Vol. LXXXIII, No. 37-S
Ann Arbor, Michigon-Wednesdoy; July 11, 1973
The varying moods of John Mitchell during his testimony yesterday before the Senate Watergate committee.
itche I: Kept id on
hite House horrors'
WASHINGTON (P) - Prior to his appearance yesterday,
John Mitchell had been holed up in his New York apartment
for months, awaiting the calls that never came from his old
friends and one that finally did from the Senate.
You could see the toll on his hawk face. The lines are
deeper, the gray hair sparser and turning white at the
temples. His cheeks are thinner, as is, for that matter, his
HE RAISED his hand yesterday to take the Watergate
committee's oath, and that hand quivered. He cupped his
fingers, and still they quivered.
Mitchell's voice, at the start, was downright weak, even
if it showed traces of the pre-scandal snap when the ques-
tions got tougher.
That combativeness, wholly familiar to the Senate
from Mitchell's days as attorney general, first surfaced
when chief counsel Sam Dash reminded him of Jeb Stuart
Magruder's testimony that he had chewed out- G. Gordon
Liddy over the quality of intelligence gleaned from the bug-
ging of Democrats.
"MR. DASH," said Mitchell, "It happens to be a pal-
pable, damnable lie!
Mitchell admitted that he had not disciplined Liddy
even though Liddy had twice advanced patently unlawful
sabotage ideas to him in Mitchell's own office. "In hind-
sight, I not only should have thrown him out of the office
I should have thrown him out of the window," Mitchell faid.
"Since you did neither," replied Dash acidly, "why
didn't you fire him?"
"I SHOULD HAVE done that, too," sighed Mitchell.
None of his testimony came as any surprise, though
committee staffers were caught a bit off guard by the
spark, limited as it was, in his performance. At an earlier
appearance in closed session, Mitchell appeared complete-
Mitchell himself had put out the word that his testi-
money would be interesting, and that much it seemed to
be. Hundreds of spectators stood outside the room in vain,
because those inside - wouldn't leave - save for several
who collapsed from the heat and were carried out by police.
WASHINGTON (A - Foriner Attorney
General John Mitchell told the Senate Wat-
ergate Committee yesterday that he knew
about the Watergate affair and its cover-up
but kept the information away from the
President for fear the chief executive would
take actions that would be damaging to his
own re-election campaign.
Mitchell continued to deny reports that he
had approved the bugging of the Demo-
cratic National Headquarters. He conceded
playing a role in the cover-up to keep the
lid on what he called "White House horrors."
AS EXPECTED, Mitchell's testimony conflicted
sharply with accounts given by previous witnesses
including Jeb Magruder and John Dean. In several
spots, the testimony came dangerously close to
contradicting statements Mitchell had made on
Appearing under subpoena from the committee
with no promise of immunity, Mitchell, accom-
panied only by his attorney, made no opening
statement to the body. His voluble spouse Martha
was not present at the hearing.
Like a number of witnesses before him, Mitchell
stressed loyalty to the President and commitment
to the re-election effort as the primary motivating
factors explaining his role in the Watergate affair.
UNDER QUESTIONING from Sen. Herman Tal-
madge (D-Ga.), Mitchell said, "It wasn't a ques-
tion" of telling the President the truth. Knowing
Richard Nixon as I do, he would just lower the
boom in all of this matter . . . and it would come
back to hurt him in connection with his re-
Pressed by Talmadge on his failure to tell the
President about the crimes and perjury being
committed around him Mitchell responded, "In my
mind the re-election of the President, compared
with what was available on the other side, was so
much more important."
See MITCHELL, Page 10
JOHN MITCHELL confers with his attorney, William Hundley, prior to testifying before tl
Watergate committee yesterday.