies to facilitate increased cooperation.
early July, 1970 The Huston Plan sent to the President. This plan was an addition made by Huston to a plan endorsed by Hoover and Helms (NSA and DIA as well?). Huston's addition called for electronic surveillance, monitoring activities, surreptitious entries, recruitment of more campus informants, et al.
July 14, 1970 Nixon endorses the Huston Plan
July 27, 1970 Hoover visits John Mitchell. Mitchell hears about the Huston plan for the first time.

Mitchell later goes to Nixon and urges the President to Stop the plan.

Nixon later cancelled the plan.

September 17, 1970 Mitchell met with John Dean. Mitchell discussed the poor job that the FBI was doing in the area domestic intelligence. This followed a conversation between Mitchell, Helms and others from the CIA on a similar topic.
September 18, 1970 John Dean sends a memo to John Mitchell in which he offers a plan for intelligence gathering.
    "The most appropriate procedure would be to decide on the type of intelligence we need, based on an assessment of the recommendations of this unit, and then to proceed to remove the restraints as neccessary to obtain such intelligence."
May 3, 1971 Following Nixon's decision concerning Laos, Anti-Vietnam activists attempt to shutdown Washington by blocking roads with stalled cars, human blockades, garbage cans, and other materials. The protests result in over 12,000 arrests. John Dean headed up the White House intelligence gathering during this protest.
June 13, 1971 The New York Times begins publication of excerpts from "The Pentagon Papers".

The Pentagon Papers was a 7,000 page document that was first commissioned by Robert McNamara in June of 1967 for future scholars to use. The Papers were leaked to the Times by Daniel Ellsberg. Although there were many crucial documents that were not included, the Papers did include documents from the Defense Department, the State Department, the CIA, and the White House.

June 14, 1971 John Mitchell sends a telegram to the New York Times.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger
President and Publisher
The New York Times
New York New York

I have been advised by the Secretary of Defense that the material published in The New York Times on June 13, 14, 1971 captioned ''Key Texts From Pentagon's Vietnam Study'' contains information relating to the national defense of the United States and bears a top secret classification.

As such, publication of this information is directly prohibited by the provisions of the Espionage law, Title 18, United States Code, Section 793.

Moreover further publication of information of this character will cause irreparable injury to the defense interests of the United States.

Accordingly, I respectfully request that you publish no further information of this character and advise me that you have made arrangements for the return of these documents to the Department of Defense.

John W. Mitchell
Attorney General

The New York Times declined Mitchell's request.

July, 1971 Ehrlichman appoints Young and Egil "Bud" Krogh, Jr. to direct a Special Investigations Unit to investigate the leak of the Pentagon Papers. Young and Krogh's group become known as the "plumbers".
August 16, 1971 John Dean writes the memorandum "Dealing with our Political Enemies" where he describes "how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."
Sept. 3, 1971 Break in of the office of Lewis Fielding, Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, in Los Angeles led by Hunt and Liddy. The goal was to seek information that would be damaging to Ellsberg.
October, 1971
Colson asks Dean to investigate the "Happy Hooker" ring in New York to see if there were prominent Democratic party clients. Dean calls Caulfield and Ulasewicz.
Late October(?), 1971 [Dean] got right to the point. "Gordon, it may be necessary for you and Jack [Caulfield] to go into the closet for awhile."
"How's that?"
"There's an election coming up next year. We've had a taste this summer of how the other side can be expected to operate. We've got to be able to counter that with an absolutely first-class intelligence operation." Dean was leaning forward intently, elbows on his knees, his left fist grasped in his right hand. He was serious as cancer. Krogh remained silent, letting Dean do the talking. I put what Dean had said together with his mention of Caulfield and asked, "You mean Sandwedge?"
"No. We're going to need something much better, much more complete and sophisticated than that. Bud tells me you're quite knowledgeable in this area."
I told Dean I wasn't sure that it'd be wise for me to "go into the closet," that I wasn't there under the same circumstances as Caulfield -- not that low a profile. If I disappeared all of a sudden, people would ask questions.
"You can't do it from here," Dean interjected.
"No," agreed Bud Krogh, speaking for the first time. I told them I could understand that, but that I'd need some kind of cover.
"Well," said Dean, "you give it some thought, and we'll give it some thought. But what do you think of the idea?"
...
"I am willing," I said, choosing my words carefully, "to serve the President in any way I can, but there are a number of different ways I can serve him. I'm here because of John Mitchell, and I work for John Ehrlichman. I want to be sure that this is how they feel I can best serve the President. So before I decide, I'd like you, Bud, to run this past Ehrlichman and you, John, to check with John Mitchell. If they both agree, then I'm your man."
Krogh nodded his head in assent and Dean got to his feet hurriedly, said, "Fair enough," held out his hand to shake mine, and left as quickly as he had entered. Bud Krogh rose and shook hands too, saying "O.K., Gordon, we'll get back to you."
I left and looked up Howard Hunt, finding him in his third-floor office. I told him of the offer Dean had made and the first thing Hunt asked was, "Do they have any idea what something like that costs?"
I quoted to him John Dean's "...half a million for openers," and he said, "Good. They're in the ball park at any rate. In that kind of work the cheapest commodity there is, is money. You going to do it?"
"If Mitchell and Ehrlichman agree, and we can work out a satisfactory cover. If it's a go, can I count on your help and that of your friends in Miami? I'll need it."
"With that kind of budget I don't see any reason why not. No more Mickey Mouse radios, huh?" Hunt needled.
"Deal." I grinned. We went out and had a drink on it.
November, 1971 Caulfield told Tony Ulasewicz that Dean wants him to check out the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate.
November 24, 1971 Meeting between John Dean, Gordon Liddy and John Mitchell in the Attorney General's inner office in the Justice Department building
Liddy's new position in the Committee to Re-elect the President is discussed, but not Operation Gemstone.
Toward the end of 1971 Caulfield recalls:
    I saw a desire to take greater chances as [Dean] saw the potential rewards. And the key to the ball game was intelligence -- who was going to get it and who was going to provide it. Dean saw that and played the game heartily. ... I was getting my instructions from Dean. I did whatever Dean asked. ... I was getting my instructions from Dean. I did whatever Dean asked... I would put Tony [Ulasewicz] to work."
December 6, 1971 G. Gordon Liddy transferred from White House to Committee to Re-elect the President
December 14, 1971 Jack Anderson publishes a column concerning Nixon's foreign policy plans with India and Pakistan. His sources were top secret documents taken from the White House, specifically notes from meeti ngs held by a Kissinger on December 3 and 4, 1971.
January 9, 1972 James McCord joins the Committee to Re-elect the President as physical security chief.
January 10, 1972 G. Gordon Liddy audits the records of Anthony Ulasewisz in New York City.
January 27, 1972 Meeting arranged by Jeb Magruder. Those in attendance were Attorney General John Mitchell, John Dean, Jeb Magruder, G. Gordon Liddy. Liddy presents the "GEMSTONE" plan.
    "When I had finished, Dean and Magruder remained silent. John Mitchell made much of filling and relighting his pipe and then said, 'Gordon, a million dollars is a hell of a lot of money, much more than we had in mind. I'd like you to go back and come up with something more realistic.'"    G. Gordon Liddy
February 4, 1972 Meeting arranged by Jeb Magruder. Those in attendance were Attorney General John Mitchell, John Dean, Jeb Magruder, G. Gordon Liddy. John Dean arrived late while Liddy was presenting his slimmed down GEMSTONE plan.
    "John Dean has since said that he entered at the very end of my second presentation. He was not that late. He came in after I had handed out the new, smaller charts and explained to Mitchell and Magruder what had been cut out, but he was there in time to hear that programs DIAMOND (removal and detention of violent demonstration leaders); CRYSTAL (electronic surveillance); SAPPHIRE (the prostitute program); OPAL (the covert entry operation); and RUBY (the agents-in-place) program, could be retained in reduced form.

    This time Mitchell did not order the destruction of the charts when he handed his back to me; nor did he ask me to come up with something 'more realistic.' He Just said he'd have to 'think about it' and let me know. It was at this point that John Dean interposed his objection. It was not, as he has often said, that such matters should not be discussed in the Attorney General's office, but that (addressing himself to John Mitchell): 'Sir, I don't think a decision on a matter of this kind should come from the Attorney General's office. I think he should get it from somewhere else -- completely unofficial channels.'

    John Mitchell nodded his head soberly and said, 'I agree'; at which point Jeb Magruder chimed in with 'Right.' Dean hurried away before I could chew on him for what I believed to have been a suggestion that would only delay a decision further. But I landed all over Magruder.

    'Why the hell,' I said to Jeb, 'am I constantly being put in the position of a salesman for something somebody has already ordered? I'm not going to continue being put into an embarrassing position like this with my people. I've promised them an answer. If they think we're indecisive they're gonna want out and at this point, frankly, I don't blame them. Now I want a fucking decision and I want it fast!'

                    G. Gordon Liddy

March 27, 1972 G. Gordon Liddy transferred to Maurice Stans's finance committee.
March 30, 1972 Meeting at John Mitchell's headquarters in Key Biscayne, Florida. Those in attendance: John Mitchell, Frederick C. LaRue, Jeb Magruder, Harry S. Fleming. When GEMSTONE is brought up, Fleming is excused from the room.

 


Magruder's Recollections

Before Watergate committee: Mitchell approved a modified Gemstone.
Later during committee hearing: Mitchell identified the DNC as a break-in target.
In Magruder's book: Mitchell approved $250,000 for scaled-down Gemstone.

Magruder's later statements: In an interview with Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin, Magruder stated that Mitchell did not approve the DNC as a break-in target.

Quotes from interview:

    "We [CRP] weren't the initiators."
    "The first plan we got had been initiated by Dean. Mitchell didn't do anything. All Mitchell did is just what I did, was acquiesce to the pressure from the White House."
    "The target never came from Mitchell."
[Silent Coup, 126]

 

April 7, 1972 Bob Reisner telephones G. Gordon Liddy on behalf of Jeb Magruder telling him to go ahead with the GEMSTONE project.
Late April, 1972 The Watergate is moved up as a break-in target for the GEMSTONE project.

 


    "Magruder asked, 'Gordon, do you think you could get into the Watergate?'
    I knew just what he meant. I had targeted the DNC headquarters for later, when and if it became the headquarters of the successful Democratic candidate at their convention, so I said, 'Yes. It's a high-security building, but we can do it. It's a bit early, though.'
    Magruder understood and replied, 'How about putting a bug in O'Brien's office?'
    Larry O'Brien was by now involved in gearing up for the Democratic convention and was spending most of his time in Miami. Our Cuban agents were studying how best to bug him there, and I'd been laying out money for information, buying off hotel employees, etc., so I said, 'For that, it's a bit late.'
    'O.K.' he said, 'so he's in and out. There's still plenty of activity over there. We want to know whatever's said in his office, just as if it was here; what goes on in this office.'
    I thought the reference strange. Were I the Democrats, I'd want to bug John Mitchell's office down the hall, not Magruder's. I thought of the $30,000 device I had ordered from McCord and said. 'All right, we can do that.'
    'The phones, too.'
    'That's easy.'
    'And while you're in there, photograph whatever you can find.'"

    G. Gordon Liddy

May 22, 1972 Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, Virgilio Gonzalez, Frank Sturgis, Felipe De Diego and Reinaldo Pico fly up to Washington from Miami.
May 26, 1972 The Cubans move into the Watergate Hotel under assumed names. They pose as a group working for the Ameritas corporation.
May 28, 1972 First break-in at the Watergate hotel.

Photographs are taken of material from O'Brien's desk and bugs are placed.

 


The Target. Howard Hunt and two of the burglars tell Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin that the real target of the first break-in was not Larry O'Brien's office. It was the telephone that was in the portion of the DNC that contained the offices of R. Spencer Oliver, his secretary Maxie Wells, and the chairman of the State Democratic Governors organization. [SC,138]
June 8, 1972 G. Gordon Liddy transfers logs from the bug in O'Brien's office to Magruder with the instructions to deliver them to John Mitchell. Only one of the transmitters was working. The photographs of material from O'Brien's desk were not yet available.
June 9, 1972 Jeb Magruder reports to G. Gordon Liddy that the logs are not adequate and asks if the defective bug could be replaced. The date for the second break-in is set for June 17.
June 12, 1972 Magruder talked with G. Gordon Liddy

 

    "On Monday, 12 June, Magruder called me up to his office again and annoyed me immediately by returning to the file cabinets in the DNC offices. I thought he was reneging on his promise of a decision and asking for more information to cover the fact that he'd forgotten to get it. He asked how many file cabinets there were and their proximity to O'Brien's office. I said there were many locked files, and I was telling him that they had just the common push locks, that they weren't the file safe type, when Magruder suddenly became agitated and exclaimed, 'Here's what I want to know.' He swung his left arm back behind him and brought it forward forcefully as he said, 'I want to know what O'Brien's got right here!' At the word here he slapped the lower part of his desk with his left palm, hard. 'Take all the men, all the cameras you need. That's what I want to know!'

    There was a world of significance in Magruder's gesture. When he said 'here!' and slapped that particular portion of his desk, he was referring to the place he kept his derogatory information on the Democrats. Whenever in the past he had called me in to attempt to verify some rumor about, for example, Jack Anderson, it was from there that he withdrew whatever he already had on the matter. The purpose of the second Watergate break-in was to find out what O'Brien had of a derogatory nature about us, not for us to get something on him or the Democrats."

     G. Gordon Liddy


In interviews with Colodny and Gettlin, Magruder has admitted that the order came from John Dean to obtain derogatory information about Republicans which the Democrats were holding at the DNC offices at the Watergate.

Colodny and Gettlin maintain that the target of the second break-in was Maxie Wells's desk.

    Maxie Wells went on vacation in early June, and she gave a key to her desk to another woman at the DNC, Barbara Kennedy, for use in case the desk had to be opened while she was away. Maxie was back at work by June 12, and on that day received at the DNC a visitor who announced himself as "Bill Bailey."

    He was actually McCord's man Alfred Baldwin, and he bore a strong physical resemblance to Phil Bailley. He had been sent into the DNC, he later told the Senate investigating committee, by McCord, in order to get the layout of the place. He knew before he entered that both Larry O'Brien and Spencer Oliver were out of town. To receptionist Clota Yesbeck he expressed disappointment, and was passed on to Maxie Wells. Later, in her own debriefing by the senate committee, Yesbeck said that she believed Baldwin had been in the DNC to see Maxie many times before -- but she may well have been confused by the name he gave her on entering and his physical resemblance to Phil Bailley, who had been in and out of the DNC more than a few times. Then too, the Bailey name was one to conjure with inside the Democratic stronghold, for it was borne by an important Democrat from Connecticut; Baldwin has at times said that he claimed to have been that Bailey's nephew, though at other times has not pressed this notion

    But why would McCord have sent Baldwin in to get the lay of the land, if there had already been a break-in and the burglars already knew the set-up? There must have been another reason.

    Baldwin made sure that when he saw Maxie Wells by telling Yesbeck that he was a friend of Spencer Oliver's. Yesbeck passed him on, and returned to her duties in the reception area. Then something happened either between Baldwin and Wells, or while Baldwin was in proximity to Wells's desk. We can't say precisely what, but we do know that after the burglars were caught, the key to Maxie's desk was found in the possession of burglar Roland Martinez.

    The presence of the key was one startling thing. Another was the absence of any in-place bug or transmitting device. Just a day or two before the second break-in on June 17 -- but after Baldwin's visit -- the telephone company swept the DNC phones for bugs and found none. And just after the break-in, the police and the FBI made their own sweeps and found no in-place bugs. In other words, the bug that had been installed during the first break-in, on the frequently used phone in the office of the chairman of the State Governors, the bug from which Baldwin overheard conversations and passed on logs about them to McCord and Liddy -- that bug was not found at all. It seems likely, though we cannot prove it, that Baldwin either somehow obtained a key from Wells, or stole one; and just as likely that while in the DNC on June 12 he removed whatever bugs McCord had placed there. If McCord had shown him the location on a diagram, the removal of a bug would have taken Baldwin only a few seconds.

    Baldwin left the DNC. Several days later, the burglars came to town.

    from Silent Coup by Colodny and Gettlin

June 17, 1972 Second break-in at the Watergate hotel. The Cuban burglars and James McCord are arrested at the Watergate hotel. On Martinez's person is found a key to the desk of Maxie Wells. Martinez says that the key was given to him by Howard Hunt. Hunt denies it.

 


Jeb Magruder phones John Dean in the Phillipines. John Dean takes the next available flight on Sunday, June 18 at 8:15am Phillipine Airlines flight 428 bound for Tokyo.

 


Liddy receives a phone call at noon Washington time from Jeb Magruder. Magruder said that Mitchell wanted Liddy to find Dick Kleindienst and get McCord out of jail immediately. He was told to tell Kleindienst that "John sent you" and that it's a "personal request from John." (source: Will, recollections of Moore). Liddy and Moore went to Burning Tree Golf course at 12:30pm. Liddy told Kleindienst that the break-in, the publicly reported facts of which Kleindienst was already aware, was an intellige nce operation of the CRP and that Liddy, himself, had been in charge. Liddy then told him that he had a message from Mitchell to spring McCord and that it was a "personal request from John". Kleindienst's reaction, later reported to the Watergate committee, was "instantaneous and abrupt .... The relationship I had with Mr. Mitchell was such that I do not believe that he would have sent a person like Gordon Liddy to come out and talk to me about anything. He knew where he could find me twenty-four hours a day." Kleindienst flatly refused Liddy's request.
Conversation between the President and Dean concerning June 17th.
    John Dean: The next point in time that I became aware of anything was on June 17th when I got the word that there had been this break in at the DNC and somebody from our Committee had been caught in the DNC. And I sai d, "Oh (expletive deleted)," you know, eventually putting the pieces together--
    Richard Nixon: You knew who it was.
    John Dean: I knew it who it was. So I called Liddy on Monday morning ...
June 18, 1972 Washington Post Story : 5 Held in Plot to Bug Democrats' Office Here By Alfred E. Lewis
Tony Ulasewicz in an interview with Colodny and Gettlin and later in his autobiography recalls that he received a telephone call on June 18th from Caulfield who was calling on behalf of John Dean. Ulasewicz was told to fly to Washington immediately.
    At Key Biscayne. The P is still over at Walker's this morning. I talked to him over the phone. I reported to him on Shultz's meeting with Meany yesterday, which came out to be pretty interesting. Meany had called him, wanting to meet with him, and so they had a game of golf during which Meany told him under no circumstances could he possibly support McGovern. That he was working to try and get Humphrey the nomination still, but if that failed he could not support McGovern. The big flap over the weekend has been news reported to me last night, then followed up with further information today, that a group of five people had been caught breaking into the Democratic headquarters (at the Watergate). Actually to plant bugs and photograph material.

    It turns out that there was a direct connection (with CRP), and Ehrlichman was very concerned about the whole thing. I talked to Magruder this morning, at Ehrlichman's suggestion, because he was afraid the statement that Mitchell was about to release was not a good one from our viewpoint. Magruder said that we plan to release the statement as soon as the fact that the Committee is involved is uncovered, which it now has been. It says that we've just learned that someone identified as an employee of the Committee was one of those arrested (James McCord, Jr., CRP's security coordinator). He runs a private security agency and was employed to install the system of security at the headquarters. He has a number of clients. He's not operating on our behalf or with our consent. We have our own security problems, not as dramatic as this but of a serious nature to us. We don't know if they're related but there's no place for this in a campaign. We would not permit or condone such a thing.

    The real problem here is whether anything is traceable to Gordon Liddy (formerly with the White House plumbers unit, and then with CRP). He (Liddy) says no, but Magruder is not too confident of that. They were thinking of getting Mardian back to Washington (Mitchell, Mardian, Magruder, and LaRue are out in California) to keep an eye on Liddy. (Mardian was formerly Assistant Attorney General in charge of internal security, now one of Mitchell's assistants at CRP. LaRue was CRP Deputy Director.)

    They think that McCord, our security guy, will be okay, but he's concerned about Liddy because of his lack of judgment and reliability. He's also concerned that two or three others are implicated. Apparently there's some cash and Magruder thought it was the DNC's, but it turns out it was ours.

    I talked to Ehrlichman after that and he thinks the statement is OK and we should get it out. I talked to Colson to tell him to keep quiet. It turned out that one of the people (implicated) was on our payroll until April 1. A guy named Howard Hunt, who was the guy Colson was using on some of his Pentagon Papers and other research type stuff. Colson agreed to stay out of it and I think maybe he really will. I don't think he is actually involved, so that helps. So far the P is not aware of all this, unless he read something in the paper, but he didn't mention it to me.

    The Haldeman Diaries, Sunday, June 18, 1972

June 19, 1972 GOP Security Aide Among Five Arrested in Bugging Affair By Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
June 20, 1972 Washington Post story by Bob Woodward. "In it was the information that Howard Hunt's name appeared in the burglars' address books, that one of Hunt's signed checks had been found on the person of one of the Cubans, and that Hunt had been a consultant to White House Special Counsel Charles Colson."

 


Haldeman calls a meeting for 10:00am. The Meeting is held in Ehrlichman's Office.
    In Attendance: Haldeman, Mitchell, Kleindienst, Dean.
    After the meeting, Dean accompanied Kleindienst to the Justice building where they were joined by Henry Peterson. Dean wanted to get a hold of the FBI 302s. In testimony, Kleindienst stated:
    "The representation that he [Dean] made to me and to Mr. Petersen throughout was that he was doing this for the President of the United States and that he was reporting directly to the President."

11:26am - 12:45pm The 18.5 Minute Gap

The tape was most probably electronically erased.


According to Colodny and Gettlin, the most likely candidate for the gap was Alexander Haig. They site the following:
    "... The gap has usually been attributed to a mistake on the part of Nixon's personal secretary Rose Mary Woods, and/or to a deliberate attempt by a mechanically clumsy president to erase information detrimental to him. But there was a more sinister aspect to the affair than has previously been understood, and it involves Haig and Buzhardt and an especially well-timed and dramatic revelation by Deep Throat."[SC,371]

    They also quote a passage in All the President's Men where Woodward and Bernstein report that sometime in the first week of November: "Deep Throat's message was short and simple: One or more of the tapes contained deliberate erasures."[quoted in SC,376]

    Haig was one of four people who knew of the erasure.
    If Nixon made the erasure, it makes his announcements around the date of its revelation puzzling.

    Quote from Silent Coup regarding Deep Throat

     

    It may be that the inconsistencies in Woodward's and Bernstein's characterization of Deep Throat as a source are only the result of Woodward's attempt to hide his source and to lend appropriate literary drama to his book. Despite Woodward's demurrer, Deep Throat may have been a composite of several sources, as some historians and journalists have concluded. Despite Woodward's other demurrer about the source still being alive, Deep Throat may have had more than a touch of Buzhardt in him. The identity of Deep Throat is a phantom that is no longer of any importance to chase. It was always a cover story designed to lead detectives in the wrong direction, and has now outlived its usefulness. What is apparent is that in November of 1973, Chief of Staff Alexander Haig played a key role in feeding damaging information about the White House tapes to his former Navy briefer, Bob Woodward, on the eve of Nixon's Operation Candor, on which the president had pinned such high hopes.

    Argument to be continued...


4:35pm - 5:25pm Executive Office Building

 

    Nixon:
    Haldeman: [McCord's] on a regular monthly retainer, a fee.
    Nixon: Does he have other clients?
    Haldeman: And he had a regular monthly fee at the National Committee also. ... Apparently he set up, installed some television closed circuit monitoring stuff, and then they have six guards and some supervisors....

    McCord, I guess, will say that he was working with the Cubans, he wanted to put this in for their own political reasons. But Hunt disappeared or is in the process of disappearing. He can undisappear if we want him to. He can disappear to a Latin American country. But at least the original thought was that that would do it, that he might want to disappear, (unintelligible) on the basis that these guys, the Cubans -- see, he was in the Bay of Pigs thing. One of the Cubans, [Bernard] Barker, the guy with the American name, was his deputy in the Bay of Pigs operation and so they're kind of trying to tie it to the Cuban nationalists...

    Nixon: We are?
    Haldeman: Yes. Now of course they're trying to tie these guys to Colson, [and] the White House.... It's strange -- if Colson doesn't run out, it doesn't go anywhere. The closest they come, he [Hunt] was a consultant t o Colson. We have detailed somewhat the nature of his consulting fee and said it was basically (unintelligible). I don't know.
    Nixon: You don't know what he did?
    Haldeman: I think we all knew that there were some--
    Nixon: Intelligence.
    Haldeman: --some activities, and we were getting reports, or some input anyway. But I don't think -- I don't think Chuck knew specifically that this was under way. ...
    Nixon: Well, if he did ... second-guess...
    Haldeman: He seems to take all the blame himself.
    Nixon: Did he? Good.
    Haldeman: He was saying this morning that it was damn stupid for him to not learn about the details and know exactly what was going on. ... They sweep [for bugs] this office and your Oval Office twice a week ....
    Nixon: This Oval Office business [i.e. that taping system] complicates things all over.
    Haldeman: They say it's extremely good. I haven't listened to the tapes.
    Nixon: They're kept for future purposes.
    Haldeman: Nobody monitors those tapes, obviously. They are kept stacked up and locked up in a super-secure -- there are only three people that know [about the system] ...

    If they get all the circumstantial stuff tie d together, maybe it's better ... to plead guilty, saying we were spying on the Democrats. Just let the Cubans say, we , McCord ... figured it was safe for us to use.

    Nixon: Well, they've got to plead guilty.
    Haldeman: ...[A]nd we [the Cubans] went in there to get this because we're scared to death that this crazy man's going to become President and sell the U.S. out to the communists...
    Nixon: How was he [Hunt] directly involved?
    Haldeman: He was across the street in the Howard Johnson Motel with a direct line of sight room, observing across the street. And that was the room in which they have the receiving equipment for the bugs.
    Nixon: Well, does Hunt work for us or what?
    Haldeman: No. Oh, we don't know. I don't know. I don't know if that's one -- that's something I haven't gotten an answer to, how -- apparently McCord had Hunt working with him, or Hunt had McCord working with him, and with these Cubans. They're all tied together. Hunt when he ran the Bay of Pigs thing was working with this guy Barker, one of the Cubans who was arrested.
    Nixon: How does the press know about this?
    Haldeman: They don't. Oh, they know Hunt's involved because they found his name in the address book of two of the Cubans, Barker's book and one of the other guy's books. He's identified as "White House." And also beca use one of the Cubans had a check from Hunt, a check for $690 or something like that, which Hunt had given to this Cuban to take back to Miami with him and mail. It was to pay his country club bill...
    Nixon: Hunt?
    Haldeman: Hunt, yes. Probably so he can pay non-resident dues at the country club or something. But anyway, they had that check, so that was another tie.
    Nixon: Well, in a sense, if the Cubans--the fact that Hunt's involved with the Cubans or McCord's involved with the Cubans, here are the Cuban people....

    My God, the committee isn't worth bugging in my opinion. That's my public line.

    Haldeman: Except for this financial thing. They thought they had something going on that.
    Nixon: Yes, I suppose.
    Haldeman: But I asked that question: If we were going to all that trouble, why in the world would we pick the Democratic National Committee to do it to? It's the least fruitful source--
June 23, 1972 "Smoking Gun"

 


10:04-11:39am

 
Haldeman: Ok, that's fine. Now, on the investigation, you know, the Democratic break-in thing, we're back to the ... problem area because the FBI is not under control, because Gray doesn't exactly know how to control them, and ... their investigation is now leading into some productive areas, because they've been able to trace the money, not through the money itself, but through the bank. ...and it goes in some directions we don't want it to go .... [T]here have been some things, like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami, who was a photographer, or has a friend who is a photographer who developed some films through this guy [Watergate burglar Bernard] Barker, and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letterhead[s] ... Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes -- concurs -- now with Mitchell's recommendation that the only way to solve this... is for us to have [Deputy CIA Director Vernon] Walters call Pat Gray and just say, "Stay the hell out of this ... this is ah, business here we don't want you to go any further on it." That's not an unusual development...
Nixon: What about Pat Gray, you mean he doesn't want to?
Haldeman: Pat does want to. He doesn't know how to, and he doesn't have, he doesn't have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He'll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them... and Mark Felt want to cooperate because --
Nixon: Yeah
Haldeman: --he's ambitious
Nixon: Yeah.
Haldeman: He'll call him in and say, "We've got the signal from across the river to, to put the hold on this." And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that's what it is. This is CIA.
Nixon: But they've traced the money to 'em
Haldeman: Well they have, they've traced to a name, but they haven't gotten to the guy yet.
Nixon: Would it be somebody here?
Haldeman: Ken Dahlberg [who worked for prominent contributor Dwayne Andreas].
Nixon: Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?
Haldeman: He's, he gave $25,000 in Minnesota and the check went directly in to this, to this guy, Barker.
Nixon: Maybe he's a ... bum. He didn't get this from the committee though, from Stans?
Haldeman: Yeah. It is. It's directly traceable and there's some more through some Texas people in -- that went to the Mexican bank which they can also trace to the Mexican bank... They'll get their names today...
Nixon: I'm just thinking if they don't cooperate, what do they say? They, they, they were approached by the Cubans? That's what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too. Is that the idea?
Haldeman: Well, if they will. But then we're relying on more and more people all the time. That's the problem. And they'll stop if we could, if we take this other step.
Nixon: All right. Fine.
Haldeman: And, they seem to feel the thing to do is get them to stop.
Nixon: Right, fine.
Haldeman: They say the only way to do that is from White House instructions. And it's got to be to Helms and what's his name? Walters?
Nixon: Walters.
Haldeman: And the proposal would be that Ehrlichman and I call him.
Nixon: All right, fine....How do you call him in, I mean you just -- well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things.
Haldeman: That's what Ehrlichman says.
Nixon: Of course, this ... Hunt, ... that will uncover a lot of, a lot of -- you open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things in it that we just feel that this would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. What the hell, did Mitchell know about this thing to any much of a degree?
Haldeman: I think so. I don't think he knew the details, but I think he knew.
Nixon: He didn't know how it was going to be handled though, with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well, who was the asshole that did? Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts.
Haldeman: He is.
Nixon: I mean he just isn't well-screwed-on is he? Isn't that the problem?
Haldeman: No, but he was under pressure, apparently, to get more information, and as he got more pressure, he pushed the people harder to move harder on.
Nixon: Pressure from Mitchell?
Haldeman: Apparently...
Nixon: All fright, fine, I understand it all. We won't second-guess Mitchell and the rest. Thank God it wasn't Colson.
Haldeman: The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do... An interrogation, which he did, and that, the FBI guys working the case had concluded that there are one or two possibilities: one, that this was a White House [operation], they don't think that there is anything at the Election Committee--they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it.... Or it was a --
Nixon: Cuban thing --
Haldeman: --Cubans and the CIA. And after their interrogation of --
Nixon: Colson
Haldeman: --Colson, yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it's the CIA thing, so the CIA turnoff would--
Nixon: Well, not sure of their analysis, I'm not going to get that involved...
Haldeman: No, sir. We don't want you to.
Nixon: You call them in. Good. Good deal. Play it tough. That's the way they play it and that's the way we are going to play it.
Haldeman: OK. We'll do it.
Nixon: Yeah, when I saw that news summary item, I of course knew it was a bunch of crap, but I thought, that, well it's good to have them off on this wild hare thing because when they start bugging us, which they have , we'll know our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though.
Haldeman: Good, you never know. Maybe, you think about it...
Nixon: When you get in these people ... say: "Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that" -- without going into the details -- don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it. "The President's belief is that this is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And because these people are plugging for, for keeps, and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case," period ....


1:04-1:13pm

 
Nixon: ...Hunt... knows too damn much and he was involved, we have to know that. And that it gets out... this is all involved in the Cuban thing, that it's a fiasco, and its going to make the FB-- ah CIA -- look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole, uh, Bay of Pigs thing, which we think would be very unfortunate for the CIA and for the country at this time, and for American foreign policy, and he's just gotta tell 'em "lay off." .. .
Haldeman: Yeah, that's, that's the basis we'll do it on and just leave it at that.
Nixon: I don't want them to get any ideas we're doing it because our concern is political.
Haldeman: Right
Nixon: And at the same time, I wouldn't tell them it is not political...
Haldeman: Right.
Nixon: I would just say, "Look, it's because of the Hunt involvement." ...


2:20-2:45pm

 
Haldeman: Well, it's no problem. Had the... two of them in [Richard Helms and Vernon Walters]. ... I didn't mention Hunt at the opening. I just said that, that, uh, this thing which we give direction to, we're gonna c reate some very major potential problems because they were exploring leads that led back into -- to, uh, areas [that] will be harmful to the CIA, harmful to the government .... Walters said something --
Nixon: He said --
Haldeman: I think Helms did, too. Helms said well, ... Gray called and said, yesterday, and said, that he thought--
Nixon: Who had, Gray?
Haldeman: --Gray had called Helms, which we knew, and said, "I think we've run right into the middle of a CIA covert operation."
Nixon: Gray said that?
Haldeman: Yeah, and Helms said "nothing, nothing we've got at this point" and Gray said, "sure looks to me like that's what we did.... [T]his would embarrass [us] all," and that was the end of that conversation. ... S aid, well, it's probably a good thing, it tracks back to the Bay of Pigs. It tracks back to some other -- if the leads run out to people who had no involvement in this except by contact or connection, but it gets to areas that are bound to be raised. ... The whole problem of this, this fellow Hunt -- so at that point Helms's kind of got the picture..., and he said, ... he said "We'll be very happy to be helpful ... and we'll handle anything, we'll do anything you want. I would like to know the reason for being helpful." And made it clear to him he wasn't gonna get it, explicitly, but was gonna get it through generality and, so he said fine... "I don't know whether we can do it" -- Walters said that. [Laughs] Walters is gonna make a call to Gray....
Nixon: How would things work though? How would -- for example, if they're desperate (unintelligible) got somebody from Miami bank to be here to count the inventory?
Haldeman: ... But the point John [Ehrlichman? Dean?] made was the Bureau doesn't ... know what they're uncovering... [T]hey don't need to further...., as they pursue it because they're uncovering some sensitive things .... Sure enough, that's exactly what -- but we didn't in any way say we had any political interest or concern or anything like that. One thing Helms did raise is, ... he asked Gray why he felt they're going into a CIA thing and Gray said, "Well, because of the characters involved and the amount of money involved." ... [T]hat probably raised Helms's suspicions...
Nixon: If it runs back to the bank -- so, what the hell, they, who knows, maybe Dahlberg's contributed to the CIA, you know what I mean, in all seriousness...
Haldeman: CIA gets money as we know, 'cause, I mean their money moves in a lot of different ways too...
Nixon: Can you imagine what Kennedy would have done with that money? ...

June 29, 1972 "... After that, John left without telling her about the Watergate caper. She discovered that in the papers or on TV, blew her stack, got drunk, told her FBI agent and John's secretary, who were staying at the Newporter with her, that her husband had every Democrat in Washington bugged, and then decided she'd call a reporter and tell him. The FBI agent got concerned at that and called John in Washington and got Fred LaRue, who said if she starts to do that, pull her phone out."

--from The Haldeman Diaries

July 6, 1972 "...Walters apparently has finked out and spilled the beans to Pat Gray, which complicates the issue substantially."

--from The Haldeman Diaries

August 1, 1972 Washington Post Story: Bug Suspect Got Campaign Funds By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
August 17, 1972 "Billy Graham's a little concerned about Vietnam, and about the bugging thing. He doesn't think bugging is going to hurt us. Lyndon Johnson laughed about it, said it won't hurt a bit."

--from The Haldeman Diaries

August 29, 1972 Nixon news conference:

 

    "Within our own staff, under my direction, the counsel to the president, Mr. Dean, has conducted a complete investigation of all leads which might involve any present members of the White House staff or anybody in the government. I can state categorically that his investigation indicates that no one in the White House staff, no one in this Administration, presently employed was involved in this very bizarre incident."
August, 1972 Excerpt from Nixon tapes. Nixon talking with Haldeman regarding the cover-up.
Nixon Let's be fatalistic about the goddamned thing.
Haldeman If it blows it blows.
Nixon If it blows it blows and so on . I'm not that worried about it, to be really candid with you.
Haldeman Well, it's worth a lot of work to try and keep it from blowing.
Nixon Oh my, yes
Haldeman But if it blows, we'll survive it. Hunt's happy.
Nixon At considerable cost, I guess.
Haldeman Yes .
Nixon It's worth it.
Haldeman It's very expensive. It's that costly ...
Nixon That's what the money is for.
Haldeman -- kind of exercise but that's better spent than ...
Nixon Well, well they have to be paid. That's all there is to that.
Haldeman Yeah.
Nixon They have to be paid, although I must say, and perhaps I'm second guessing people, but whoever made the decision ...
Haldeman Was pretty damn stupid.
Nixon -- was about as stupid as I've ever heard.
September 15, 1972 The President, Dean, and Haldeman 5:27-6:17pm, Oval Office
Nixon: Goldwater put it in context, he said "Well, for Christ's sake, everybody bugs everybody else." We know that.
Dean: That was, that was priceless.
Haldeman: Yeah. I bugged --
Nixon: Well, it's true. It happens to be totally true. ... We were bugged in '68 on the plane and bugged in '62, even running for Governor. Goddamnedest thing you ever saw.
Dean: It was a shame that evidence of the fact that happened in '68 was never preserved around. I understand that only the former Director had that information.
Haldeman: No, that's not true.
Dean: There was direct evidence of it?
Nixon: Yeah.
Haldeman: There's others who have that information.
Nixon: Others know it.
Dean: [Former FBI Executive Cartha] DeLoach?
Nixon: DeLoach, right.
Haldeman: I've got some stuff on it, too, in the bombing halt study, 'Cause it's all-- that's why, the, the stuff I've got we don't--
Nixon: The difficulty with using it, of course, is that, it reflects on Johnson
Dean: Right
Nixon: He ordered it. If it weren't for that, I'd use it. Is there any way we could use it without reflecting on Johnson? How -- now, could we say, could we say that the Democratic National Committee did it? No, the F BI did the bugging though.
Haldeman: That's the problem.
Dean: Is it going to reflect on Johnson or Humphrey?
Haldeman: Johnson. Humphrey didn't do it.
Dean: Humphrey didn't do it?
Nixon: Oh, hell no.
Haldeman: He was bugging Humphrey, too. [laughs]
September 15, 1972 Grand Jury Indicts
  • G. Gordon Liddy
  • Howard Hunt
  • James McCord
  • Eugenio Rolando Martinez
  • Frank A. Sturgis
  • Virgilio R. Gonzalez
  • Bernard L. Barker
September 29, 1972 Washington Post Story: Mitchell Controlled Secret GOP Fund By Carl Bernstein and Bob Wood ward
October 10, 1972 Washington Post Story: FBI Finds Nixon Aides Sabotaged Democrats By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
October 13, 1972 The Washington Post reports that Segretti had been hired by Dwight Chapin.
October 25, 1972 The Washington Post reports that Hugh Sloan gave testimony to the Grand Jury that Haldeman had approved money for campaign sabotage. The story was erroneous.
6 days prior to re-election Excerpt from Nixon tapes. Nixon talking with Ehrlichman regarding the cover-up.
Nixon I think these guys were off on a goddamned escapade because the main point is what in the name of Christ did they think they were going to accomplish by bugging the national committee of the Democratic P arty? I think that's, to me, embarrassing because it was so dumb that these people, well, that's why all these people were shucked off immediately. Tying it to us is an insult to our intelligence. That's what I would say.
Erli chman We don't mind being called crooks, but not stupid crooks.
Nixon That's right. We know we'll never convince them of our morality, but do they think that we're that dumb?
November 7, 1972 President receives 60.7% of the popular vote (McGovern 37.5%).
November, 1972 E. Howard Hunt examines the evidence that had been seized from his safe.

"I searched the seized material for my operational notebook, files and telephone list, but did not find them. Bitman [Hunt 's attorney] asked Silbert if he was holding them in another area, but Silbert declared that what I had reviewed was all there was. It was sufficient to convict me, but any material that could have been used to construct a defense for me was missing: my operational notebooks, telephone lists and documents in which I had recorded the progress of Gemstone from its inception, mentioning Liddy's three principals by name: Mitchell, Magruder and Dean."

--Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent . by E. Howard Hunt


Senate Hearings:

 
Senator Howard Baker "Can you give me any idea why those notebooks disappeared? What was in them that would cause them to be so sensitive if they were found or why they would be a candida te for destruction, if they were not destroyed?"
E. Howard Hunt Certainly, Senator. They would provide a ready handbook by which any investigator with any resources at all could quickly determine the parameter s of the GEMSTONE operation."


John Dean eventually admits to destroying these notebooks in late 1973 after having pleaded guilty to one indictment and having the government drop the other counts.

December 10 ?, 1972 Dorothy Hunt, wife of Howard Hunt died in a plane crash in Chicago. In her luggage was found $10,000 in cash. The money was "hush money" organized by Dean. She had also taken out a $250,000 insurance policy without a stipulated beneficiary.
January 9, 1973 "[Dean] thinks that we can probably also work Liddy, but maybe we shouldn't. They'll take contempt if they're granted immunity, and that may bump the Congress too. He wants Mitchell to talk to (former Assistant Director of the FBI Cartha) DeLoach to see what he can get out of him on the LBJ thing, because if he can get that cranked up, LBJ could turn off the whole Congressional investigation."

-- from The Haldeman Diaries

January 11, 1973 "On the Watergate question, he wanted me to talk to Mitchell and have him find out from DeLoach if the guy who did the bugging on us in '68 is still at the FBI, and then Gray should nail him with a li e detector and get it settled, which would give us the evidence we need. He also thinks I ought to move with George Christian (LBJ's former Press Secretary, now working with Democrats for Nixon), get LBJ to use his influence to turn off the Hill investigation with Califano, Hubert, and so on. Later in the day, he decided that wasn't such a good idea, and told me not to do it, which I fortunately hadn't done."

-- from The Haldeman Diaries

January 12, 1973 "The P also got back on the Watergate thing today, making the point that I should talk to Connally about the Johnson bugging process to get his judgment as to how to handle it. He wonders if we shouldn't just have Andreas go in and scare Hubert. The problem in going at LBJ is how he'd react and we need to find out from DeLoach who did it, and then run a lie detector on him. I talked to Mitchell on the phone on this subject and he said DeLoach had told him that he was up to date on the thing because he had a call from Texas. A Star reporter was making an inquiry in the last week or so, and LBJ got very hot and called Deke, and said to him that if the Nixon peo ple are going to play with this, that he would release (deleted material -- national security). saying that our side was asking that certain things be done. By our side, I assume he means the Nixon campaign organization. DeLoach took this as a direct threat from Johnson. He says he'll bring his file in Monday for Mitchell to review. As he recalls it, bugging was requested on the planes, but was turned down, and all they did was check the phone calls, and put a tap on the Dragon Lady (Mrs. Anna Chennault). Mitchell also said he was meeting with O'Brien today, and will make reference to this whole thing in that meeting and see what he can smoke out."

-- from The Haldeman Diaries

January 30, 1973 James W. McCord and G. Gordon Liddy were convicted of breaking into and illegally wiretapping Democratic Party headquarters in the previous year.
January 31, 1973 Washington Post Story: Last Two Guilty in Watergate Plot Ex-Aides of Nixon to Appeal Jury Convic ts Liddy, McCord in 90 Minutes By Lawrence Meyer
February 1973 The Senate votes (77-0) to establish a Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. The Committee is to be chaired by Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC).
March 13, 1973 White House conversation between Richard Nixon and White House Counsel John Dean
    John Dean: That was Liddy and his outfit .... Well, you see Watergate was part of intelligence gathering, and this was their first thing. What happened is --
    Richard Nixon: That was such a stupid thing!
    John Dean: It was incredible, that's right. That was Hunt.
    Richard Nixon: To think of Mitchell and Bob would have allowed -- would have allowed-- this kind of operation to be in the campaign committee!
    John Dean: I don't think he [Haldeman] knew it was there.
    Richard Nixon: I don't think that Mitchell knew about this sort of thing.
    John Dean: Oh, no, no! Don't misunderstand me. I don't think that he knew the people. I think he knew that Liddy was out intelligence gathering. I don't think he knew that Liddy would use a fellow like McCord, (explet ive deleted), who worked for the committee.... I don't think Mitchell knew about Hunt, either ....
March 23-29, 1973 James McCord implicates John Dean, Jeb Magruder, John Mitchell, G. Gordon Liddy, and Charles Colson in the Watergate burglary.

 

April 1 ?, 1973 John Dean is at Camp David ostensibly at work on "the Dean Report". Instead, Dean tape records three phone conversations and plans to testify.

Conversations

  1. Jeb Magruder. The conversation was used before the Senate committee to support Dean's claim that Dean had no advance knowledge of the burglary.
  2. Liddy's lawyer, Peter Maroulis. Maroulis reassures Dean that Liddy will not testify under any circumstances.
  3. Dean's own counsel. He tells him to tell the prosecutors that Dean could implicate the President.
[Source: SC, 277-278]
April 14, 1973 Jeb also implicates John Dean in the earlier planning meetings, which is no problem because Dean intended to do that himself, but he also ties Dean into the ongoing stuff and very heavily into the activity postdiscovery, post-June. He ties Strachan in fairly heavily on knowledge, saying he had a copy of the budget for the final and approved activity and that since he had no objection from me assumed it was approved over here. He has no reason to believe that I had seen the budget, which I didn't, and he apparently completely clears me of any involvement. But it creates a problem, indirectly, by his involvement of Strachan."

-- from The Haldeman Diaries

April 15, 1973 John Dean reveals the roles played by Liddy and Hunt in the Dr. Fielding break-in.
April 16, 1973 "... We went out because he had to meet with John Dean, and then he brought us in after the Dean meeting, and he said he had asked for his resignation, but Dean then said, well, what about Haldeman and Ehrlichman. The P said I have their resignations in hand always and that's no problem, and then Dean asked to have the letters to redraft them, so that they wouldn't do him any harm in his hearing.
...
The Ervin Committee decided today to hold off in starting their hearings until May 15. So we've got some time there, and by then Justice will probably have something out.It turns out, however, the P met with Petersen, and he says that they're having a problem with Dean and Magruder because their attorneys in both cases are holding out for complete immunity, which the prosecutors aren't, at least now, going to grant. Dean's lawyers apparently have threatened that they're going to pull the case in and take on everybody, right on up to and including the P, if he isn't given immunity. So everybody is playing a pretty tough game at this point, and it could get pretty bloody in the process. Magruder, too, is holding out for complete immunity, so they couldn't make the deal with him and get him on his guilty plea with a big public announcement today. They may not be able to work that deal out either. They hauled Gordon in and really roughed him up apparently. Gave him all kinds of threats about his family and disbarment and that sort of thing -- then told him to go away and get a lawyer and come back when he was ready to goet down to business. So they got him a little shook. Ehrlichman and I are trying to locate a lawyer, and other than that no major developments."

--from The Haldeman Diaries

April 27, 1973 FBI Director, Patrick Grey, resigns after it is revealed that he destroyed evidence given to him by then White House Counsel John Dean.
April 30, 1973 Resignations of H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, and the firing of White House counsel John Dean are announced.

 

May 1, 1973 Washington Post Story: 3 Top Nixon Aides, Kleindienst Out; President Accepts Full Responsibility; Ric h Richardson Will Conduct New Probe By Laurence Stern and Haynes Johnson
May 19, 1973 Washington Post Story: Cox Is Chosen as Special Prosecutor Democrat Served Under Kennedy as Solicitor General By George Lardner, Jr.
June 3, 1973 Washington Post Story: Dean Alleges Nixon Knew of Cover-up Plan By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
June 13, 1973 Washington Post Story: Break-In Memo Sent to Ehrlichman By Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
end of June, 1973 Leonard garment prepared a memo in response to John Dean's accusations. It was referred to as the "Golden Boy" memo within the White House. The memo was transmitted to the Senate by Fred Buzhardt . The memo noted contradictions in Dean's testimony, documentary evidence, and strongly implicated John Dean as the source of the Watergate crisis. The following is a passage from that memo.
    "Dean's activity in the coverup also made him, perhaps unwitt ingly, the principal author of the political and constitutional crisis that Watergate now epitomizes. It would have been embarrassing for the President if the true facts had become known shortly after June 17th, but it is the kind of embarrassment that an immensely popular President could easily have weathered. The political problem has been magnified one thousandfold because the truth is coming to light so belatedly...."
June 27-28, 1973 John Dean is presented with the "Golden Boy" memo by Senator Daniel Inouye during the Senate hearings. Dean's response is as follows.
    First of all, after I returned from the second meeting in M r. Mitchell's office, and reported to Mr. Haldeman what had occurred and told him of my feelings about what was occurring, and that I wanted to have no part in it and told him I thought no one in the White House should have any part in it, he agreed and t old me to have no part in it and I have no knowledge that there was going to be a meeting in Key Biscayne and did not learn about that meeting until long after June 17, 1972.
Haldeman denies that any such conversation took place between himself and Dean.

Jeb Magruder reported to the Senate that Dean had knowledge of GEMSTONE after it had received funding and before June 17, 1972.

July 9, 1973 Time Magazine Cover : Picture of John Dean "Can Nixon Survive Dean?"
July 13, 1973 Butterfield reveals the existence of the White House taping system.

 

July 14, 1973 Washington Post Story: President Taped Talks, Phone Calls; Lawyer Ties Ehrlichman to Payments Principal Offices Secretly Bugged Since Spring 1971 By Lawrence Meyer
July 18, 1973 Alexander Haig orders the White House secret taping system shutdown and takes control of the two and a half years of tapes. Haig assigns retired Major General John C. Bennett as the custodian of the tapes.
July 20, 1973 Nixon is released from Bethesda Naval Hospital after a bout with viral pneumonia. Speech from Rose Garden : "What we were elected to do, we are going to do, and let others wallow in Watergate."
July, 1973
Mitchell counters Deans's testimony. Whatever Dean knew about the cover-up, he did not pass it along to the President.
July 24, 1973 Washington Post Story: President Refuses to Turn Over Tapes; Ervin Committee, Cox Issue Subpoenas Action Sets Stage for Court Battle on Powers Issue By Carroll Kilpatrick
July 30, 1973 H.R. Haldeman testifies before the Senate Committee. He denies participation in the cover-up and denies that the President knew of the cover-up, but admits approving money for "dirty tricks".

 

September 24, 1973 Howard Hunt Testifies
October 20, 1973 "Saturday Night Massacre"

Nixon requests Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, to the Special Prosecutor. Elliot resigns. Nixon asks deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelhaus, who refuses and is fired. Nixon asks then acting Attorney General Robert Bork to fire the Special Watergate prosecutor. Bork fires Archibald Cox.

 

October 21, 1973 Washington Post Story: Nixon Forces Firing of Cox; Richardson, Ruckelshaus Quit President Abolishes Prosecutor's Office; FBI Seals Records By Carroll Kilpatrick
November 1, 1973 Leon Jaworski appointed Special Prosecutor.
November 5, 1973 Time Magazine Cover: "The Push To Impeach"
November 17, 1973 Washington Post Story: Nixon Tells Editors, 'I'm Not a Crook' By Carroll Kilpatrick
March 1, 1974 Grand Jury Indicts
  • John Mitchell
  • H.R. Haldeman
  • John Ehrlichman
  • Charles Colson
  • Robert C. Mardian
  • Kenneth W. Parkinson
  • Gordon Strachan
for conspiring to hinder the investigation. Nixon is named by the Grand Jusry as an unindicted co-conspirator.
April 29, 1974 Address to the Nation Announcing Answer to the House Judiciary Committee Subpoena for Additional Presidential Tape Recordings.

 

June 3, 1974 Charles W. Colson pleads guilty to the charges concerning Daniel Ellsberg. Colson claims he was following instructions from the Nixon.
July 12, 1974 John D. Ehrlichman is convicted of conspiracy (with G. Gordon Liddy, Bernard L. Barker, Eugenio R. Martinez) in the break-in of Fielding's office and found guilty of perjury.
July 27,1974 The Judiciary Committee approved Article I of an impeachment resolution. The vote was 27 to 11.
July 29, 1974 The Judiciary Committee approved Article II by a vote of 28 to 10. The charge was systematic abuse of power and violations of citizens' constitutional rights. Included in this was mention(?) of the 1969-1971 wiretapping program.
August, 1974 The Judiciary Committee approved a third Article of Impeachment and rejected two others.
August 8, 1974 Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation and resigns.
August 9, 1974 Richard Nixon resigns.

 

Gerald Ford becomes 38th President of the United States.

August 19, 1974 The House vote on Impeachment was set for this date.

 

September 8, 1974 Ford pardons Nixon.

Nixon responds.

1974 All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein published by Simon and Schuster.

Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent by Howard Hunt published by Putnam.

An American Life by Jeb Magruder published by Atheneum.

January, 1975

Interview in Playboy Magazine.

"It was easy to see how Haldeman and Ehrlichman could have underestimated Dean. As a friend had cruelly put it, he was only a 'pilot fish' that swam around the sharks. But for all his Town and Country Eastern breeding, there was something of the shark about him, too. Despite his disavowals, Dean had been very much one of 'the boys in the Bund,' as someone had called the White House senior staff, if only in the sense that his ethics seemed governed not by what was right but by what worked. In telling me, before I turned on the tape recorder, that he felt there was no difference between Republicans and Democrats, Dean was telling me that he worked for Nixon less because he admired him or his policies than because he was the President. Subsequent events also made it clear that he worked less for the President than he did for himself."
--from the Introduction

 
PLAYBOY: You said later that during that conversation with the President about impeachment, you had had a creepy feeling that he was speaking for the record--that he might be recording your conversation. Were you shocked when you found out that he had been taping you--and everyone else?
DEAN: I was elated. After all, the White House and Nixon's supporters had been calling me a liar. I remember, after my appearance at the hearings, I was taking a few weeks off to relax at the beach in Florida and Dash called and said, "John, I'd like you to come back to Washington." And I said, "Is it important, Sam? I'd really like to spend another few days down here before I get back in the thick of things." And he said, "It's very important!" So I flew back and met with Sam and one of the people on his staff at my house. Dash opened with some pleasantries and a few general questions and I'm thinking, Why in the world does he want me back here for this? But finally he said to me, "John, you said you believed one of your conversations with the President was taped. Do you think all of his Oval Office and Executive Office Building conversations could have been taped?" And I said, "Gee, I don't know, but I'll tell you how you could find out. First I would go to Albert Redman, the head of the White House Communications Agency, and subpoena him. He's a military man and I think he'd be truthful, because he wants to protect his career and wouldn't want to be caught lying. If he doesn't know about it, the other people who would know about it would be the Secret Service." And Sam started smiling. "Well, we have hard information that all of the conversations were taped." And I said, 'That's fantastic!" Sam told me later he was testing me to see what my reaction would be. Well, I was delighted, because it wouldn't be my word against everybody else's anymore; there existed a documentary record that would corroborate everything I'd said in testimony.

January 1, 1975 H.R. Haldeman convicted of one count of conspiracy, one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of perjury.
1975 "Mo," A Woman's View of Watergate by Maureen Dean published by Simon and Schuster.
1976 Blind Ambition: The White House Years by John Dean published by Simon and Schuster.

Born Again by Charles Colson published by Chosen Books.

The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein published by Simon and Schuster.

On Watch by Elmo Zumwalt published by Quadrangle.

1977 President Jimmy Carter commutes G. Gordon Liddy's prison sentence.
September 7, 1977 G. Gordon Liddy released on parole after serving 52 months of a 20-year prison sentence
1978 RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon by Richard Nixon published by Grosset and Dunlap.
1978 Haldeman publishes The Ends of Power in which he theorizes the Nixon himself authorized the erasure causing the eighteen and a half minute gap.
December 20, 1978 H.R. Haldeman released from Prison
1980 G. Gordon Liddy writes Will This is Liddy's first word on Watergate. He notes in the introduction to Will that the statute of limitations has run out on any crimes committed during the Watergat e affair.
October, 1980

Interview in Playboy Magazine.

 
PLAYBOY: But Nixon was forced out of office in 1974. Why did you wait until 1980 to publish your book?
LIDDY: Well, that pertains to the legal aspects. I had to wait until the statutes of limitations had expired before I could tell the full story without endangering the liberty of any of my former colleagues.
PLAYBOY: And your own?
LIDDY: Yes, and my own as well. To take just one example. I reveal in the book how I wire-tapped the authorities at Danbury Prison while I was there as a guest of the Federal Government. Needless to say, I felt completely justified in that action, but it would be imprudent, to say the least, to publish it while the offense was still indictable. I never put myself in harm's way needlessly. But my primary concern was not to implicate anyone else, because I do not, as you may suspect, have a very elevated opinion of informers. Another factor in my decision to write the book was that I was getting sick of reading all the whining ghostwritten mea culpas and breast beating from the likes of John Dean and Jeb Magruder, much less the smug self-congratulation of John Sirica, who had the nerve to call his book To Set the Record Straight--when he had, in my own case, deliberately misquoted the judicial record and had also covered up a blatant legal error on his part. So I bided my time, knowing that my day would come. And I tried to write a completely honest book, obscuring nothing, even if it gave ammunition to my enemies. To write an autobiography in any other way would be intellectually dishonest.
...
LIDDY: Well, under the circumstances, and in the light of what's happened to this nation since--and because--Nixon was forced from office, I think you could make a very good case that the two were so inextricably linked that Hunt's betrayal constituted an act at least of regicide, if not of outright treason.
PLAYBOY: Do you feel the same way about Dean?
LIDDY: Yes, but even more strongly. For all of Hunt's weaknesses and failings, it would still be manifestly unfair to place him in the same category as Dean or Magruder. Next to them, Hunt is a giant. I wouldn't even talk of him in the same breath, much as I condemn his betrayal. The difference between Hunt and Dean is the difference between a POW who breaks under torture and aids the enemy and Judas Iscariot.
PLAYBOY: You've been alone with Dean only once since he testified against the White House, and you've said that you contemplated killing him then. How close did you actually come?
LIDDY: Oh, it was just a fleeting thought, now one of those sweet memories that one loves to treasure. God knows, he would have been no loss. What happened, actually, was that in October of 1974, Federal marshals escorted me to the offices of Watergate special prosecutor James Neal for an interview and told me to wait in Neal's office, as he was expected shortly. I went in and shut the door behind me and, lo and behold, there was Dean sitting behind the desk. He looked up and I could have sworn he was about to wet himself. His eyes darted all around the room, but I was between him and the door and I could see that he was absolutely terror-stricken. My first thought was that here was the ideal opportunity to kill the bastard. I saw a pencil on the desk and all it would take was a quick thrust through the underside of his jaw, up through the soft palate and deep inside the brain. And simultaneously, I wondered if this were a setup, if someone had arranged for me to be alone with Dean, anticipating exactly such a denouement. But then, on more somber reflection, I ruled that out. Nixon had been out of office for two months, I had received no instructions from my old superiors and, in any case, his killing could only damage the chances of Mitchell, Mardian and others in their forthcoming trials. No, revenge might be a dish best supped cold, but this was positively stale. The whole thing had just been a weird, stupid error. So I exchanged a few inconsequential remarks with Dean, he stammered a reply and I stepped aside so he could gather his papers and scurry out the door. I think he aged considerably in those three of four minutes.
...
PLAYBOY: We've deliberately avoided recapitulating the minutiae of Watergate, because you've covered it in such depth in your book and in radio and television interviews around the country. But there are a few areas of interest that you have not touched on, including H. R. Haldeman's contention that "the overwhelming evidence leads to the conclusion that the break-in was deliberately sabotaged." Could Watergate have been a setup?
LIDDY: No, I don't believe so. I don't think there was anything more sinister involved than bad luck and bad timing. Of course, the conspiracy buffs will maintain that the break-in was deliberately bungled as part of some massive conspiracy of agents and double agents and quadruple agents to topple Nixon, but I just don't believe it.
PLAYBOY: Not only conspiracy buffs maintain there was more involved at Watergate than meets the eye. Again, H. R. Haldeman suspects that "the CIA was an agency hostile to Nixon, who returned the hostility with fervor," and adds that throughout the Watergate investigation, "the multiple levels of deception by the CIA are astounding." Haldeman tends to support the thesis that Watergate was, in fact, a highly sophisticated CIA plot to destroy Nixon--in effect, the CIA's first domestic coup d' *tat. Could he be right?
LIDDY: It's very, very unlikely. First of all, there was friction between Helms and Nixon, but it wasn't the deadly, bitter type of feud that this CIA-conspiracy scenario presupposes. It was more of a question of bad chemistry between Helms and Nixon, and, in fact, general bad chemistry between the CIA and the Administration. Traditionally, you know, the CIA has been a very WASPish. Ivy League, old-school-tie-type organization, and Richard Nixon's entire background was very different. He didn't feel comfortable with them, and vice versa. But to extrapolate from that to a full-fledged conspiracy theory verges on paranoia.
PLAYBOY: Proponents of the theory that the CIA manipulated the Watergate break-in and cover-up for its own ends suggest that Jim McCord, a former CIA security chief who was intensely loyal to the agency, deliberately sabotaged the Watergate break-in in order to cripple the Nixon White House and frustrate its attempts to centralize control of the intelligence community.
LIDDY: Yes, and I think they're dead wrong. McCord may have bungled the taping of the internal doors, all right, but remember Hanlon's Razor, which is a maxim that states: "Never blame on malice that which can be fully explained by stupidity." It's true McCord was very loyal to the CIA, but I just can't accept the concept that he deliberately set out to be caught, and I don't believe he was a double agent who cold-bloodedly betrayed his colleagues. I do condemn his decision to break ranks with the containment strategy. But I think he was at the point of cracking from the strain of imprisonment, and his actions were those of a desperate and obsessed man. He even felt that the CIA had abandoned him, and as a deeply religious man, he wanted to get back on the side of the angels. But I don't believe for one moment that he deliberately sold us out.
PLAYBOY: Haldeman implies that Hunt was a serving CIA agent throughout the period he was involved in Watergate. Is he correct?
LIDDY: Hunt might have been, yes.
PLAYBOY: And Charles Colson was equally convinced that Hunt was spying on the White House for the CIA.
LIDDY: Spying is a somewhat loaded word. He might have relayed information back to Langley if he was still on the CIA payroll, which I do not know to be a fact, but I doubt there was anything sinister or conspiratorial about it.
PLAYBOY: Isn't that exactly what you would be saying if you were, in fact, a secret CIA agent?
LIDDY: Yes, I suppose it is. It just happens to be the truth.
PLAYBOY: Haldeman wrote in his book The Ends of Power that you and Hunt were "getting directions . . . on behalf of the CIA and the CIA's silent partner, Howard Hughes." He adds that "we didn't know that a CIA employee was, in effect, running a White House team." Were you and Hunt, as Haldeman implies, serving as stalking-horses for the CIA? Or, even more seriously, and as some Watergate investigators suspected, were you really a secret CIA agent yourself, a kind of agency Trojan horse within the White House, rather than the Nixon loyalist you professed to be? And isn't it conceivable that you "stonewalled" your way through court and into prison not to protect Nixon but your actual superiors in the covert-operations arm of the CIA?
LIDDY: That's absolute nonsense. I've never been a CIA officer of any sort, and I resent the accusation that I was operating against the interests of my President. I believed then and I believe now that he was a splendid leader of this country, and I think the extraordinarily disastrous last three and a half years under Jimmy Carter has only served to demonstrate by contrast how superb was the Presidency of Richard Nixon. I think I'm more of a Nixon loyalist than Haldeman not only is but ever was.

1982 Lost Honor by John Dean published by Stratford Press.

Witness to Power: The Nixon Years by John Ehrlichman published by Simon and Schuster.

June 17, 1982 Woodward and Bernstein on Ted Koppel's "Nightline". They describe Deep Throat. "This is a person who occupied a sensitive position in the executive branch of the government, who, although he was unwilling to give us primary information about the story, he would confirm or steer us in the right direction on information we had obtained elsewhere." [quoted in SC, 377]

 

1984 Jim Hougan publishes Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat, and the CIA
1990 In the Arena by Richard Nixon published by Simon and Schuster.

The President's Private Eye: The Journey of Detective Tony U. from the NYPD to the Nixon White House by Tony Ulacewicz published by MACSAM publishing company.

1991 Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin publish Silent Coup: The Removal of a President
November 12, 1993 H.R. Haldeman dies.
1995 The Haldeman Diaries : Inside the Nixon White House by H.R. Haldeman
1997 Abuse of Power