President Richard M. Nixon Watergate tapes; public relations aspects of Watergate;
Mitchell’s role in the break-in; White House staff

Speaker: Richard M. Nixon
Delivered On: 3/27/1973
Place: Old Executive Office Building, Washington
DC
Subject:
Audio/Video Available:

Description: PARTICIPANTS: President Nixon, H.R.Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, Ronald L. Ziegler
Subjects covered include: public relations aspects of Watergate; Mitchell’s role
in the break-in; White House staff implicating itself in cover-up to protect Mitchell;
Magruder’s history of the “super-intelligence operation” at the White House and
Committee to Re-Elect the President; Dean’s response to Magruder’s views; Mitchell’s
role in approving the break-in; Hunt’s testimony before the Grand Jury; possible
immunity deal for Liddy; Dean’s lack of prior knowledge of break-in; Mitchell’s
dilemma; possible meetings with Magruder and Mitchell; McCord’s testimony; Magruder’s
perjury and reaction to prospect of jail time; possible immunity deal.
References:
Transcript/Log:
TRANSCRIPT OF A RECORDING OF A MEETING
AMONG THE PRESIDENT, H.R. HALDEMAN,
JOHN EHRLICHMAN, AND RONALD ZIEGLER
ON MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO
1:30 P.M.

************
EHRLICHMAN: This story and, uh, this one, uh, this, this Watergate thing is potentially
very debilitating around, but we have to devote a large part of our time to keeping
people busy in, uh…
PRESIDENT: I know.
EHRLICHMAN: …affirmative kinds of (unintelligible)
PRESIDENT: Unintelligible) because it involves people we know.
EHRLICHMAN: Yeah.
PRESIDENT: It involves, frankly, people who don’t (unintelligible) guilty. This
and that.
EHRLICHMAN: Yeah.
PRESIDENT: And, and, also for, you, you don’t want anybody guilty, or, it isn’t
the question. We know that everybody in this thing did it whatever they did with
the best of intention. That’s the sad thing about it.
EHRLICHMAN: Sure.
PRESIDENT: I told them all this morning, I don’t want people on the staff to divide
up and say, “Well, it’s this guy that did it, or this guy that did it,” or th-th-th-th–
EHRLICHMAN: Yeah.
PRESIDENT: The point is what’s done is done. We do the very best we can, and cut
our losses and so forth, best you ever could do.
EHRLICHMAN: Did he talk to you about this, uh, this thing, uh, uh… Commission…Commission
thing?

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. to 1:30 PM 13

[Part II]
EHRLICHMAN: Oh, oh, no. I hadn’t, uh, we hadn’t talked about that.
HALDEMAN: That’s Bill Rogers.
PRESIDENT: Well, I’m sorry, John.
EHRLICHMAN: No. I, uh, uh, we talked this morning about getting him out front. I’m
afraid it s —
PRESIDENT: (Unintelligible) of canning him right away. Uh, let’s see. Let’s see
about that. Maybe we can. Well, whatever, what have you got to report. John and
I have just started a (unintelligible).
HALDEMAN: All I have is Dean’s report. I did not talk to Mitchell, because this
thing changed (unintelligible) want to be from Mitchell. Uh, he had a long conversation
again today with Paul O’Brien, who’s the guy he’s been –talked with yesterday…you
know, this, that, and all that, and uh, he says O’Brien is very distressed with
Mitchell. The more he thinks about it, the more O’Brien comes down to Mitchell could
cut this whole thing off, if he would just step forward and cut it off. That the
fact of the matter is as far as Gray could determine that Mitchell did sign off
on it. And if that’s what it is…
PRESIDENT: You mean as far as O’Brien is concerned.
HALDEMAN: Yeah.
EHRLICHMAN: You said, “Gray.”
PRESIDENT: What’s that?
HALDEMAN: I’m sorry. O’Brien not Gray. As far as O’Brien can determine, Mitchell
did sign off on this thing and, uh, that’s, and Dean believes that to be the case
also. He can’t, Dean doesn’t think he can prove it, and apparently O’Brien can’t
either, but they both think that that…
PRESIDENT: That’s my intention…

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 14

HALDEMAN: The more O’Brien thinks about it, the more it bothers him with all he
knows, to see all the people getting whacked around, getting whacked around, in
order to keep the thing from focusing on John Mitchell, when inevitably it’s going
to end up doing that anyway and all these other people are going to be so badly
hurt they’re not going to be able to get out from under. Uh, and that’s one view.
How, to go back on the Magruder situation as O’Brien reports it, having spent several
hours with Magruder, yesterday afternoon, O’Brien and Parkinson. Jeb believes, or
professes to believe, and O’Brien is inclined to think he really does believe, that
the whole Liddy plan, the whole super-security operation, super- intelligence operation
was put together by the White House, by Haldeman, Dean and others.
PRESIDENT: Yeah.
HALDEMAN: Really, Dean, that Dean cooked the whole thing up at Haldeman’s instructions.
Uh, the whole idea of the need for a super-intelligence operation. “Now there’s
some semblance of, of, uh, validity to the point, that I did talk”, not with Dean,
but with Mitchell, about the need for intelligence activity and–
PRESIDENT: And that Dean recommended Liddy?
HALDEMAN: Yeah, but not for intelligence. Dean recommended Liddy as the General
Counsel.
PRESIDENT: Yeah, but you see this is where Magruder might come Well, go ahead. Okay.
HALDEMAN: Uh, that Mitchell bought the idea that was cooked up in the White House
for a super- intelligence operation, and that this was all set and an accomplished
fact in December of ’71, before Liddy was hired by the Committee. But then, Liddy
was hired by the

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 15

Committee to carry it out and that’s why Dean sent Liddy over to the Committee.
Then there was a hiatus. There were these meetings in Mitchell’s office, uh, where
Liddy unveiled his plan. And the first plan he unveiled, uh, nobody bought. They
all laughed at it. Cause it was so bizarre. So he went back to the drawing board
and came back with a second plan and the second plan didn’t get bought either. That
was at the second meeting and everything just kind of lingered around then. It was
sort of hanging fire. Liddy was pushing to get something done. He wanted to get
moving on his plans. And at that point, he went to Colson and said, “Nobody will
approve any of this, uh, uh, and, you know, we could, we should be getting,…
PRESIDENT: Yeah.
HALDEMAN: …getting going on it.” And Colson then got into the act in pushing to
get which, Erich started with the Colson phone call to Magruder saying, Well, at
least listen to these guys.” Then the final step was–all of this was rattling,
around in January. The final step was when Gordon Strachan called Magruder and said
Haldeman told him to get this going, _The President wants it done and there’s to
be no more arguing about it.” This meaning the intelligence activity, the Liddy
program. Magruder told Mitchell this, that Strachan had ordered him to get it going
on Haldeman’s orders on the President’s orders and Mitchell signed off on it. He
said, “Okay, if they say to do it, go ahead._
PRESIDENT: Uh, as that this is the bugging?
HALDEMAN: The whole thing, including the bugging.
PRESIDENT: Shit.
HALDEMAN: The bugging was implicit in the second plan. I, Dean doesn’t seem. to
be sure whether

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M TO 1:30.P.M. 16

PRESIDENT: Well, anyway–
HALDEMAN: he doesn’t think that particular bug was explicit, but that the process
of bugging was implicit and, as I didn’t realize it, nor did he, but it was also
in the Sandwedge going way back–the early plan. That, incidentally, is a potential
source of fascinating problems in that it involved Mike Acree, who’s now the Customs
Commissioner or something, Joe Woods, uh, a few other people.
PRESIDENT: Nothing happened?
HALDEMAN: It wasn’t done, that’s right, but there — at some point, according to
Magruder, after this was then signed off and put under way, Mitch-Magruder–Mitchell,
Mitchell, called Liddy into his office and read him the riot act on the poor quality,
of stuff they were getting. (Pause) Uh, that’s basically the scenario or the summary
of, of what Magruder told the lawyer. Dean’s theory is that both Mitchell and Magruder
realize that they now have their ass in a sling , and that they’re trying to untangle
it, not necessarily working together again, at least he doesn’t think they are But,
in the process of that they are mixing apples and oranges for their own protection.
And that they’re remembering various things in connection with others, uh, (unintelligible)
like Hunt and Liddy (unintelligible).
PRESIDENT: You don’t have another (unintelligible) do you?
HALDEMAN: No sir.
**********
(material not related to Presidential actions has been deleted)
[Part III]
HALDEMAN: He says, for example, Magruder doesn’t realize how little Dean told Liddy.
He thinks that Dean sent Liddy in. Liddy said…Frankly, now as far as Dean screening
to Liddy was that, uh, you as General Counsel over there

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 17

HALDEMAN: can also take as a side activity the, the
(Cont’ d) political intelligence question because we do need some input on demonstrators
and stuff like that. That, that, that they’re not doing anything about, but he never
got into any, setting up an elaborate intelligence aparatus.
PRESIDENT: Okay.
HALDEMAN: Dean, Dean says that as a matter of fact, in contrast to Magruder’s opinion,
at the first meeting where a Liddy plan was presented, everybody at the meeting
laughed at the plan on the basis that it was just, it was so bizarre that it was
absurd and it would be funny.
PRESIDENT: Yeah.
HALDEMAN: The second meeting, Dean came into the meeting late. He was not there
during most of the presentation, but when he came in he could see that they were
still on the same kind of a thing. And he says in effect, I got Mitchell off the
hook because I said, I took the initiative in saying, “You know it’s an impossible,
uh, proposal and we can’t, we shouldn’t even be discussing this in the Attorney
General’s office,” and all that. Mitchell agreed, and then that’s when Dean came
over and told me that he had just, had seen this wrap-up on it, and that they, still
it (unintelligible) was impossible, and then we, that they shouldn’t be doing, it;
that we shouldn’t be involved in it and we ought to, uh, drop the whole thing. Then
as Dean said, “I saw a problem there and, uh, I thought they had turned it off and
in any event I wanted to stay ten miles away from it, and did.” He said the problem
from then on, starting somewhere in early January probably, was that Liddy was never
really given any guidance after that. Uh, Mitchell was in the midst or the IT and
T and all that stuff, and didn’t focus on it…

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 18

PRESIDENT: Martha.
HALDEMAN: …and Magruder was running around with other things and didn’t pay much
attention, and Liddy was kind of bouncing around loose there, uh.
EHRLICHMAN: Well, now, how do you square that with the allocation of money to it?
HALDEMAN: Well, that presumably was the subject in focus by somebody else…
EHRLICHMAN: Magruder.
HALDEMAN: …Who signed off on that.
EHRLICHMAN: Magruder, uh, possibly Mitchell, possibly Stans, certainly, uh– (unintelligible).
PRESIDENT: I suppose they could say the allocation of money was just for intelligence
operations generally. I think (unintelligible. That’s what my guess is. That’s what
Magruder said is true.
EHRLICHMAN: Someone was paid to focus on, somebody–
HALDEMAN: Yeah, someone, someone focused and agreed that there had to be some intelligence
and that it, it Could take some money and that Liddy should get it.
EHRLICHMAN: And against the background of the two plans being presented and rejected,
the natural question that would arise is, well, what are you going to do with the
money? You don’t have an approved plan?
HALDEMAN: Yeah.
EHRLICHMAN: So that doesn’t put anything together.
PRESIDENT: Well, it doesn’t hang together, but it could in the sense that the campaign–
HALDEMAN: Well, what he, what he thinks, he thinks…

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 19

PRESIDENT: My guess–
HALDEMAN: …that Mitchell did sign off on it.
PRESIDENT: That’s the point. But uh, my, my guess is Mitchell could just say, “Look,”
I, he says, “he has this and that and the other thing,” and I said, “all right go
ahead, but there was no buying of this da, da, da–“
HALDEMAN: He says if you heard Dean’s opinion (unintelligible)
PRESIDENT: So–
HALDEMAN: Now O’Brien says that Magruder’s objectives or motive at the moment is
a meeting with Mitchell and, me. And, uh, that what he has told some of the lawyers,
may well be a shot cross the bow to jar that meeting loose. Uh, O’Brien doesn’t
really believe Jeb, but he’s not sure. O’Brien is shook a1 little bit himself as
he hears al1 this. But he does see very definitely and holds also to the theory
of mixing of apples and oranges. He’s convinced that Jeb is pushing together things
that don’t necessarily fit together in order to help with a conclusion. And, again
he’s very disappointed in Mitchell. He feels that Mitchell is the guy that’s letting,
people down. O’Brien made the suggestion that if you wanted to force some of this
to a head, one thing you might consider is that O’Brien and Parkinson, who are getting
a little shaky now themselves, are retained by the Committee. That is by Frank Dale,
who is the, the Chairman of the Committee.
PRESIDENT: Does it still exist?
HALDEMAN: Uh, the…They, did they’re–
PRESIDENT: They aren’t involved in the damn thing are they? O’Brien and Parkinson?

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 20

HALDEMAN: Yes.
PRESIDENT: They ran this all from the beginning?
HALDEMAN: Oh, no.
PRESIDENT: Well, that is what I thought.
HALDEMAN: But they are involved in the post- discovery, post-June 17th.
HALDEMAN: (Unintelligible) O’Brien says, “Everything with the Committee,” said,
“What you might want to consider is the possibility is to waive our retainer, waive
our, our, uh, privileges and instruct us to report to the President all of the facts
as they are known to us as to what really went on at the Committee to Re-Elect the
President_.
PRESIDENT: I’ve been, I, I’ve been informed. For me to sit down and talk to them
and go through, uh–
HALDEMAN: I don’t know he, he says, he doesn’t mean necessarily personally talk
to you, but he means talk to Dean or whoever you designate as your, your, uh, man
to be working on this. ‘Uh, now–other facts. Hunt is at the Grand Jury today. (Unintelligible)
We don’t know how far he is going to go. The danger area for him is on the money,
that he was given money. Uh, he’s reported by O’Brien, who has been talking to his
lawyer, Bittman, not to be as desperate today as he was yesterday, but to still
be on the brink, or at least shaky. What’s made him shaky is that he’s seen McCord
bouncing out there and probably walking out scot free.
PRESIDENT: Scot free, – a hero.

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:33 P.M. 21
HALDEMAN: And he doesn’t like that. He figures it, it’s my turn. And. that he may
go–
PRESIDENT: That’s the way I, that’s the way I would think all of them would feel.
HALDEMAN: And that he may decide to go with as much as is necessary to get himself
into that sane position, but probably would only go with as much as is necessary.
There isn’t a feeling on his part of a desire to get people, but, uh, you know,
a desire to take care of himself. And, uh, that he might be willing to do what he
had to do to tare care of himself, but he would probably do it a gradual basis and
he may in fact be doing it right now at the Grand Jury. He feels in summary that
on, uh, both Hunt and Magruder questions we’re not really at the crunch that were
last night. He isn’t as concerned as he was when we talked to him last night. (Unintelligible)
we are now going with uh, uh, Silbert–
PRESIDENT: (Unintelligible)
HALDEMAN: The U.S. Attorney has is going to Sirica seeking immunity for Liddy so
Libby can be a witness. Liddy’s lawyer will argue against immunity, for he does
not want it. Uh, Dean’s judgment is that he’ll prob-, probably fail. Sirica will
grant it given Sirica’s clear disposition–
PRESIDENT: Then he gets, if he doesn’t talk, then he gets contempt. Is that it?
HALDEMAN: If Liddy is in, if he gets immunity his intention, as of now at least,
is to refuse to talk, and then be in contempt. The contempt is civil contempt and
it only runs for the duration of the Grand Jury which is of a limited duration.
And as long as he’s in jail anyway, it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of difference
to him.
PRESIDENT: I, I would almost bet that’s what Liddy will do.

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 22
HALDEMAN: Well, that’s what Dean will al-also bet. Dean has asked through O’Brien
to see Maroulis, or whatever his name is, Liddy’s lawyer, for Liddy to provide a
private statement saying that Dean knew nothing in advance on the Watergate, which
Liddy knows to be the case. To his knowledge, Dean knew nothing about it and Dean
would like to have that statement in his pocket and has asked Liddy, Liddy’s lawyer
to ask Liddy, for such a statement, which he feels Liddy will, would want to give
him. Uh, raised the question whether Dean actually had no knowledge of what was
going on in the intelligence area between the time of the meetings in Mitchell’s
office, when he said don’t do anything, and the time of the Watergate discovery.
And I put that direct question to Dean, and he said, “Absolutely nothing.”
PRESIDENT: I, I would, I would, uh, the reason I would totally agree, that, that
I would believe Dean there (unintelligible) say would be lying to us about that
EHRLICHMAN: Well he said —
PRESIDENT: But I would believe for another reason–that he thought it was a stupid
God damned idea.
EHRLICHMAN: There just isn’t a scintilla…
PRESIDENT: Yeah.
EHRLICHMAN: …of hint that Dean knew about this.
PRESIDENT: No, sir.
EHRLICHMAN: Dean was pretty good all through that period of time in sharing things,
and he was tracking with a number of us on —
**********
PRESIDENT: Well, you know the thing that, the reason I told Bob–and this incidentially
also covers Colson–and I, uh, and I, I don’t know whether, ah–I know that most
everybody except Bob, and perhaps you, think Colson knew all about it. But I was
talking to Colson, remember exclusively about it–and maybe that

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P M. 46

[Part IV]
EHRLICHMAN: And that’s a terrible thing. I, uh, I think if he were faced with that
reality, uh, he would, uh–
**********
PRESIDENT: Well, what is Mitchell’s option though? You mean to say, uh let’s, let’s
see what he could do. Does Mitchell come in and say, “My fault…My memory was faulty.
I lied?” No. He can’t say that.
EHRLICHMAN: He says, uh, uh–
PRESIDENT: _That I may have given a — without intending to, I may have given, been
responsible for this, and I, I regret it very much, but I did not intend that, I
did not realize what they were up to. They, they were talking, we were talking about
apples and oranges._ That’s what I think he would say. Don’t you agree?
HALDEMAN: I think. –
EHRLICHMAN: Yeah.
HALDEMAN: He authorized apples and they bought oranges. Yeah
PRESIDENT: Mitchell, you see, is never, never going to go in and admit perjury.
I mean you can uh, talk about immunity and all the rest, but he’s never going to
do that.
HALDEMAN: They won’t give him immunity anyway, I wouldn’t think, unless they figure
they could get you. He is as high up as they’ve been.
EHRLICHMAN: He’s the big Enchilada.
HALDEMAN: And he’s the one the magazines zeroed in on this weekend.
PRESIDENT: They did? Uh, what grounds? That he knew?
HALDEMAN: Well, just a quote that they maybe have a big fish on the hook.
PRESIDENT: I think Mitchell should come down. (Unintelligible).

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 47

EHRLICHMAN: To see you, me, Magruder.
PRESIDENT: Yeah. We’ll have him come down at 5:30. Tell him that there’s, there’s,
tell him that Magruder’s (unintelligible). Come down I’d like to talk to him (unintelligible).
I would like to talk with him, with you Magruder and he — is that who you mean?
— and Dean — no, no.
HALDEMAN: Well, Magruder said he would be happy to have Dean sit in. It’s my view,
I don’t think we rant Dean to sit in.
PRESIDENT: Alright, well alright.(unintelligible) Sit down and have it (unintelligible)
then we should have my talk.
HALDEMAN: I would think so. I think that would be very constructive.
PRESIDENT: Magruder has got to know that I, I Just don’t, that my own feeling is,
Bob, the reason I raise the question of Magruder is what stroke have you got with
Magruder? I guess we’ve got none.
EHRLICHMAN: I think that, I think that the stroke Bob has with him is that the,
in the confrontation to say, _Jeb, You know that just plain isn’t so_ and, uh, uh,
Just stare him down on some of this stuff and it’s a golden opportunity to do that
and I mean, uh, and I think you will only have this one opportunity to do it.
HALDEMAN Course he’s told me it isn’t so before.
EHRLICHMAN: That’s all the better, but I, in his present frame of mind I’m sure
he’s rationalized himself into a, into a table that hangs together and–But if he
knows that you are going to righteously and indignantly deny it, uh–
PRESIDENT: Say that he’s trying to lie to save his own skin.
EHRLICHMAN: It’ll, it’ll bend, uh, it’ll bend him.

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 48

HALDEMAN: Well, then I can make a personal point of view in the other direction,
and say, _Jeb, for God’s sake don’t get yourself screwed up by…
EHRLICHMAN: Yes.
HALDEMAN: …solving one lie with a second._
EHRLICHMAN: That’s right.
HALDEMAN: _You’ve got a problem. You ain’t going to make it better by making it
worse._
PRESIDENT: Yeah, he’ll be a hero for the moment, but, ah, in the minds of —
HALDEMAN: Well, then you’ve got, then you’ve got Magruder facing all…
PRESIDENT: Let me tell you something.
HALDEMAN: …the choices.
PRESIDENT: …let me tell you something. Uh, I have been wanting to tell you this
for some time (unintelligible) always dealing with the informer, good causes are
destroyed. Chambers is a case in point. Chambers told the truth, but he was an informer,
obviously it was because he was informed against Hiss, that they made it worse for
him, but it didn’t make any difference if he(unintelligible). First of all, he was
an (unintelligible)informed and, uh, Hiss was destroyed because he lied– committed
perjury. Chambers was destroyed because he was an informer, but Chambers knew he
was going to be destroyed. Now, they’ve got to know–Magruder’s got to know that
this whole business of McCord going down this road and so forth. Uh, I don’t know
what I don’t know what the (unintelligible).
EHRLICHMAN: McCord is a strange bird.
PRESIDENT: He’s trying to get out. I have never met him. Ever meet him?

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 49

EHRLICHMAN: Nope. But, uh, Dean–
PRESIDENT: Tell me about him.
HALDEMAN: Let’s go another one. So, so you persuade Magruder that his present approach
is (a) not true; I think you can probably persuade him of that; and (b) not desirable
to fake. So he then says, in despair, “Hey what do I do? Here’s McCord out here
accusing me. McCord has flatly accused me of perjury. He’s flatly accused Dean of
complicity.” Dean is going to go, and Magruder knows as a fact that Dean wasn’t
involved, so he knows that Dean is clean, he knows when Dean goes down, Dean can
testify as an honest man.
PRESIDENT: But, is Dean going to finger, uh, Magruder?
HALDEMAN: No, sir.
PRESIDENT: There’s the other point.
HALDEMAN: Dean will not finger Magruder but Dean can’t either. Likewise, he can’t
defend Magruder.
PRESIDENT: Well– Alright.–
HALDEMAN: Dean won’t, Dean won’t (unintelligible) Magruder. But Magruder then says,
_Okay, if Dean goes down to the Grand Jury and clears, clears himself, there’s no
evidence against him except McCord’s statement, which won’t hold up, and it isn’t
true._
PRESIDENT: Right.
HALDEMAN: _Now, I go down to the Grand Jury, because obviously they are going to
call me back
PRESIDENT: That’s right.
HALDEMAN: “…and I go to defend myself against McCord’s statement which I know
is true. Now I’ve a little tougher problem than Dean has. You’re saying to me don’t
make up a new lie to cover up the old one. What would you recommend that I do do?
Stay with the old

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 50

lie and hope I would come out, or clean myself up and go to jail?”
PRESIDENT: What do…
HALDEMAN: Or what?
PRESIDENT: …you advise? What would you advise him to do?
HALDEMAN: I, I’d advise him to go down and clean it up.
PRESIDENT: And say, “I lied?”
HALDEMAN: Say, “I lied.” I would advise him to seek immunity and do it.
PRESIDENT: Do you think…
EHRLICHMAN: If he can get immunity?
HALDEMAN: Absolutely.
PRESIDENT: Then what would he say?
EHRLICHMAN: Say, “I thought I was helping. Uh, it’s obvious that, uh, there is no
profit in this route, uh, uh. I did it on my own motive. Nobody asked me to do it.
I just did it because I thought it was the best thing to do from everybody’s standpoint
and I was wrong to do it.” That’s basically it.
HALDEMAN: Magruder’s viewpoint that to be ruined that way, which isn’t really being
ruined, is infinitely preferable to going to jail. Going to jail for Jeb will be
a very, very, very difficult…
PRESIDENT: Well, if it’s a —
EHRLICHMAN: Well Magruder doesn’t seem to be (unintelligible)
PRESIDENT: Magruder is a very unusual person.
HALDEMAN: (Laughs) Yep.
PRESIDENT: (Unintelligible)
EHRLICHMAN: The question is whether the U.S. Attorney will grant immunity under
the circumstances.
HALDEMAN: Well, he would if he thought he was going to get Mitchell.
EHRLICHMAN: Yeah, that’s right.

MARCH 27, 1973 FROM 11:10 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M. 51

HALDEMAN: The interesting thing is, would be, would be to watch Mitchell’s face
at the time I, I recommend to Magruder that he go down and ask for immunity and
confess. (Pause)
**********
PRESIDENT: Go on with this, uh, go on with this Commission.
EHRLICHMAN: Step on that it seems to me is to sell Bill Rogers on the idea, if it’s
a good idea.
HALDEMAN: The, the other, first thing is to talk with Bill Rogers and see whether
he comes up with a decent committee.
EHRLICHMAN: Well I’d say first we’ve got to be convinced that it’s a good idea.
If the President’s satisfied that it is a good idea, then we’ll get Bill Rogers
to (unintelligible).
PRESIDENT: Well you see, to make it is–the problem that we’ve got here as, we’ve
gotta, we’ve gotta, uh, everybody (unintelligible) felt that the time and energy
put into this thing (unintelligible) the amount of time that I should spend with
Bill and Mitchell and so forth (unintelligible) necessary Rogers uh, how do we open
that. Do you want to open it (unintelligible).
EHRLICHMAN: …glory in this for Bill (unintelligible). This is his idea (unintelligible)
clean.
HALDEMAN: You see you’re, you’re saying Bill would publicly be the father of this.
EHRLICHMAN: Bill would be the father of this. He’d go to Ervin and say, “I’m terribly
concerned about…
PRESIDENT: He’d be the broker
EHRLICHMAN: …this whole business, uh, uh.”
HALDEMAN: He came to the President and said this is what you must do.
PRESIDENT: Go to Warren?

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