President Richard M. Nixon Watergate tapes.previous Dean conversations; money for Watergate defendants

Speaker: Richard M. Nixon
Delivered On: 4/17/1973
Place: Oval Office. The White House
Audio/Video Available:

Description: PARTICIPANTS: President Nixon, H.R.Haldeman Topics discussed include: previous Dean conversations; money for Watergate defendants; Kalmbach and LaRue's role; Colson's testimony.
APRIL 17, 1973 FROM 9:47 TO 9:59 AM

APRIL 17, 1973 FROM 9:47 TO 9:59 A.M. 3

PRESIDENT: an, uh, by not moving, having a situation where, frankly, your, your chances of your being, I mean of your, uh, being publicly attacked, and also even the, even the steam of the prosecution is greater. You know what I mean. It's a curious thing, but that's, but I'm afraid that's the way it operates. Uh, we, uh, you know, every day there's, uh, there's, uh, some other damn little thing that somebody's talks around with, don't you see, so everything can be explained and try to defend and all that sort of thing. But, uh, I'm not prepared to make that judgement and, uh, I want you talk to John about it.
HALDEMAN: Yeah. Okay.
PRESIDENT: Get a line on what Petersen (Unintelligible with tape noise) Ehrlichman was informed by Dean of a meeting that Dean had with Liddy on the 19th of June, well actually, this, that was when, that was done when he was in California in January but, irrelevant, it was later anyway, that kind of thing, just keep banging around, banging around, you know that prosecution gets out the damn stuff. Did, did John talk to you about it?
HALDEMAN: Yeah, he mentioned it, and, uh,...
HALDEMAN: Dean did tell us that story up in Ehrlichman's office last week or two weeks ago.
PRESIDENT: But not to go through this?
HALDEMAN: I don't think so.
HALDEMAN: I think I mentioned it to you, remember. I described the story to you in some detail when he walked down 17th Street﷓﷓

APRIL 17, 1973 FROM 9:47 TO 9:59 A.M. 4

PRESIDENT: No. This was all after we had started our own investigation.
HALDEMAN: Oh, yeah.
PRESIDENT: I mean, it wasn't back then. It wouldn't indicate that we knew about all this, and so forth. Another thing (unintelligible)
HALDEMAN: And also (unintelligible) John Dean (unintelligible)
PRESIDENT: John, and you get, uh, sit down and do some hard thinking about what kind of strategy you are going to have with the money. You know what I mean.
PRESIDENT: That's got to be something perhaps better than say, well, either one of the defendants can talk to the press and I don't; what in the hell the strategy is I think you ought to talk about that, but, uh, I'm a little concerned about the last bite or two, the one twenty-seven I don't know who, who talked about that one, but, uh, to Hunt, Hunt's lawyer.
PRESIDENT: Who's, who was the one that made that original﷓﷓
HALDEMAN: Dean. Bittman dealing directly to Dean on that.
PRESIDENT: Right. Right. Then Dean came in and asked us, and what happened?
HALDEMAN: We said we didn't know what to do about it, and we said that's, you know, that's something that, that obviously Mitchell should be taking care of.
PRESIDENT: Yeah. Well, in any case, taking care of
HALDEMAN: And, and then they,
HALDEMAN: ...indicated in the meeting with us...
HALDEMAN: ...the next day (unintelligible)

APRIL 17, 1973 FROM 9:47 TO 9:59 A.M. 5

PRESIDENT: Unintelligible). On the other hand, that, of course, indicates knowledge and so forth.
HALDEMAN: That's right.
PRESIDENT: Uh, look, you've got to call Kalmbach so I want to be sure, I've been trying to try to find out from Dean what the hell he is going to say he told Kalmbach. What did Kalmbach say that Dean told him, they wanted money for this support purpose?
HALDEMAN: I don't know, John is talking to Kalmbach.
PRESIDENT: Well, be sure that Kalmbach is at least aware of this. Uh, LaRue has talked very freely. He's a broken man. And, uh, the other thing is that this destruction of the evidence thing is troublesome, of course. John tells me, too, uh and basically the culprit is Pat Gray. Has Colson talked, know about that? That's why Colson calling, Colson, Colson was caught because Colson was in the room when it was handed to Gray.
HALDEMAN: No, he wasn't. Well, apparently he wasn't.
PRESIDENT: He says he wasn't?
HALDEMAN: Colson thought there was a meeting before that, where they talked about the deep-sixing and all that supposedly...
PRESIDENT: He was in that meeting?
HALDEMAN: which Colson was supposed to have been in.
PRESIDENT: Right. Right. Right.
HALDEMAN: Colson doesn't remember being in it, but Colson flatly says that he had, that he, there was never anything where he was where there was a discussion...
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