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July 09, 1974 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-09

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Wage Ten

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, July 9, 1974

Poge Ten THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday, July 9, 1974

Ehrlichman testifies, says he
didn't order office break-in

Lines form for historic
Supreme Court session

WASIBNGTON iJ', - Former
top presidential assistant John
Ehrlichman testified in his own
defense yesterday that he did
not authorize the Ellsberg
break-in.
Ehrlichman, until last April
30 President Nixon's chief do-
mestic adviser, also said that
misstatements he gave the FBI,
and a grand jury were the re-
sult of oversight and not in-
tentional.
FOLLOWING FIVE hours of
testimony from Ehrlichman, U.
S. District Judge Gerhard Ge-
sell ordered Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger to appear in
court at the Plumbers trial to-
morrow morning.
Kissinger is expected to re-
fute some testimony of a key

prosecution witness, D a v i d
Young, once an assistant to
both Kissinger and Ehrlichman.
In his testimony yesterday,
Ehrlichman said it never enter-
ed his mind that any of his aides
were planning a break-in at the
office of Daniel Ellsberg's psy-
chiatrist.
He characterized the opera-
tions of the Plumbers, a spe-
cial White House investigative
unit, as a general attempt to
pin down the motives of Daniel
Ellsberg in leaking the Penta-
gon Papers to the press.
ASKED specifically by de-
fense lawyer Henry Jones if he
authorized the Sept. 3, 1971,
break-in at the Beverly Hills,
Calif., office of Dr. Lewis Field-
ing, a psychiatrist who had

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treated Pentagon papers figure
Daniel Ellsberg, Ehrlichman re-
sponded, "No, sir."
"Did you know about it?"
Jones asked.
"No," Ehrlichman replied.
"Had you seen a plan as a
blueprint so to speak for a
break-in in advance?" Jones
asked,
"I never saw that," Ehrlich-
man said.
EHRLICHMAN testified that
when he signed a memo giving
approval to what ultimately was
the Ellsbergs break-in-, he
thought he was authorizing a
legitimate operation,
"I thought I was approving a
legal, conventional investiga-
tion," Ehrlichman said under
cross-examination.
Ehrlichman and three other
defendants are charged with
conspiracy to violate Fielding's
civil rights through the break-
in. In addition, Ehrlichman is
charged with one count of giv-
ing false statements to the FBI
and three perjury counts of ly-
ing to the Watergate grand
jury.
THE PERJURY counts ac-
cuse Ehrlichman of telling the
grand jury three different times
that he did not know until after
the break-in that the plumbers
unit was seeking information
for use in a psychological pro-
file of Ellsberg.
Ehrlichman testified that he
was telling the truth at the time
and was "as certain as I could
be of something two years be-
fore."

By JEFF DAY
Special To The Dafly
WASHINGTON - "The Unit-
ed States v. Nixon. Richard M.
Nixon v. The United States of
America."
With those words, Chief Jus-
tice Warren Burger yesterday
began the long awaited oral
arguments on two of the most
important ~cases the Supreme
Court will ever hear. One case
would compel President Nixon
to turn over 64 Watergate re-
lated tapes; the other would
determine whether the Water-
gate Grand Jury acted improp-
erly in labeling Nixon an unin-
dicted co-conspirator in the
Watergate coverup.
THE NIGHT before, 200 peo-
ple, mostly students, stood in a
park across from the court, lin-
ing up to get into yesterday's
historic session. As the cool
Washington evening set in, they
sat in the green grass in front
of . the Capitol, playing cards
and joking, but mostly just wait-
ing.
Some sprawled out on the
sidewalk, hoping to catch a last
few hours of sleep before mid-'
night when police would begin
checking to make sure the line
was orderly, and enforce the
city ordinance prohibiting sleep-
ing in the streets.
By morning, the hot Washing-
ton sun was beating down and
the line had moved from across
the street to the steps of the
court house. Before the three
hour session was over, the line

would have grown- to at least
1500 and more than 1208 peo-
ple would have gotten a brief
glimpse of history,
FOR SOME, the first 120 In
line, there would be seats. For
others, a five minute period i
the back was all they got before
being moved out to make roam
for more.
Some sat tucked in galleries
and nooks to the side of the
courtroom. For them all there
was was the crowd, and the
voices of justices and lawyers
floating across the tops of
heads. The bench was lost be-
hind a swath of thick red cur-
tains and tall marble pillars.
For others, there would be no
room at all and they would lis-
ten intently outside the court
for reports from those lucky
enough to get in.
YET, DESPITE the long wait
for seats, the crowded quarters
for the press and the artists
crowded inside to catch the ac-
tion in a room where cameras
are forbidden, one chair re-
mained empty.
At 10 a.m. when the hear-
ing began, Justice William
Rehnquist quietly slipped out,
excusing himself from the case
in which his old boss, former
Atty. Gen. John Mitchell, is in-
volved.
If the crowd had come to hear
history, they did so quietly.
They applauded when Special
Prosecutor Leon Jaworski en-
tered the room and greeted
Presidential Attorney James St.
Clair with non-committal si-
lence.
But when Chief Justice War-
ren Burger ended the hearings
with "the case is submitted,"
the crowd left as quietly as it
had come - to await the final
decision to be made sometime
in the next two weeks
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Now available in paperback
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