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August 06, 1974 - Image 10

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Michigan Daily, 1974-08-06

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Page Ten

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, August 6, 1974

Excerpts from Nixon tapes

WASHINGTON (A-P-Within a
week of the Watergate break-in
President Nixon was told that
his campaign director J o h n
Mitchell may have had some
prior knowledge of the wiretap-
ping, and Nixon authorized use
of the C e n t r a l Intelligence
Agency to blnt an FBt investi-
gation of the affair.
The new evidence iscontained
in transcripts of three White
House conversations which the
President released yesterday,
conceding that they may dam-
age his chances to s-rciCv im-
peachment-
Nixon said it is almost a fore-
gone concltsion that the llosse
willt rote it, impeach him, lead-
ing to a trial in the Senate
It the transcript oft a mrnrig
meeting between Nixon aid his
chief of staff H R. " ib"
Ilaldeman on June 23, 19,2, the
two men ore tuotted as Kncing
about the break-itt at I- cn
cratic natitnal hicadqnarters ,.ix
days earlier.
"Well, what the hell, did M.it-
chell know abont this?" Nixon
asked his chief of staff, H ilde-
"I think so," llaldeman re-
plied "I don't think ie knew
the details, but I thiak he
knew."
"lie didn't know hton i' was
going toi e handled fug- -
Nixon said 'Welt, nm sws the
asshole that did?"
Haldeman said that Gordon
Liddy, a former White louse
aide later convicted as the ring-
leader of the wiretappers, was
tnder pressure "to get more in-

fornmation, and as he got more
pressure, he pushed the people
harder to move harder-
Nixon: Pressure f r o m Mit-
chell?
Haldeman: Apparently.
Nixon: Oh, Mitchell, Mit.:hell
was that point (uintelligible).
Haldeman: Yeah.
Haldeman told the President
that the FBI was "not under
control" in its investigation of
the break-in. He said Patrick
Grav, acting FBI director at the
time, wasn't sure how to con-
trol an investigation that was
threatening to t r a c e money
from the pockets of the Water-
gate burglars back to campaign
checks given to the Nixon cam-
paign committees.
Ilaldeman said the FBI probe
was "leading into some produc-
ive areas," and threatened to
trace money found on the Wa-
tergate burglars back to some
checks donated to the Presi-
dent's re-election commitee ny
a group of Texans and by I<'ci-
neth Dahlberg of Minneapolis.
"It goes in some directions
we don't want it to go," Halde-
iimn said.
He said Mitchell and White
House Counsel John Dean had
come up with a plan to get CIA
Ieputy Director Vernon Walters
to call Gray and say "Stay the
hell out of this."
Haldeman said t h i s would
give Gray a pretext to call off
the investigation.
Nixon suggested the possibil-
ity of getting the donors if the
campaign money to say, false-
ly, that they had been asked

for it by some of the Cuban-
Americans who were caught in
the burglary. But Haldeman
said this would involve too
many people.
"That's the p r o b l e m, and
they'll (the FBI) stop if we take
this other route," he said.
Nixon: All right.
Haldeman: And you seem to
think 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 . . . The
proposal would be that John
Ehrlichman and I call them in
and say, ah-
Nixon: All right, fine.
Later that day, according to
previous testimony, Ehrlichman
and Haldeman met with CIA Di-
rector R i c h a r d Helms and
deputy director Walters. Wal-
ters was ordered to meet with
the FBI chief and tell Gray
that further attempts to trace
the money might endanger CIA
operations in Mexico.
Nixon told Haldeman to use
the name of Howard Hunt to
help persuade W a l t e r s and
Helms to cooperate, but Halde-
man didn't do it.
Hunt had been a CIA employe
involved in the abortive Bay of
Pigs invasion of Cuba, and later
joined the White House staff
where he helped engineer the
burglary of Daniel Ellsberg's
psychiatrist's office, using some
CIA equipment.
His name already had sur-
faced in news reports linking
him to the Watergate burglary.

Later he pleaded guilty in the
Watergate case.
Nixon suggested that an in-
vestigation of Hunt would "un-
cover a lot of things."
He suggested that Haldeman
tell the CIA officials, "You
open that scab and there's a
hell of a lot of things and we
just feel that it would be very
detrimental to have this thing
go any further. This involves
these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot
of hanky-panky that we had
nothing to do with ourselves."
At a second meeting on June
23, just before Haldeman met
with the CIA men, Nixon t-ld
him again to use Hunt's name.
"J u s t s a y, (unintelligible)
very bad to have this fellow
Hunt, ah, he knows too damned
much, if he was involved . . .
The Cuba thing, it would be a
fiasco.
"It would make the CIA look
bad, it's going to make Hunt
look bad, and it is likely to
blow the whole Bay of Pigs
thing which we think would be
very unfortunate-both for the
CIA, and for the country, at

this time, and for American
foreign policy. Just tell them to
lay off."
Haldeman: "Yep. That's the
basis to do it on. Just leave it
at that."
But Haldeman reported after
the meeting that he hadn't fol-
lowed Nixon's suggestion, and
that he hadn't mentioned Hunt's
name at all.
Nevertheless, Walters I a t e r
told Gray, falsely, that the
FBI's investigation was threat-
ening to uncover CIA opera-
tions in Mexico.
This stymied the investigation
temporarily, but G r a y kept
pressing Walters to put his
words into writing, which Wal-
ters refused to do. Finally,
Walters told Gray that actually
there was no CIA involvement
in Watergate, and the FBI
probe went forward.
At that time, Gray personally
warned Nixon that men around
him were trying to "mortally
wound" him by using the FBI
and the CIA. Gray said he was
surprised that Nixon didn't ask
whom he was talking about.

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