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History > 20th, early 21st century > USA > Timeline in pictures > Politics, Journalism > Watergate    1972-1974

 

 

 

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein,

whose reporting of the Watergate case won them a Pulitzer Prize,

in the Washington Post newsroom in 1973.

 

Photograph: AP

 

Woodward and Bernstein:

Watergate echoes loud in Donald Trump era

Veteran journalists

may have thought their biggest story was behind them,

then Trump came along.

‘This is worse than Watergate’, says Bernstein

G

Sun 12 Aug 2018        15.29 BST

Last modified on Sun 12 Aug 2018        15.40 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/12/
woodward-bernstein-watergate-donald-trump-era

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Dean III

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/
731119019/key-nixon-accuser-returns-to-capitol-with-sights-set-on-another-president

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Walter McCord Jr.        1924-2019

 

 

 

James W. McCord Jr.,

who led the burglars in the Watergate scandal,

testifying in 1973 at Senate hearings

about the break-in

at Democratic National Committee headquarters.

 

Credit Mike Lien/The New York Times

 

James W. McCord Jr., Who Led the Watergate Break-In, Is Dead at 93

NYT

April 18, 2019

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/
obituaries/james-mccord-watergate-dead.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/
obituaries/james-mccord-watergate-dead.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Nixon waves goodbye

from the steps of his helicopter

outside the White House,

after he gave a farewell address

to members of the White House staff,

in August 1974.

 

Photograph: Chick Harrity/AP

 

Why won't Nixon loyalists talk about Trump's impeachment inquiry?

Thu 10 Oct 2019    06.00 BST

Last modified on Thu 10 Oct 2019    15.17 BST

G

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/10/
richard-nixon-impeachment-donald-trump-republican-president

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Covers - The 70S

TIME cover 05-14-1973 ill. of Richard Nixon [1913-1994].

 

Date taken: May 14, 1973

 

Photographer: George Giusti

Life

 

Related

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/richard_milhous_nixon/index.html?inline=nyt-per

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov.  5, 1973

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,1101731105,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herbert Warren Kalmbach        1921-2017

 

Richard M. Nixon’s

personal lawyer

and a conduit

for hush money

from the 1972

presidential campaign

to the Watergate burglars

 

(...)

 

Mr. Kalmbach

was briefly

imprisoned

and temporarily lost

his law license

for illegally raising

vast bundles of cash,

much of it

furtively exacted

from corporations

and individuals.

 

He oversaw

a secret $500,000 stash

to finance sabotage

and spy operations

against the Democrats run

by the Nixon

political operative

Donald H. Segretti.

 

He funneled

$220,000

to pay off

the seven defendants

who had bungled

the break-in

of the Democratic National

Committee headquarters

at the Watergate complex.

 

And he steered

$100,000

to an unsuccessful

campaign to defeat

George C. Wallace’s

comeback

as governor of Alabama

in 1970.

 

Mr. Kalmbach

also conveyed

to the Nixon re-election

war chest $2 million

from the milk industry,

which was promised

federal subsidies.

 

The money,

from a dairy

cooperative organization,

came disguised illegally

as small contributions.

 

In another episode,

after withdrawing

$100,000 earmarked

for the anti-Wallace effort

from a safe deposit box,

he hand-delivered the cash

to a stranger in the lobby

of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel

in New York,

identifying himself

as “Mr. Jensen of Detroit.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/
obituaries/herbert-kalmbach-who-figured-in-watergate-payoffs-dies-at-95.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/
obituaries/herbert-kalmbach-who-figured-in-watergate-payoffs-dies-at-95.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Norman Shaffer Jr.        1932-2015

 

fastidious litigator

whose painstaking defense

of John W. Dean III,

the White House counsel,

helped cost Richard M. Nixon

the presidency

during the Watergate scandal

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/us/
charles-n-shaffer-jr-lawyer-who-bolstered-case-against-nixon-dies-at-82.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/us/
charles-n-shaffer-jr-lawyer-who-bolstered-case-against-nixon-dies-at-82.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Erwin Herzstein        1931-2015

 

Robert E. Herzstein (...)

successfully sued

on behalf of

historians and journalists

to prevent former

President Richard M. Nixon

from removing and even destroying

his White House papers and tapes

after his resignation

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/us/
politics/robert-e-herzstein-who-foiled-nixon-dies-at-83.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/us/
politics/robert-e-herzstein-who-foiled-nixon-dies-at-83.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee        1921-2014

 

Ben Bradlee (...) presided

over The Washington Post’s

Watergate reporting

that led to the fall

of President Richard M. Nixon

and that stamped him

in American culture

as the quintessential

newspaper editor of his era

— gruff, charming and tenacious —

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/
business/media/ben-bradlee-editor-who-directed-watergate-coverage-dies-at-93.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/
business/media/ben-bradlee-editor-who-directed-watergate-coverage-dies-at-93.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eugene Corbett Patterson        1923-2013

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning editor

of The Atlanta Constitution

during the civil rights

conflicts of the 1960s

and later

the managing editor

of The Washington Post

and editor

of The St. Petersburg Times

in Florida

 

(...)

 

Mr. Patterson

joined The Washington Post in 1968

as managing editor,

succeeding Benjamin C. Bradlee,

who became executive editor.

 

The two

led the newsroom

in June 1971

when The Post followed

The New York Times

in publishing

the Pentagon Papers,

the secret study

of American duplicity

in Indochina.

 

Nixon administration

challenges

to both publications

were struck down

in a historic Supreme Court

ruling.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/us/eugene-c-patterson-editor-and-civil-rights-crusader-dies-at-89.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/us/
eugene-c-patterson-editor-and-civil-rights-crusader-dies-at-89.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/04/13/
reviews/papers-final.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Remember About Watergate

 

MAY 20, 2017

By SCOTT ARMSTRONG

SundayReview

Op-Ed Contributor
 

 

Echoes of Watergate are everywhere these days.

President Trump’s firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, drew immediate comparisons to Richard Nixon’s order to dismiss the special Watergate prosecutor, Archibald Cox, in October 1973. Mr. Trump’s insinuation that he had taped meetings with Mr. Comey recalled the secret White House recordings that ultimately brought a president down. And the demands today for aggressive congressional investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election remind me of the pressures on House and Senate investigations into the 1972 Nixon presidential campaign.

As a 27-year-old investigator for the Senate’s Watergate committee, I saw up close how that inquiry unfolded. Our committee helped unearth the most damning evidence against the president. But the special prosecutor’s office played a crucial role in making that evidence public. The two entities overcame partisan and jurisdictional conflicts to bring about the president’s resignation — and their work offers a valuable lesson for today, when hyper-partisanship dominates.

The Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities was created in February 1973 after John Sirica, the Republican federal judge presiding over the trial of men charged with breaking into Democratic Party offices at the Watergate, raised doubts about whether they had acted alone, skepticism spurred by articles in The Washington Post. Judge Sirica’s harsh sentences broke the burglars’ silence.

Led by its Democratic chairman, Sam J. Ervin Jr. of North Carolina, and its Republican vice chairman, Howard H. Baker Jr. of Tennessee, the committee tried to present a bipartisan image. Behind closed doors it was anything but. Our star witness, John Dean, the former White House counsel, warned the Democratic staff privately that while he oversaw the White House cover-up for Mr. Nixon, Mr. Baker and the minority counsel, Fred Thompson, were trying to thwart the congressional investigation.

Before the hearings began, the Democratic staff decided not to share details about Mr. Dean’s damaging evidence with Republican colleagues. At a contentious executive session, Mr. Baker opposed plans by the committee’s chief counsel, Samuel Dash, to use the hearings to explain political and criminal events preceding the break-in. On Mr. Dash’s orders, I followed Mr. Baker’s top aide and discovered he was meeting secretly with the White House counsel, J. Fred Buzhardt. We confronted Mr. Baker, and the aide resigned.

When the televised hearings opened in May 1973, Mr. Baker and Mr. Thompson continued to work behind the scenes to prevent the inquiry from focusing on Mr. Nixon. In July, a committee stenographer slipped me a copy of notes from secret conversations in which Mr. Buzhardt provided Mr. Thompson lengthy quotations from Mr. Nixon’s one-on-one meetings with Mr. Dean. Mr. Baker and Mr. Thompson tried to use that information to suggest during cross-examination that Mr. Dean was the sole author of the cover-up.

On July 13, we questioned a Nixon aide, Alexander Butterfield, about Mr. Thompson’s notes. Pressed to explain how he had obtained such precise quotations from the Nixon-Dean meetings, Mr. Butterfield revealed that the president had a taping system in his offices.

Once Mr. Baker’s collusion with the White House was revealed in Mr. Thompson’s memo, I could see his opposition to obtaining the tapes melt, and the committee voted unanimously to subpoena them. But the White House refused to turn them over, and the courts decided not to intervene in a confrontation between two branches of government.

Partisan politics continued in private. Mr. Baker and Mr. Thompson promoted a bogus explanation for the break-in, alleging that the C.I.A. had initially assisted and then undermined the Watergate burglars in order to damage the president.

Meanwhile, the Democratic staff unearthed the actual motive for the break-in: Mr. Nixon and his campaign manager, John Mitchell, were worried that Charles Rebozo, known as Bebe, would be identified as the man who had accepted $100,000 in cash for Mr. Nixon from the billionaire Howard Hughes. Mr. Mitchell had authorized breaking into the Watergate office of Larry O’Brien, chairman of the Democratic National Committee — who had been a paid consultant to Mr. Hughes — to see what Mr. O’Brien knew about the Rebozo transaction.

We also discovered a $100,000 payment from Mr. Hughes to Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic presidential candidate. Mr. Ervin shut down the hearings. “I was just preserving the two-party system,” he said jokingly to me afterward.

Yet for all its infighting, the committee played a crucial role in unearthing information that led to Mr. Nixon’s downfall. After our subpoena for the White House tapes was blocked in federal court, the special prosecutor issued his own. Mr. Nixon responded by having Mr. Cox fired, which led to the resignation of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and the deputy attorney general, William D. Ruckelshaus. Mr. Cox had opposed a deal under which a conservative Democratic senator, John Stennis, would review and verify summaries of the tapes. Under that deal, prosecutors, courts and the public would not have gained access to them.

The move backfired spectacularly. Public outrage over the Saturday Night Massacre, as it became known, encouraged lawyers in the special prosecutor’s office to aggressively pursue the tapes. Their arguments convinced the Supreme Court that in a criminal case, every citizen — even a president — must comply with a subpoena, and the tapes were released. Attention soon turned to a smoking-gun recording implicating Mr. Nixon in the cover-up. On Aug. 8, 1974, he resigned.

Two lessons emerge. First: Congressional committees are powerful tools for investigating the full range of abuse of power by a president and for passing reforms to avoid repetitions of those abuses. (Unfortunately, reforms enacted after Watergate were eroded over subsequent decades.) But committees have limited power to compel presidential compliance with demands for evidence.

Second, prosecutors can often obtain the critical evidence that committees can’t. But their job is to prosecute crimes. They are less likely to get to the bottom of executive abuses or to prevent their repetition. Most tellingly, special prosecutors, as part of the executive branch, can be dismissed by the president, while congressional committees are protected by the constitutional separation of powers.

That’s why the work of both is so important. Robert S. Mueller III has been appointed special counsel to look into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, an investigation that might cover both criminal and counterintelligence matters. Some senators say this will conflict with and perhaps necessarily limit congressional inquiries.

But that needn’t be the case. While prosecutors prefer not having congressional competition, a mature special prosecutor and a well-led congressional inquiry can coordinate over issues like witness immunity. Congress can creatively expand its witness list beyond prosecution targets and fill in critical details from “satellite” witnesses, as the Watergate committee did with Mr. Butterfield.

Bipartisanship will be crucial. Working with the evidence secured by prosecutors, congressional committees can provide a declassified narrative of Russian actions and whether Trump aides colluded. If the committee is aggressive, and its work is truly bipartisan, it can not only educate and reassure the public, but also legislate solutions to prevent future abuses.

A reclusive Mr. Nixon worked behind the scenes to impede investigators and prosecutors. He believed that his secret tapes would bring down John Dean; instead they fertilized the bipartisan outrage that brought about his own demise. But that bipartisanship didn’t exist when the Watergate committee began its work. In today’s hyperpartisan atmosphere, that is worth remembering.

 

Scott Armstrong, a former Washington Post reporter, is the president of Searchlight New Mexico, an investigative news organization.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

What to Remember About Watergate,
NYT,
May 20, 2017,
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/
opinion/sunday/trump-nixon-watergate-congress.html

 

 

 

 

 

Peter M. Flanigan,

Banker and Nixon Aide,

Dies at 90

 

July 31, 2013

The New York Times

By DOUGLAS MARTIN

 

Peter M. Flanigan, a Wall Street investment banker who became one of President Richard M. Nixon’s most trusted, influential and well-connected aides on business and economic matters, died on Monday in Salzburg, Austria. He was 90.

His family announced the death.

Mr. Flanigan, an executive at the venerable investment house Dillon, Read & Company, was an early and strong supporter of Nixon before being appointed principal presidential assistant for financial matters. His facility in advancing business interests in regulatory agencies led Time magazine to label him “Mr. Fixit.”

His wide-ranging assignments included securities regulation, antitrust matters, and agricultural and environmental policies. Administration officials compared his influence on business issues to Henry A. Kissinger’s on foreign affairs.

“He’s the guy who people in our industry turn to,” a steel executive told The New York Times in 1972. “And we wouldn’t turn to him unless he came through.”

Mr. Nixon applauded his contributions to international economic policy and to the country’s moving to an all-volunteer Army. But some saw him as the face of an administration that had cozied up to business interests. Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate, acknowledged Mr. Flanigan’s influence by calling him a “mini-president.” He also called him the “most evil” man in Washington.

Mr. Flanigan was sharply criticized in Congress for his role in the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue an antitrust case against the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation as an illegal conglomerate. He had arranged for a colleague at Dillon, Read to draft a financial analysis that helped persuade the administration to drop antitrust charges.

At a hearing in 1972, Senator Thomas F. Eagleton, a Missouri Democrat, characterized Mr. Flanigan’s interventions on behalf of business as “the Flanigan factor.” The senator accused him of holding back enforcement actions by the Environmental Protection Agency against the Anaconda Corporation and the Armco Steel Corporation.

Mr. Eagleton called Mr. Flanigan “the mastermind, the possessor of the scuttling feet that are heard faintly, retreating into the distance in the wake of a White House ordered cave-in to some giant corporation.”

The White House press secretary, Ronald L. Ziegler, responded that the president wholly supported Mr. Flanigan. He demanded “concrete evidence that Mr. Flanigan has gained personally in any way.” Senator Norris Cotton, a New Hampshire Republican, called Mr. Eagleton’s charges “flimsy.”

Mr. Flanigan was unruffled. “I’ve gotten, as my wife says, a little leathery,” he told The Washington Post. “It’s an election year, and I note who’s making these charges.”

He left the administration in June 1974, just weeks before the Watergate scandal forced Nixon to resign. Mr. Flanigan himself was not linked to the scandal. President Gerald R. Ford, Nixon’s successor, nominated him to be ambassador to Spain, but the Senate did not vote on his appointment before a scheduled recess. Some senators said that Mr. Flanigan had arranged for prestigious ambassadorships to go to big Nixon contributors. Mr. Flanigan asked that his nomination not be resubmitted.

Peter Magnus Flanigan was born on June 21, 1923, in Manhattan and raised there. His father, Horace Flanigan, who was known as Hap, was chairman of the Manufacturers Trust Company, later Manufacturers Hanover. His mother, the former Aimee Magnus, was a granddaughter of Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch.

Mr. Flanigan was a Navy carrier pilot in World War II, then graduated summa cum laude from Princeton. He joined Dillon as a statistical analyst. He took a break in 1949-50 to work in London for the Marshall Plan, the initiative to rebuild war-ravaged Europe, then returned to Dillon. He became a vice president in 1954.

Mr. Flanigan became active in New York Republican politics in the mid-1950s and was named chairman of New Yorkers for Nixon in 1959 as Nixon, then vice president, was seeking the 1960 presidential nomination. Mr. Flanigan became national director of Nixon volunteers in 1960.

Nixon wrote in his memoirs in 1978 that Mr. Flanigan was one of a small group of Republicans who had raised money for him to campaign for Republican candidates in the 1966 midterm elections as an early step toward Nixon’s seeking the 1968 nomination.

In 1968, he was Nixon’s deputy campaign manager. After Nixon’s victory, Mr. Flanigan was a talent scout for the transition team. He served as a presidential assistant until 1972, when he was named director of the Council of International Economic Policy.

Mr. Flanigan’s first wife, the former Brigid Snow, died in 2006.

Mr. Flanigan is survived by his second wife, Dorothea von Oswald, whom he married five years ago and with whom he lived in Wildenhag, Austria, and Purchase, N.Y. He is also survived by his daughters Sister Louise Marie, Brigid and Megan; his sons Tim and Bob; and 16 grandchildren.

After his White House service, Mr. Flanigan returned to Dillon, where he was managing director until 1992. The passion of his latter years was education, notably starting a program to help inner-city Roman Catholic schools. He was chairman of the Alliance for School Choice. His great love was St. Ann’s Roman Catholic School in East Harlem, to which he gave more than $250,000.

His visits there were appreciated. “I want to make something of myself,” Lawrence King, a seventh grader, told The Times in 1992. “It’s important to have someone to look up to.”

    Peter M. Flanigan, Banker and Nixon Aide, Dies at 90, NYT, 31.7.2013,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/us/
    peter-m-flanigan-banker-and-nixon-aide-dies-at-90.html

 

 

 

 

 

Charles W. Colson,

Watergate Felon

Who Became Evangelical Leader,

Dies at 80

 

April 21, 2012
The New York Times
By TIM WEINER

 

Charles W. Colson, who as a political saboteur for President Richard M. Nixon masterminded some of the dirty tricks that led to the president’s downfall, then emerged from prison to become an important evangelical leader, saying he had been “born again,” died on Saturday. He was 80.

The cause was complications of a brain hemorrhage, according to Prison Fellowship Ministries, which Mr. Colson founded in Lansdowne, Va. He died at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., and lived in Naples, Fla., and Leesburg, Va.

Mr. Colson had brain surgery to remove a clot after becoming ill on March 30 while speaking at a conference, according to Jim Liske, the group’s chief executive.

Mr. Colson was sent to prison after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in one of the criminal plots that undid the Nixon administration. After having what he called his religious awakening behind bars, he spent much of the rest of his life ministering to prisoners, preaching the Gospels and forging a coalition of Republican politicians, evangelical church leaders and Roman Catholic conservatives that has had a pronounced influence on American politics.

It was a remarkable reversal.

Mr. Colson was a 38-year-old Washington lawyer when he joined the Nixon White House as a special counsel in November 1969. He quickly caught the president’s eye. His “instinct for the political jugular and his ability to get things done made him a lightning rod for my own frustrations,” Nixon wrote in his memoir, “RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon.” In 1970, the president made him his “political point man” for “imaginative dirty tricks.”

“When I complained to Colson, I felt confident that something would be done,” Nixon wrote. “I was rarely disappointed.”

Mr. Colson and his colleagues “started vying for favor on Nixon’s dark side,” Bryce Harlow, a former counselor to the president, said in an oral history. “Colson started talking about trampling his grandmother’s grave for Nixon and showing he was as mean as they come.”

As the president’s re-election campaign geared up in 1971, “everybody went macho,” Mr. Harlow said. “It was the ‘in’ thing to swagger and threaten.”

Few played political hardball more fiercely than Mr. Colson. When a deluded janitor from Milwaukee shot Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama on the presidential campaign trail in Maryland in May 1972, Nixon asked about the suspect’s politics. Mr. Colson replied, “Well, he’s going to be a left-winger by the time we get through.” He proposed a political frame-up: planting leftist pamphlets in the would-be killer’s apartment. “Good,” the president said, as recorded on a White House tape. “Keep at that.”

Mr. Colson hired E. Howard Hunt, a veteran covert operator for the Central Intelligence Agency, to spy on the president’s opponents. Their plots became part of the cascade of high crimes and misdemeanors known as the Watergate affair.

The subterfuge began to unravel after Mr. Hunt and five other C.I.A. and F.B.I. veterans were arrested in June 1972 after a botched burglary and wiretapping operation at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington. To this day, no one knows whether Nixon authorized the break-in or precisely what the burglars wanted.

“When I write my memoirs,” Mr. Colson told Mr. Hunt in a November 1972 telephone conversation, “I’m going to say that the Watergate was brilliantly conceived as an escapade that would divert the Democrats’ attention from the real issues, and therefore permit us to win a landslide that we probably wouldn’t have won otherwise.” The two men laughed.

That month, Nixon won that landslide. On election night, the president watched the returns with Mr. Colson and the White House chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. “I couldn’t feel any sense of jubilation,” Mr. Colson said in a 1992 television interview. “Here we were, supposedly winning, and it was more like we’d lost.”

“The attitude was, ‘Well, we showed them, we got even with our enemies and we beat them,’ instead of ‘We’ve been given a wonderful mandate to rule over the next four years,’ ” he said. “We were reduced to our petty worst on the night of what should have been our greatest triumph.”

The Watergate operation and the dirty tricks campaign surrounding it led to the criminal indictments and convictions of most of Nixon’s closest aides. On June 21, 1974, Mr. Colson was sentenced to prison and fined $5,000. Nixon resigned seven weeks later after one of his secretly recorded White House tapes made clear that he had tried to use the C.I.A. to obstruct the federal investigation of the break-in.

Mr. Colson served seven months after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in the case of Daniel Ellsberg, a former National Security Council consultant who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. In July 1971, a few weeks after the papers were published, Mr. Colson approved Mr. Hunt’s proposal to steal files from the office of Mr. Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. The aim was “to destroy his public image and credibility,” Mr. Hunt wrote.

“I went to prison, voluntarily,” Mr. Colson said in 2005. “I deserved it.”

He announced upon emerging that he would devote the rest of his life to religious work. In 1976, he founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which delivers a Christian message of redemption to thousands of prison inmates and their families. In 1983, he established Justice Fellowship, which calls itself the nation’s largest religion-based criminal justice reform group. In 1993, he won the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and donated it to his ministries.

By the end of the 1990s, Mr. Colson had become a leading voice in the evangelical political movement, with books and a syndicated radio broadcast. He helped form a conservative coalition of leaders from the Republican Party, the Protestant evangelical community and the Catholic Church. The Catholics and the evangelicals, once combatants over issues of religious doctrine, now joined forces in fights over abortion rights and religious freedom, among other issues.

Mr. Colson also reached out to the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic theologian who edited the journal First Things and who had warned of a coming tide of secularism in his book “The Naked Public Square.” They inaugurated a theological dialogue that resulted in the publication of the document “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” in 1994.

Mr. Colson said that he had initially gotten hate mail from evangelicals because of that initiative, and that the Prison Fellowship had lost a million dollars in donations. But the manifesto, pushing for religion-based policies in government, cleared the path for a political and cultural alliance that has reshaped the political debate in America, adding fuel to a rightward turn in the Republican Party and a rising conservative grass-roots movement.

In 2000, Mr. Colson was a resident of Florida when Gov. Jeb Bush restored his rights to practice law, vote and serve on a jury — all of them having been lost with his federal felony conviction. “I think it’s time to move on,” Mr. Bush said at the time. “I know him. He’s a great guy.”

With that, Mr. Colson re-entered the political arena. In January 2001, six days after President George W. Bush’s inauguration, a Wall Street Journal editorial praised Mr. Colson’s prison work as “a model for Bush’s ideas about faith-based funding.”

When he went to the White House to state his case for religious faith as a basis for foreign and domestic policies, he found himself pushing on an open door. “You don’t have to tell me,” Mr. Colson said the president told him. “I’d still be drinking if it weren’t for what Christ did in my life. I know faith-based works.”

In 2006, a federal judge ruled that a religion-based program operated by a Prison Fellowship affiliate in Iowa had violated the constitutional separation of church and state. By using tax money for a religious program that gave special privileges to inmates who embraced evangelical Christianity, the state had established a congregation and given its leaders “authority to control the spiritual, emotional, and physical lives of hundreds of Iowa inmates,” the judge said.

Mr. Colson blasted the ruling, and Prison Fellowship appealed it. But in October 2006, after turning 75, he stepped down as the chairman of the group to devote himself to writing and speaking for his causes. In 2008, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Charles Wendell Colson — friends called him Chuck — was born on Oct. 16, 1931, in Boston, the only child of Wendell B. and Inez Ducrow Colson, His father was a struggling lawyer; his mother, nicknamed Dizzy, was an exuberant spendthrift.

He grew up at 15 different addresses in and around the city and attended eight schools. He got his first taste of politics as a teenage volunteer in Robert F. Bradford’s re-election campaign for governor of Massachusetts. He remembered that he learned “all the tricks,” including “planting misleading stories in the press, voting tombstones, and spying on the opposition in every possible way.”

He graduated from Browne & Nichols, a private school in Cambridge, in 1949, and went to Brown University with a scholarship from the Navy Reserve Officer Training Program. After graduating in 1953, he married his college sweetheart, Nancy Billings, and joined the Marines.

In 1956, Mr. Colson went to Washington as an administrative assistant to Senator Leverett Saltonstall, a Massachusetts Republican. He met Nixon, who was then vice president, and became, in his words, a lifelong “Nixon fanatic.” The two men “understood each other,” Mr. Colson wrote in “Born Again,” his memoir. They were “prideful men seeking that most elusive goal of all — acceptance and the respect of those who had spurned us.”

After obtaining a law degree from George Washington University in 1959, Mr. Colson became partner in a Washington law firm, always practicing politics on the side, with an eye to a Nixon presidency. He was crushed when his candidate lost the 1960 election by a whisker to Senator John F. Kennedy.

A sympathetic biography, “Charles W. Colson: A Life Redeemed” (2005), by Jonathan Aitken, depicts him in these years as a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, amoral man with three young children — Wendell Ball II, Christian and Emily Ann — and a failing marriage. He divorced his first wife and married Patricia Ann Hughes in 1964.

She, the three children, and five grandchildren are among Mr. Colson’s survivors.

In 1973, while looking for work after leaving the White House and fearing that he was going to wind up in jail, Mr. Colson got into his car and found himself in the grip of the spiritual crisis that led to his conversion. “This so-called White House hatchet man, ex-Marine captain, was crying too hard to get the keys into the ignition,” he remembered. “I sat there for a long time that night deeply convicted of my own sin.”

 

Laurie Goodstein contributed reporting.

    Charles W. Colson, Watergate Felon Who Became Evangelical Leader, Dies at 80,
    NYT, 21.4.2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/us/politics/
    charles-w-colson-watergate-felon-who-became-    evangelical-leader-dies-at-80.html

 

 

 

 

 

Frank H. Strickler,

Watergate Defense Lawyer,

Dies at 92

 

April 9, 2012
The New York Times
By DOUGLAS MARTIN

 

Frank H. Strickler, a Washington lawyer who represented two of President Richard M. Nixon’s top aides, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, in the tangled legal aftermath of the 1972 Watergate break-in and its cover-up, died March 29 at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. He was 92.

His family announced the death.

Mr. Strickler participated in several dramatic moments in the aftermath of the burglary at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex in Washington on June 17, 1972. But he did not leap into the case at the first opportunity.

The day of the break-in, he grumpily answered the phone at his vacation home in Bethany Beach, Del., after being awakened at 4:30 a.m. The caller was E. Howard Hunt, a former C.I.A. agent who was later convicted for helping organize the Watergate operation, according to the book “Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years” (1973), by J. Anthony Lukas.

“You think I’m going to interrupt my vacation and represent anybody like that?” Mr. Strickler said. “You’re crazy!”

But as the case evolved into an investigation of the cover-up by Nixon and his aides, Mr. Strickler and one of his law partners, John J. Wilson, agreed to represent Mr. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, and Mr. Ehrlichman, his counsel and domestic policy adviser. Mr. Ehrlichman later retained his own lawyer, a decision Mr. Strickler said made strategic sense.

In one of Watergate’s tensest moments, Mr. Strickler and Mr. Wilson met for an hour and six minutes with President Nixon on April 19, 1973, in an effort to persuade him not to request the resignation of their clients.

John Dean, the White House counsel, had begun cooperating with prosecutors in the hope of lenient treatment for himself. Both Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman had reason to worry about the testimony of Mr. Dean, who was estranged from them. In the White House, the pair were called “the Berlin Wall,” as much for their power as for their Germanic names.

According to Mr. Lukas, Mr. Strickler told the president that removal of his clients would strike the public as “an admission of guilt.” Nixon replied that the two were “great, fine Americans” and that he would try to save them. He fired Mr. Dean and accepted the resignations of Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman on April 30.

On the eve of Nixon’s own resignation on Aug. 9, 1974, Mr. Haldeman wanted to make made a last-ditch bid for a presidential pardon. Mr. Strickler again was at the center of the action.

He told his client to write a personal memo to Nixon. He and Mr. Wilson supplied legal backup. They suggested pardoning all those accused or convicted of crimes related to Watergate, as well as all Vietnam-era draft evaders. Nixon elected to do neither.

In February 1974, investigators offered Mr. Ehrlichman a chance to plead guilty to a single charge in return for his help in building a case against others. He said no. “His feeling was that he could not plead guilty to something that he did not believe he was guilty of doing,” Mr. Strickler said in an interview with The New York Times. In “Stonewall: The Real Story of the Watergate Prosecution” (1977), the Watergate prosecutors Richard Ben-Veniste and George Frampton Jr. wrote that Mr. Haldeman was offered, and turned down, a similar deal.

Both men were eventually convicted and sentenced to two and a half to eight years in prison. The sentences were commuted to one to four years. Each served a total of 18 months.

Before the trial of Mr. Haldeman, Mr. Ehrlichman and three other Nixon aides began in November 1974, Mr. Strickler unsuccessfully argued that the case against Mr. Haldeman be dismissed because of the leaking of potentially damaging grand jury testimony. During the trial, Mr. Strickler contended that Mr. Haldeman’s intercession in the F.B.I.’s initial Watergate investigation resulted from his desire to protect a sensitive C.I.A. operation in Mexico.

He also argued that Mr. Haldeman was busy with matters far more important to the nation than Watergate. He called the matter “no more than a pimple on the mound of his other duties.”

Frank Hunter Strickler was born on Jan. 20, 1920, in Washington, and earned undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University. He helped pay for his education by working as a fingerprint examiner for the F.B.I. He served in the merchant marine during World War II as a seaman and cook. He was a federal prosecutor in Washington in the early 1950s, and then in private practice.

Mr. Strickler is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ellis Barnard Strickler; his daughters, Nancy Strickler Borah and Elizabeth Ann Strickler; his sons, Frank and Charles; and three grandchildren.

    Frank H. Strickler, Watergate Defense Lawyer, Dies at 92, NYT, 9.4.2012,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/us/politics/frank-h-strickler-a-watergate-defense-lawyer-is-dead-at-92.html

 

 

 

 

 

Henry S. Ruth,

Who Helped Lead

Watergate Prosecution,

Dies at 80

 

March 27, 2012
The New York Times
By DOUGLAS MARTIN

 

Henry S. Ruth Jr., who helped lead the criminal prosecution of Nixon administration officials involved in covering up the Watergate break-in and kept it on track when President Richard M. Nixon fired the special prosecutor Archibald Cox, died on March 16 in Tucson. He was 80.

The cause was a stroke, his wife, Deborah Mathieu, said.

Mr. Ruth had broad experience in criminal law when he became Mr. Cox’s chief deputy shortly after Mr. Cox’s appointment as special prosecutor in May 1973. Five months later, on Oct. 20, President Nixon ordered Mr. Cox’s dismissal after he refused to drop his plan to subpoena tapes of the president’s conversations in the Oval Office. The firing prompted the two top Justice Department officials, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, to quit in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre.

The case concerned the possible involvement of Nixon and his aides in covering up the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex by burglars who turned out to have ties to Nixon’s re-election campaign. A Nixon aide, Alexander P. Butterfield, had revealed the existence of the secret tapes to a Senate investigative committee in July 1973.

In the upheaval that followed Mr. Cox’s dismissal — when it was not known whether the special prosecutor’s office would continue and, if it did, what powers it might have — Mr. Ruth was credited with holding the office together. He gathered the distraught staff around him and persuaded them to stay on and preserve the evidence, The New York Times reported.

On Nov. 1, Leon Jaworski, a prominent lawyer from Texas, became special prosecutor. Asking Mr. Ruth to remain as his deputy was his first piece of business, Mr. Jaworski wrote in “The Right and the Power: The Prosecution of Watergate” (1976). “He is a slender, mild-mannered man, so unassuming that some people, on first meeting, were inclined to misjudge his talents,” Mr. Jaworski wrote of Mr. Ruth.

In “The Final Days” (1976), Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote that Mr. Ruth had met privately with Leonard Garment, Nixon’s special counsel, to ask if Mr. Garment could persuade the president to resign. Mr. Garment said he had already tried and failed.

Under Mr. Jaworski, the prosecutors persuaded the Supreme Court to order that the tapes be turned over to prosecutors, and the top Nixon aides H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson and John N. Mitchell, the former attorney general, were either convicted or pleaded guilty.

As evidence mounted and the House of Representatives prepared articles of impeachment against the president, Nixon resigned on Aug. 8, 1974. President Gerald R. Ford issued a blanket pardon of Nixon the next month.

When Mr. Jaworski stepped down two months later, he urged that Mr. Ruth replace him. Mr. Ruth’s first act was to challenge part of the pardon deal that restricted his access to tapes. He won: the special prosecutor was given full access.

Mr. Ruth was special prosecutor until October 1975, when he issued a 277-page report on the Watergate investigation. It said prosecutors had thus far convicted or obtained guilty pleas from 55 individuals and 20 corporations. They had been unable to determine who was responsible for erasing 18 1/2 minutes of a Nixon tape that many thought might have been incriminating, the report said, even though “a very small number of people could have been responsible.”

The report disclosed that prosecutors had explored whether Ford’s pardon amounted to illegal interference with the mandate of the special prosecutor. But both Mr. Jaworski and Mr. Ruth concluded that the president’s power to pardon was stronger than the mandate.

Charles F. Ruff succeeded Mr. Ruth as the fourth and last special Watergate prosecutor.

Henry Swartley Ruth Jr. was born in Philadelphia on April 16, 1931; graduated from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania Law School; served two years in the Army; and worked as a private lawyer. He was a special attorney under Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. After teaching law at Penn for two years, he returned to the Justice Department in its research arm, the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. A year later, he became criminal justice coordinator for New York City under Mayor John V. Lindsay.

Mr. Ruth’s first marriage, to Christine Polk, ended in divorce. In addition to his wife, Ms. Mathieu, he is survived by his daughters, Deborah, Diana and Tenley Ruth, and three grandsons.

After his Watergate work, Mr. Ruth worked mainly in private practice. John Dean, a Nixon aide, wrote in his book “Blind Ambition: The White House Years” (1976) that he once asked Mr. Ruth what he planned to do in the future.

Mr. Ruth replied that he might do American Express commercials, of the sort that made fun of forgotten celebrities who had fallen from the limelight. “You may not remember me, but I’m the Watergate special prosecutor,” he said, holding up a credit card, as if he were in a commercial. “I used American Express all through Watergate, because nobody knew who I was,” he continued. “And they still don’t know who I am.”

    Henry S. Ruth, Who Helped Lead Watergate Prosecution, Dies at 80, NYT, 27.3.2012,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/us/henry-s-ruth-who-helped-lead-watergate-prosecution-dies-at-80.html

 

 

 

 

 

Newly Released Transcripts

Show a Bitter and Cynical Nixon in ’75

 

November 10, 2011
The New York Times
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and SCOTT SHANE

 

For 11 hours of secret grand jury testimony 36 years ago, Richard M. Nixon, a disgraced former president, fenced with prosecutors over his role in the Watergate scandals, bemoaned politics as a dirty business played by both sides and testily — as he described his own demeanor — suggested he was the victim of a special prosecutor’s office loaded with Democrats.

The testimony, which Nixon presumably thought would always remain secret, was released by the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., on Thursday in response to an order by a judge. The transcripts offered a remarkable portrait of Nixon after he left office: bitter at his disgrace and cynical about politics. He presented himself as a victim of governmental abuses by his enemies during his long career in politics, and said that prosecutors, with an eye to ingratiating themselves with the Washington media “and the Georgetown set,” were out to destroy him.

“In politics, some pretty rough tactics are used,” he said. “We deplore them all.”

At one point, as he denied that his White House had engaged in anything out of the ordinary, he spoke with grudging admiration of what he said were the hardball tactics used against him by the Kennedy White House, asserting that it had directed the I.R.S. and other government agencies to discredit him as he ran for governor of California.

“They were pretty smart, I guess,” he said. “Rather than using a group of amateur Watergate bugglers, burglars — well they were bunglers — they used the F.B.I., used the I.R.S. and used it directly by their own orders against, in one instance, a man who had been vice president of the United States, running for governor.”

By the time Nixon appeared at the grand jury, on June 23 and 24 of 1975, he had, by virtue of his pardon by Gerald R. Ford, immunity from any crimes he had committed, though he was still subject to perjury charges based on what he said to this grand jury. Nixon, a lawyer, repeatedly answered questions in a hedged and clipped manner, often saying he did not recall conversations, some of them just two years old.

“I never recall any income tax return; I never recall seeing any result of any of this done,” he said.

Nixon repeatedly reminded his questioners that he had been preoccupied with grave matters of state, including the war in Vietnam. He seemed aware of how much he was claiming a failure of memory. “I want the grand jurors to understand that when I say I don’t recognize something, it isn’t because I am trying want to duck a question,” he said.

Stanley J. Kutler, a historian whose years of litigation helped lead to the release of the material, said he expected no shocking revelations from Nixon’s testimony. But the hours of Nixon talking and sparring are a window on the personality of the 37th president.

“If you know the voice of Richard Nixon, it’s a virtuoso performance, from the awkward attempts at humor to the moments of self-pity,” said Mr. Kutler, emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. “It’s just terrific stuff.”

In the course of his testimony, Nixon appeared to flatly deny accusations that the White House had used the I.R.S. to try to discredit a sitting chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Lawrence O’Brien, and that he had an enemies list. Tim Naftali, the director of Mr. Nixon’s library, noted that in the Watergate exhibit on display there, there are tapes in which Nixon is heard ordering the use of tax audits against opponents and assembling an enemies list.

“The grand jury testimony sheds more light on President Nixon’s personality and character than it does on the remaining puzzles of Watergate,” Mr. Naftali said. “Even under the protections of grand jury secrecy, which was inviolate at that point, the president, it appears, was unwilling to be more forthright about his role in what the House Judiciary Committee determined were abuses of government power.”

Mr. Naftali noted that even with the protections of the grand jury testimony, Nixon did not answer what has been one of the biggest outstanding questions from the Watergate scandal: The reason for the 18 ½-minute gap in a tape recorded in the Oval Office.”

The distinctive Nixonian blend of pugnaciousness and self-pity comes through clearly in the 297 pages. Prosecutors’ tape experts were “these clowns.” He refers to G. Gordon Liddy, who headed the White House plumbers, as “a very bright young man in one way, very stupid in others.”

At another point, Nixon asserted that “as a result of my orders, and I gave them directly, that never to my knowledge was anybody in my responsibility for heckling” George McGovern, Nixon’s Democratic opponent in 1972.

“Now, actually my decision was not all that altruistic, to be quite honest,” Nixon said. “My decision was based on the fact that I didn’t think it would do any good. Why martyr the poor fellow? He was having enough trouble.”

Nixon even directed some humor at himself, as he recalled telling Alexander M. Haig Jr., to look into the 18 ½-minute gap on the White House tapes. “I said to him, ‘Let’s find out how this damn thing happened,’ ” Nixon said. “I am sorry, I wasn’t supposed to use profanity. You have enough on the tapes.”

Nixon returns again and again to the notion that he was singled out for conduct that was common in politics and public life.

He said he was the target of eavesdropping not just by Democrats but by the F.B.I.

“The F.B.I. was at one point directed to bug my plane,” he said, and J. Edgar Hoover, the F.B.I. director, “once told me that they did.”

Despite the decades that have passed, some passages were redacted because they contained still-classified information. Nixon told prosecutors that “only if there is an absolute guarantee that there will not be disclosure of what I say, I will reveal for the first time information with regard to why wiretaps were proposed, information which, if it is made public, will be terribly damaging to the United States.” But his disclosure appears to have been cut from the transcript.

In a ruling last July in historians’ litigation over the Nixon archives, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District Court in Washington said he believed that the historical importance of Nixon’s testimony justified a rare exception to the standard secrecy of grand jury records.

Nixon often flashed his disdain for the prosecutors, whether he was belittling the way they asked their questions or accusing them of being partisan. “You can play that trick all, all day,” Nixon admonished the prosecutor. “We can take all day on that. Ask the question properly.”

“I am not unaware that the vast majority of people working in the special prosecutor’s office did not support me for president,” he said.

 

Ian Lovett and John Schwartz contributed reporting.

    Newly Released Transcripts Show a Bitter and Cynical Nixon in ’75, NYT, 10.11.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/us/newly-released-transcripts-show-a-combative-richard-nixon.html

 

 

 

 

 

Nixon Resigns

 

By Carroll Kilpatrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 9, 1974
Page A01


Richard Milhous Nixon announced last night that he will resign as the 37th President of the United States at noon today.

Vice President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan will take the oath as the new President at noon to complete the remaining 2 1/2 years of Mr. Nixon's term.

After two years of bitter public debate over the Watergate scandals, President Nixon bowed to pressures from the public and leaders of his party to become the first President in American history to resign.

"By taking this action," he said in a subdued yet dramatic television address from the Oval Office, "I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America."

Vice President Ford, who spoke a short time later in front of his Alexandria home, announced that Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger will remain in his Cabinet.

The President-to-be praised Mr. Nixon's sacrifice for the country and called it "one of the vary saddest incidents that I've every witnessed."

Mr. Nixon said he decided he must resign when he concluded that he no longer had "a strong enough political base in the Congress" to make it possible for him to complete his term of office.

Declaring that he has never been a quitter, Mr. Nixon said that to leave office before the end of his term " is abhorrent to every instinct in my body."

But "as President, I must put the interests of America first," he said.

While the President acknowledged that some of his judgments "were wrong," he made no confession of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" with which the House Judiciary Committee charged him in its bill of impeachment.

Specifically, he did not refer to Judiciary Committee charges that in the cover-up of Watergate crimes he misused government agencies such as the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Internal Revenue Service.

After the President's address, Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski issued a statement declaring that "there has been no agreement or understanding of any sort between the President or his representatives and the special prosecutor relating in any way to the President's resignation."

Jaworski said that his office "was not asked for any such agreement or understanding and offered none."

His office was informed yesterday afternoon of the President's decision, Jaworski said, but "my office did not participate in any way in the President's decision to resign."

Mr. Nixon's brief speech was delivered in firm tones and he appeared to be complete control of his emotions. The absence of rancor contrasted sharply with the "farewell" he delivered in 1962 after being defeated for the governorship of California.

An hour before the speech, however, the President broke down during a meeting with old congressional friends and had to leave the room.

He had invited 20 senators and 26 representatives for a farewell meeting in the Cabinet room. Later, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater (R-Ariz.), one of those present, said Mr. Nixon said to them very much what he said in his speech.

"He just told us that the country couldn't operate with a half-time President," Goldwater reported. "Then he broke down and cried and he had to leave the room. Then the rest of us broke down and cried."

In his televised resignation, after thanking his friends for their support, the President concluded by saying he was leaving office "with this prayer: may God's grace be with you in all the days ahead."

As for his sharpest critics, the President said, "I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me." He called on all Americans to "join together . . . in helping our new President succeed."

The President said he had thought it was his duty to persevere in office in face of the Watergate charges and to complete his term.

"In the past days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort," Mr. Nixon said.

His family "unanimously urged" him to stay in office and fight the charges against him, he said. But he came to realize that he would not have the support needed to carry out the duties of his office in difficult times.

"America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress," Mr. Nixon said. The resignation came with "a great sadness that I will not be here in this office" to complete work on the programs started, he said.

But praising Vice President Ford, Mr. Nixon said that "the leadership of America will be in good hands."

In his admission of error, the outgoing President said: "I deeply regret any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision."

He emphasized that world peace had been the overriding concern of his years in the White House.

When he first took the oath, he said, he made a "sacred commitment" to "consecrate my office and wisdom to the cause of peace among nations."

"I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge," he said, adding that he is now confident that the world is a safer place for all peoples.

"This more than anything is what I hoped to achieve when I sought the presidency," Mr. Nixon said. "This more than anything is what I hope will be my legacy to you, to our country, as I leave the presidency."

Noting that he had lived through a turbulent period, he recalled a statement of Theodore Roosevelt about the man "in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood" and who, if he fails "at least fails while daring greatly."

Mr. Nixon placed great emphasis on his successes in foreign affairs. He said his administration had "unlocked the doors that for a quarter of a century stood between the United States and the People's Republic of China."

In the mideast, he said, the United States must begin to build on the peace in that area. And with the Soviet Union, he said, the administration had begun the process of ending the nuclear arms race. The goal now, he said, is to reduce and finally destroy those arms "so that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world." The two countries, he added, "must live together in cooperation rather than in confrontation."

Mr. Nixon has served 2,026 days as the 37th President of the United States. He leaves office with 2 1/2 years of his second term remaining to be carried out by the man he nominated to be Vice President last year.

Yesterday morning, the President conferred with his successor. He spent much of the day in his Executive Office Building hideaway working on his speech and attending to last-minute business.

At 7:30 p.m., Mr. Nixon again left the White House for the short walk to the Executive Office Building. The crowd outside the gates waved U.S. flags and sang "America" as he walked slowly up the steps, his head bowed, alone.

At the EOB, Mr. Nixon met for a little over 20 minutes with the leaders of Congress -- James O. Eastland (D-Miss.), president pro tem to the Senate; Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.), Senate majority leader; Hugh Scott (R-Pa.), Senate minority leader; Carl Albert (D-Okla.), speaker of the House; and John Rhodes (R-Ariz.), House minority leader.

It was exactly six years ago yesterday that the 55-year-old Californian accepted the Republican nomination for President for the second time and went on to a narrow victory in November over Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey.

"I was ready. I was willing. And events were such that this seemed to be the time the party was willing for me to carry the standard," Nixon said after winning first-ballot nomination in the convention at Miami Beach.

In his acceptance speech on Aug. 8, 1968, the nominee appealed for victory to "make the American dream come true for millions of Americans."

"To the leaders of the Communist world we say, after an era of confrontation, the time has come for an era of negotiation," Nixon said.

The theme was repeated in his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1969, and became the basis for the foreign policy of his first administration.

Largely because of his breakthroughs in negotiations with China and the Soviet Union, and partly because of divisions in the Democratic Party, Mr. Nixon won a mammoth election victory in 1972, only to be brought down by scandals that grew out of an excessive zeal to make certain he would win re-election.

Mr. Nixon and his family are expected to fly to their home in San Clemente, Calif. early today. Press secretary Ronald L. Ziegler and Rose Mary Woods, Mr. Nixon's devoted personal secretary for more than two decades, will accompany the Nixons.

Alexander M. Haig Jr., the former Army vice chief of staff who was brought into the White House as staff chief following the resignation of H.R. (Bob) Haldeman on April 30, 1973, has been asked by Mr. Ford to remain in his present position.

It is expected that Haig will continue in the position as staff chief to assure an orderly transfer of responsibilities but not stay indefinitely.

The first firm indication yesterday that the President had reached a decision came when deputy press secretary Gerald L. Warren announced at 10:55 a.m. that the President was about to begin a meeting in the Oval Office with the Vice President.

"The President asked the Vice President to come over this morning for a private meeting -- and that is all the information I have at this moment," Warren said.

He promised to post "some routine information, bill actions and appointments" and to return with additional information" in an hour or so."

Warren's manner and the news he had to impart made it clear at last that resignation was a certainty. Reports already were circulating on Capitol Hill that the President would hold a reception for friends and staff members late in the day and a meeting with congressional leaders.

Shortly after noon, Warren announced over the loudspeaker in the press room that the meeting between the President and the Vice President had lasted for an hour and 10 minutes.

At 2:20 p.m., press secretary Ziegler walked into the press room and, struggling to control his emotions, read the following statement:

"I am aware of the intense interest of the American people and of you in this room concerning developments today and over the last few days. This has, of course, been a difficult time.

"The President of the United States will meet various members of the bipartisan leadership of Congress here at the White House early this evening.

"Tonight, at 9 o'clock, Eastern Daylight Time, the President of the United States will address the nation on radio and television from his Oval Office."

The room was packed with reporters, and Ziegler read the statement with difficulty. Although his voice shook, it did not break. As soon as he had finished, he turned on his heel and left the room, without so much as a glance at the men and women in the room who wanted to question him.

There were tears in the eyes of some of the secretaries in the press office. Others, who have been through many crises in recent years and have become used to overwork, plowed ahead with their duties, with telephones ringing incessantly.

In other offices, loyal Nixon workers reacted with sadness but also with resignation and defeat. They were not surprised, and some showed a sense of relief that at last the battle was over.

Some commented bitterly about former aides H.R. (Bob) Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman. The President's loyal personal aide and valet Manola Sanchez, a Spanish-born immigrant from Cuba whose independence and wit are widely admired, did not hide his feelings.

Speaking bluntly to some of his old friends, he castigated aides he said had betrayed the President. One long-time official, who heard about the Sanchez remarks, commented: "They [Haldeman and Ehrlichman] tried three times to fire him because they couldn't control him. Imagine, trying to fire someone like Manola."

But why did the President always rely on Ehrlichman and Haldeman? The official was asked. "Will we ever know?" he replied. "When Mr. Nixon was Vice President," he recalled, "he demanded that we never abuse the franking privilege. If there was any doubt, we were to use stamps. Everything had to be above board.

"Surely his friendship with Ehrlichman and Haldeman was one of the most expensive in history."

But the President himself, said another long-time aide, must have been two persons, the one who was motivated by high ideals and another who connived and schemed with his favorite gut-fighters.

One man who worked through most of the first Nixon term said he saw the President angry only once. Often he would say, "That will be tough politically, but we must do the right thing."

When that official left his post after nearly four years of intimate association with the President, he told his wife: "I've never gotten to know what sort of man he is."

One official, who has known Mr. Nixon well for many years and remains a White House aide, commented: "He is obviously a bad judge of character. But a lot was accomplished. So much more could have been accomplished but for these fun and games. It was such a stupid thing to happen."

The march of events that brought about the President's downfall turned its last corner Monday when Mr. Nixon released the partial transcripts of three taped conversations he held on June 23, 1972 with Haldeman.

It seemed inevitable then that this would be his last week in office, yet he continued to fight back and to insist that he would not resign. On Tuesday, the President held a Cabinet meeting and told his official family that he would not resign.

On Wednesday, however, the end appeared near, for his support on Capitol Hill was disappearing at dizzying speed. There were demands from some of his staunchest supporters that he should resign at once.

Late Wednesday, the President met with Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R-Pa.), House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Barry M. Goldwater (R-Ariz.).

They said afterward that the President had made no decision, but it was obvious later that for all intents and purposes the decision had been made despite what the leaders said. They obviously could not make the announcement for him, but it must have been apparent to them that the end was at hand.

Later Wednesday, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger twice conferred with Mr. Nixon, first in the early evening for half an hour and then from 9:30 p.m. until midnight.

It was not known whether the two men were alone or accompanied by Haig and others.

Yesterday, Kissinger met with principal deputies in the State Department to tell them what to expect and to assign tasks to different people. Messages will be sent to heads of state to notify them formally of the change.

A White House spokesman said more than 10,000 telephone calls were received in the past two days expressing "disbelief and the hope that the President would not resign."

Thursday was a wet, humid August day, but despite intermittent rain the crowds packed the sidewalks in front of the White House. It was an orderly crowd, resigned and curious, watching newsmen come and go and being a part of a dramatic moment in the life of the nation.

    Nixon Resigns, By Carroll Kilpatrick, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, August 9, 1974; Page A01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52946-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

 

 

Judiciary Committee Approves

Article to Impeach President Nixon, 27 to 11

6 Republicans Join Democrats

to Pass Obstruction Charge

 

By Richard Lyons and William Chapman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 28, 1974; Page A01

 

The House Judiciary Committee took the momentous step last night of recommending that the president of the United States be impeached and removed from office.

The first such impeachment recommendation in more than a century, it charges President Nixon with unlawful activities that formed a "course of conduct or plan" to obstruct the investigation of the Watergate break-in and to cover up other unlawful activities.

The vote was 27 to 11, with 6 of the committee's 17 Republicans joining all 21 Democrats in voting to send the article to the House.

At least one other article accusing the President of abuse of power is expected to be approved Monday when the committee resumes.

But approval of a single article is all that is required to send the issue to the House. And approval of a single article by a majority of the House is enough to impeach the President and send the case to trial in the Senate, which could remove Mr. Nixon from office by a two-thirds vote.

The bipartisan support for the article adopted last night makes impeachment by the House seem more than likely. The majority included three conservative Southern Democrats and three conservative Republicans.

In San Clemente, Calif., White House press secretary Ronald L. Ziegler said after the vote that Mr. Nixon remains confident that the House will recognize he has not committed an impeachable offense.

But Senate Democratic Leader Mike Mansfield said he will meet Monday with Minority Leader Hugh Scott to launch formal Senate preparations for an impeachment trial.

"The line of demarcation has been reached," he said.

Most members of the Judiciary Committee cast their votes in low, solemn tones and afterward spoke almost in awe of what they had done.

"It's a grave and sobering decision," said Rep. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), who had managed the debate on Article I for the impeachment forces as an author of a substitute article.

"I don't feel very good about it," said Rep. Tom Railsback (R-Ill.), one of the key Republicans who voted against the President.

Some Republican opponents of impeachment were angry. "It's not only a bad day for the presidency, it's a bad day for American justice," said Rep. Delbert Latta (R-Ohio). He complained that the article of impeachment did not contain enough specific allegations.

"We have weakened the hand of the President and the 220 million people he represents," said Rep. Joseph Maraziti (R-N.J.), one of Mr. Nixon's most persistent supporters.

Other anti-impeachment Republicans vowed to fight the impeachment article when it comes to the House floor. "It's only Round One," said Rep. David W. Dennis (R-Ind.). "There'll be a good scramble in the House."

Even those whose impeachment votes were never in doubt voiced no sense of triumph. "I don't want to talk to anybody," Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-Tex.) said. "It's a terrible thing to happen to anybody," said Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.). "I'm not happy," said Chairman Peter W. Rodino (D-N.J.).

Just before the historic vote, Rep. Walter Flowers (D-Ala.) revealed for the first time he had decided to vote for impeachment. He said that after weeks of searching the facts and the Constitution "it is clear to me what I must do." He said some of his constituents would feel hurt by his vote against the president but he assured them that, "I probably have enough pain for both them and me."

Rep. Hamilton Fish (R-N.Y.) also disclosed he would vote for impeachment. He said he reached that point "with deep reluctance," but added. "The evidence is clear."

It took two votes -- one to substitute the amended Sarbanes version for the original resolution and then one to approve the impeachment article. The vote ended at 7:05 p.m.

The article specified nine categories of unlawful activities that were allegedly part of the cover-up.

"In all this," the article concluded, "Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

"Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial and removal from office."

During the four days of general debate and amending of the article, the principal witness was the absent President himself. Time after time, committee members picked up transcripts of taped presidential conversations to read back the President's words.

And even more often they would note a gap in the evidence caused by the President's refusal to comply with committee subpoenas that he turn over more tapes.

The articles of impeachment will go to the House headed by a resolution, which in its present draft form reads:

"Resolved, that Richard M. Nixon, president of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles be exhibited to the Senate: . . ."

The impeachment inquiry, which began seven months ago, was provoked principally by Watergate but other issues covered by a proposed Article II charging abuse of power cause more concern among some members.

Some Republicans are most concerned about allegations that Mr. Nixon misused such sensitive agencies as the Internal Revenue Service and the Central Intelligence Agency for political purposes.

Others are most concerned about Mr. Nixon's defiance of committee subpoenas, which is now included in Article II as a contempt of Congress count, but may be broken out into a separate article. An attempt may be made to offer a fourth article on tax evasion, but it is not expected to be approved.

The obstruction of justice article approved last night accuses Mr. Nixon of making false statements to investigators, withholding relevant evidence, approving or counseling perjury, interfering with the Justice Department's investigation, approving payment of hush money to Watergate defendants, passing on information about the investigation to his aides who were suspects, making false statements to the American people about White House involvement in Watergate and causing defendants to believe they might receive clemency for the silence.

The Democratic majority and a few Republicans spent the afternoon on national television reciting instance after instance in which they said Mr. Nixon and his former top aides withheld information on the cover-up and tried to interfere with various investigations.

The committee yesterday rejected a half dozen amendments that would have deleted most of the nine paragraphs in Article I alleging obstruction of justice.

It was a pro forma debate, insisted upon by Rep. Flowers who said the committee had an obligation to build a record describing the specific offenses committed by Mr. Nixon and his aides.

One major amendment was passed. It charged that Mr. Nixon had personally and through aides engaged in a "course of conduct" designed to obstruct investigation of the cover-up. That language replaced a charge, considered more difficult to prove, that Mr. Nixon had formulated a specific "policy" to obstruct justice.

Another amendment added "congressional committees" to the list of organizations whose investigations Mr. Nixon was alleged to have interfered with.

The sharp debate on evidence yesterday was in contrast to the rambling arguments that characterized Friday's committee deliberations.

The Republican minority Friday demanded more specific facts in the charges lodged against Mr. Nixon in Article I. Unprepared, the Democrats and a few Republicans tried to contend the impeachment article didn't need specific citations of evidence to back it up.

But yesterday the Democrats were prepared in depth to give specific reasons Mr. Nixon should be impeached for obstructing justice in the Watergate cover-up. Different members had been assigned the task of defending each numbered paragraph in the charge and obviously were delighted to pour out the evidence before a national television audience.

Rep. Charles Sandman (R-N.J.), the Republican who had sought Friday to strike each paragraph one by one, backed down quickly yesterday, acknowledged he lacked the votes to win, and said the committee should go ahead and vote on the whole article.

But Flowers insisted that the committee had to build a record of evidence and demanded a debate and vote on each of Sandman's amendments.

The first amendment Flowers offered yesterday was to eliminate a paragraph charging that the cover-up plan included "withholding relevant and material evidence of information (on the break-in) from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States."

Rep. William Cohen (R-Maine) promptly began rattling off evidence to show that Mr. Nixon and his top aides had withheld such information.

Cohen said that shortly after the June 17, 1972, break-in Mr. Nixon and his aide, John D. Ehrlichman, knew that men from the Committee for the Re-election of the President were involved. "These facts were withheld from the Attorney General and other investigators," he said.

There was also physical evidence in the White House -- a memo from H.R. Haldeman, chief of staff, a phone book containing E. Howard Hunt's name, and a copy of a political intelligence plan -- that was destroyed or altered, Cohen said.

He also recalled that former Attorney General John N. Mitchell told Mr. Nixon he was sorry he hadn't supervised more closely re-election committee employees who were involved and that Mr. Nixon had noted that information in one of his Dictabelt recollections.

Cohen also said that on March 13, 1973, Mr. Nixon was told that a White House aide, Gordon Strachman, had committed perjury, but he failed to report that information to investigators.

Reps. Dennis and Wiggins led the counter-attach, arguing that Cohen's list of evidence implicates Mr. Nixon's aides but not the President himself in withholding information.

Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Haldeman all had something to cover up, but the President didn't, Dennis said. He said the President didn't know anything about details of the cover-up until told of it on March 21, 1973, by his counsel, John W. Dean III.

Wiggins contended that even the famous March 21 conversation with Dean didn't implicate the President. He argued that, in context, the conversation showed Mr. Nixon anxious to have the policy of withholding," Wiggins said.

But Mr. Nixon had learned on March 13 of Strachan's perjury, countered Rep. John Seiberling (D-Ohio). "Did the President rise up in righteous indignation?" asked Seiberling. "He did nothing."

The move to strike the paragraph on withholding evidence was defeated on an overwhelming voice vote.

The only major substantive change in Article I voted yesterday was designed to make it more palatable in the Senate if Mr. Nixon should be brought to trial there.

Originally the article charged that Mr. Nixon "made it his policy" to obstruct the investigation of Watergate and to protect those responsible.

An amendment introduced by Railsback charged instead that the President engaged "in a course of conduct or plan designed" to impede and obstruct the investigation.

Railsback said he had difficulty believing that Mr. Nixon at any specific time formulated a policy of obstruction, but he said the record shows a "course of conduct" amounting to obstruction.

Dennis observed that Railsback's amendment cited a "plan" of obstruction and asked: "What's the difference between a policy and a plan?"

Railsback acknowledged he also had trouble judging the difference, but said that committee counsel believed that the word "policy" had the connotation of an "orchestrated" effort to obstruct.

"I believe that certain events occurred to which Mr. Nixon didn't respond or responded to in an improper way," Railsback added.

Did Railsback mean Mr. Nixon intentionally acted in such a way as to delay or impede the investigation? Wiggins wanted to know. Railsback said he meant that Mr. Nixon acted knowingly for the purpose of delaying and impeding it.

Rep. Wayne Owens (D-Utah) said he was satisfied that obstruction was a deliberate policy of the President but said that the new language would "make proof in the Senate easier."

Railsback's amendment was approved on a voice vote.

The only other substantive amendment was one by Rep. George E. Danielson (D-Calif.). It accused Mr. Nixon of interfering or trying to interfere with investigations by congressional committees. The original article had said he interfered with investigations by the Justice Department; the FBI, and the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.

Danielson charged that Mr. Nixon tried to interfere with the investigations planned or launched by the House Banking and Currency Committee, the Senate Watergate Committee, and the House Judiciary Committee.

Wiggins countered that there never was a Banking and Currency Committee investigation for Mr. Nixon to interfere with. The only evidence he tried to interfere with the Senate Watergate committee, Wiggins said, consisted of his considering withholding witnesses through claims of executive privilege, claims that were finally relinquished.

Danielson claimed Mr. Nixon interfered with the Judiciary Committee by withholding tapes and documents. Wiggins said the President was merely making a "good faith claim" to executive privilege by withholding these pieces of evidence.

Danielson's amendment was adopted 24 to 14, with supporters and opponents of impeachment winding up on both sides of the issue.

Two minor amendments offered by Rep. Lawrence Hogan (R-Md.) were approved on voice votes. One changed "illegal" entry to "unlawful" entry. Another related to a charge that the obstruction involved the making of false statements to investigators; Hogan's language added the phrase "or causing to be made."

After a mid-afternoon recess, Flowers agreed to limit debate to 20 minutes on each of his amendments to strike sections. And he passed over some without amendment. His amendments were beaten back by votes of better than 2 to 1. Flowers himself voted "Present," rather than no, to show he wasn't really trying to knock out the numbered charges, but rather to produce specific incidents of improper conduct.

Opposing an amendment to strike a section stating that the President condoned or counseled perjury. Rep. M. Caldwell Butler (R-Va.) read rapidly from the transcript of Dean's March 21, 1973, meeting with the President.

Butler noted that Dean told the President that Jeb Stuart Magruder and Herbert Porter, at the re-election committee, had committed perjury before the Watergate grand jury and that the President expressed no opposition to it. He also read from a March 27 transcript where the President's top aide, Haldeman, asked Mr. Nixon whether Dean "should stay with the old lie" and the President replied, "What would you advise him to do?"

Wiggins defending the President, said Mr. Nixon had learned of Magruder's and Porter's perjury after the fact and so had not "counseled" it. The section also contained the words "approving, condoning, acquiescing in . . ." Wiggins said "two reasonable possibilities" must be resolved in favor of the president.

Flower's pro forma effort to strike a section charging the President with attempting to interfere with the Justice Department and FBI Watergate investigation was strongly opposed by Hogan, a former FBI agent.

Hogan recited events starting June 23, 1973, when the President directed Haldeman and Ehrlichman to meet with top CIA officials and instruct them to relay to the FBI White House concern that the FBI Watergate investigation in Mexico might expose CIA activities there. The CIA reported back that there was no jeopardy to the CIA.

But the President's counsel, Dean, persisted in trying to keep the FBI out of Mexico, Hogan said. The reason, he said, was that the investigation would have traced money found on the Watergate burglars through a laundering process in Mexico and back to the re-election committee. After this, acting FBI Director Patrick Gray told Mr. Nixon his aides were trying to "mortally wound" him, but the President didn't even ask what he meant, Hogan said.

Wiggins responded that the President naturally had concern about possible CIA involvement in the Watergate break-in because of the CIA background of several of the burglars.

Wiggins said the President's concern was that covert CIA operations not be exposed, not that the trail of the money be covered.

And when Mr. Nixon talked with Gray, said Wiggins, he properly responded that Gray should "continue your investigation."

The President's critics try unreasonably to make something of a "perceptible pause" before Mr. Nixon replied to Gray's "mortally wound" remark, said Wiggins.

House Majority Leader Thomas p. O'Neill (D-Mass.) has repeatedly predicted that if the committee recommended impeachment, the House would vote to impeach the President by a margin of 50 votes or more.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are more liberal than House Democrats as a whole, and committee Republicans are more conservative than the House Republicans generally.

But Southern Democrats on the committee -- James R. Mann of South Carolina, Flowers of Alabama and Thornton of Arkansas -- are highly respected by their colleagues and should help make a vote for impeachment respectable among their Southern colleagues except for a relatively small group of about 25 conservatives who appear to have adopted an attitude of "never."

Similarly, committee Republicans like conservative Hogan, respected Southerner Butler, and Midwestern moderate Railsback, should be persuasive with various groups of Republicans in the House.

After the Judiciary Committee completes its work, it must write a report explaining to the House in detail why it has recommended impeachment. The committee will then go to the House Rules Committee a week later to get a resolution fixing ground rules for debate on the floor.

The House is expected to debate the articles about two weeks under the rule, permitting amendments as the committee procedure did, and vote about Aug. 24.

If the case goes to the Senate, the trial is expected to last about two months, preceded by a delay to permit the President's lawyers to prepare his defense.

    Judiciary Committee Approves Article to Impeach President Nixon, 27 to 11 > 6 Republicans Join Democrats to Pass Obstruction Charge, By Richard Lyons and William Chapman, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, July 28, 1974; Page A01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52788-2002Jun3&notFound=true , © 1974 The Washington Post Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Watergate Unfolded

 

Washington Post
Wednesday, June 1, 2005; A07

 

It began with a bungled burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex early on the morning of June 17, 1972, and the arrest of five suspects. A security guard named Frank Willis had discovered tape-covered door latches in a Watergate stairwell and had called the police.

Two of the five suspects arrested possessed address books with the entries "W. House" and "W.H.," scribblings that quickly linked them to two shadowy figures: E. Howard Hunt, a onetime CIA agent who had recently worked in the Nixon administration White House, and G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who was on the payroll of the Committee for the Reelection of the President, Richard M. Nixon's campaign organization.

Nixon dismissed the break-in as "that pipsqueak Watergate" and John N. Mitchell, the reelection chairman, denied any link. But over the next two years, the burglary metastasized into one of the biggest scandals and constitutional crises in modern U.S. history.

Ultimately, Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment, and more than 30 government and Republican campaign officials were convicted of charges including perjury, burglary, wiretapping and obstruction of justice.

Nixon and his top aides attempted to cover up involvement in the break-in and in other political dirty tricks and intelligence-gathering operations that were employed in the 1972 reelection victory over Democratic challenger George McGovern. While the media and members of Congress ignored or played down the significance of the break-in, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two young reporters on the metropolitan news staff of The Washington Post, doggedly pursued leads that led to the highest levels of government.

Woodward and Bernstein were greatly helped by "Deep Throat," a confidential source who was privy to the details of the FBI investigation. Yesterday, it was revealed that "Deep Throat" was W. Mark Felt, the FBI's acting associate director at the time. The Post published remarkable findings -- that a $25,000 cashier's check earmarked for the Nixon campaign wound up in the bank account of one of the burglars; that Mitchell, while serving as attorney general, controlled a secret fund for intelligence operations against the Democrats; and that John D. Ehrlichman, a top Nixon aide, supervised covert actions of a special unit known as the Plumbers that burglarized the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

Within months of Nixon's landslide victory, his administration and career began to unravel. On Jan. 30, 1973, Liddy and James W. McCord Jr., a former CIA employee and chief of security for Nixon's reelection campaign, were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. White House Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst resigned on April 30. The Senate Watergate committee began televised hearings in May. The following month, The Post reported that former White House counsel John W. Dean III told Watergate investigators he had discussed the cover-up with Nixon at least 35 times, and Alexander P. Butterfield, former presidential appointments secretary, testified to the Senate panel in July that Nixon secretly taped his conversations and telephone calls from 1971 on.

Nixon's firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox on Oct. 20 -- which triggered the resignation of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and his deputy -- and a unanimous Supreme Court ruling on July 24, 1974, telling Nixon to surrender 64 tape recordings, hastened the president's demise.

With the House bearing down on him and moving toward approval of three articles of impeachment, Nixon announced his resignation on Aug. 8, 1974.

    How Watergate Unfolded, Eric Pianin, WP, © 2005 The Washington Post Company, Wednesday, June 1, 2005; A07, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/31/AR2005053101425.html

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat"

 

Vanity Fair
By JOHN D. O'CONNOR

 

In a V.F. exclusive, W. Mark Felt, 91 years old and formerly second-in-command at the F.B.I., says that he is the confidential Watergate source who assisted Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—and helped bring down President Richard Nixon
On a sunny California morning in August 1999, Joan Felt, a busy college Spanish professor and single mother, was completing chores before leaving for class. She stopped when she heard an unexpected knock at the front door. Upon answering it, she was met by a courteous, 50-ish man, who introduced himself as a journalist from The Washington Post. He asked if he could see her father, W. Mark Felt, who lived with her in her suburban Santa Rosa home. The man said his name was Bob Woodward.

Woodward's name did not register with Joan, and she assumed he was no different from a number of other reporters, who had called that week. This was, after all, the 25th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon, disgraced in the scandal known as Watergate, and hounded from office in 1974. The journalists had all been asking whether her father—the number-two man in the F.B.I. during the Watergate years—was "Deep Throat," the legendary inside informant who, on the condition of anonymity, had systematically passed along clues about White House misdeeds to two young reporters. Joan figured that similar phone calls were probably being placed to a handful of other Deep Throat candidates.

These names, over the years, had become part of a parlor game among historians: Who in the top echelons of government had mustered the courage to leak secrets to the press? Who had sought to expose the Nixon administration's conspiracy to obstruct justice through its massive campaign of political espionage and its subsequent cover-up? Who, indeed, had helped bring about the most serious constitutional crisis since the 1868 impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson—and, in the process, changed the fate of the nation?

Joan was suddenly curious. Unlike the others, this reporter had come by in person. What's more, he claimed to be a friend of her father's. Joan excused herself and spoke to her dad. He was 86 at the time, alert though clearly diminished by the years. Joan told him about the stranger at the door and was surprised when he readily agreed to see "Bob."

She ushered him in, excused herself, and the two men talked for half an hour, Joan recalls. Then she invited them to join her for a drive to the market nearby. "Bob sat in the backseat," she says. "I asked him about his life, his job. He said he'd been out here on the West Coast covering [Arizona senator] John McCain's [presidential] campaign and was in Sacramento or Fresno"—four hours away—"and thought he'd stop by. He looked about my age. I thought, Gee, [he's] attractive. Pleasant too. Too bad this guy isn't single."

Woodward and Felt waited in the car while Joan popped into the grocery store. On the way home, Joan remembers, Woodward asked her, "Would it be all right to take your dad to lunch and have a drink?" She agreed. And so, once back at the house, Woodward left to get his car.

Joan, always looking after her dad's health, realized she should probably caution Woodward to limit her father to one or two drinks. Yet when she opened the front door, she could find neither the reporter nor his car. Puzzled, she decided to drive around the neighborhood, only to discover him outside the Felts' subdivision, walking into a parking lot of a junior high school some eight blocks from the house. He was just about to enter a chauffeured limousine. Joan, however, was too polite to ask Woodward why he had chosen to park there. Or why, for that matter, he had come in a limo.

That night her father was ebullient about the lunch, recounting how "Bob" and he had downed martinis. Joan found it all a bit odd. Her father had been dodging reporters all week, but had seemed totally comfortable with this one. And why had Woodward taken such precautions? Joan trusted her instincts. Though she still hadn't made the connection between Woodward, The Washington Post, and the Watergate scandal, she was convinced that this was a less than serendipitous visit.

Sure enough, in the years to follow, Mark Felt and his daughter, along with Joan's brother, Mark junior, and her son Nick, would continue to communicate with Woodward by phone (and in several e-mail exchanges) as Felt progressed into his 90s. Felt suffered a mild stroke in 2001. His mental faculties began to deteriorate a bit. But he kept his spirit and sense of humor. And always, say Joan, aged 61, and Mark junior, 58, Woodward remained gracious and friendly, occasionally inquiring about Felt's health. "As you may recall," Woodward e-mailed Joan in August of 2004, "my father [is] also approaching 91. [He] seems happy—the goal for all of us. Best to everyone, Bob."

Three years after Woodward's visit, my wife, Jan, and I happened to be hosting a rather lively dinner for my daughter Christy, a college junior, and seven of her friends from Stanford. The atmosphere had the levity and intensity of a reunion, as several of the students had just returned from sabbaticals in South America. Jan served her typical Italian-style feast with large platters of pasta, grilled chicken, and vegetables, and plenty of beer and wine. Our house, in Marin County, overlooks the San Rafael Hills, and the setting that spring evening was perfect for trading stories about faraway trips.

Nick Jones, a friend of Christy's whom I had known for three years, listened as I related a story about my father, an attorney who had begun his career in Rio during World War II by serving as an undercover F.B.I. agent. When talk turned to the allure and intrigue of Rio in the 40s, Nick mentioned that his grandfather, also a lawyer, had joined the bureau around that time and had gone on to become a career agent. "What's his name?," I asked.

"You may have heard of him," he said. "He was a pretty senior guy in the F.B.I. … Mark Felt."

I was blown away. Here was an enterprising kid who was working his way through school. He reminded me of myself in a way: an energetic overachiever whose father, like Nick's grandfather, had served as an intelligence agent. (Nick and I were both good high-school athletes. I went to Notre Dame, the University of Michigan Law School, class of '72, then joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco, ultimately landing at a highly respected Bay Area law firm.) I had taken Nick under my wing, encouraging him to consider studying to become a lawyer. And yet I had no idea that his grandfather was the same guy—long rumored as the infamous Deep Throat—whom I'd heard about for years from my days as a federal prosecutor. Felt had even worked with my early mentor, William Ruckelshaus, most famous for his role in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, of 1973. (When Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox subpoenaed nine Nixon tape recordings that he had secretly made in the Oval Office, the president insisted that Cox be fired. Rather than dismiss Cox, Nixon's attorney general, Elliot Richardson, and his deputy, Ruckelshaus, resigned in protest, becoming national heroes.)

Deep Throat, in fact, had been the hero who started it all—along with the two reporters he assisted, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (both of whom would go on to make their journalistic reputations, and riches, through their Watergate revelations). And my daughter's friend, I suspected, was the famous source's grandson. "Mark Felt!," I exclaimed. "You're kidding me. Your granddad is Deep Throat! Did you know that?"

Nick answered calmly, and maybe with an air of uncertainty, "You know, Big John, I've heard that for a long time. Just recently we've started to think maybe it's him."

We let the subject drop that night, turning to other matters. But a few days later Nick phoned and asked me, in my role as an attorney, to come over and meet his grandfather. Nick and his mother wanted to discuss the wisdom of Felt's coming forward. Felt, Nick said, had recently admitted his secret identity, privately, to intimates, after years of hiding the truth even from his family. But Felt was adamant about remaining silent on the subject—until his death—thinking his past disclosures somehow dishonorable.

Joan and Nick, however, considered him a true patriot. They were beginning to realize that it might make sense to enlist someone from the outside to help him tell his story, his way, before he passed away, unheralded and forgotten.

I agreed to see Mark Felt later that week.

The identity of Deep Throat is modern journalism's greatest unsolved mystery. It has been said that he may be the most famous anonymous person in U.S. history. But, regardless of his notoriety, American society today owes a considerable debt to the government official who decided, at great personal risk, to help Woodward and Bernstein as they pursued the hidden truths of Watergate.

First, some background. In the early-morning hours of June 17, 1972, five "burglars" were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex, along the Potomac River. Two members of the team were found to have address books with scribbles "W. House" and "W.H." They were operating, as it turned out, on the orders of E. Howard Hunt, a onetime C.I.A. agent who had recently worked in the White House, and G. Gordon Liddy, an ex–F.B.I. agent who was on the payroll of the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP, pronounced Creep, which was organizing Nixon's run against Senator George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat).

Funds for the break-in, laundered through a Mexican bank account, had actually come from the coffers of CRP, headed by John Mitchell, who had been attorney general during Nixon's first term. Following the break-in, suspicions were raised throughout Washington: What were five men with Republican connections doing with gloves, cameras, large amounts of cash, and bugging equipment in the Democrats' top campaign office?

The case remained in the headlines thanks to the dogged reporting of an unlikely team of journalists, both in their late 20s: Carl Bernstein, a scruffy college dropout and six-year veteran of the Post (now a writer, lecturer, and Vanity Fair contributor), and Bob Woodward, an ex–navy officer and Yale man (now a celebrated author and Post assistant managing editor). The heat was also kept on because of a continuing F.B.I. investigation, headed by the bureau's acting associate director, Mark Felt, whose teams interviewed 86 administration and CRP staffers. These sessions, however, were quickly undermined. The White House and CRP had ordered that their lawyers be present at every meeting. Felt believed that the C.I.A. deliberately gave the F.B.I. false leads. And most of the bureau's "write-ups" of the interviews were being secretly passed on to Nixon counsel John Dean—by none other than Felt's new boss, L. Patrick Gray. (Gray, the acting F.B.I. director, had taken over after J. Edgar Hoover's death, six weeks before the break-in.) Throughout this period, the Nixon camp denied any White House or CRP involvement in the Watergate affair. And after a three-month "investigation" there was no evidence to implicate any White House staffers.

The Watergate probe appeared to be at an impasse, the break-in having been explained away as a private extortion scheme that didn't extend beyond the suspects in custody. McGovern couldn't gain campaign traction with the issue, and the president was re-elected in November 1972 by an overwhelming majority.

But during that fateful summer and fall, at least one government official was determined not to let Watergate fade away. That man was Woodward's well-placed source. In an effort to keep the Watergate affair in the news, Deep Throat had been consistently confirming or denying confidential information for the reporter, which he and Bernstein would weave into their frequent stories, often on the Post's front page.

Ever cautious, Woodward and Deep Throat devised cloak-and-dagger methods to avoid tails and eavesdroppers during their numerous rendezvous. If Woodward needed to initiate a meeting, he would position an empty flowerpot (which contained a red construction flag) to the rear of his apartment balcony. If Deep Throat was the instigator, the hands of a clock would mysteriously appear on page 20 of Woodward's copy of The New York Times, which was delivered before seven each morning. Then they would connect at the appointed hour in an underground parking garage. (Woodward would always take two cabs and then walk a short distance to their meetings.) The garage afforded Deep Throat a darkened venue for hushed conversation, a clear view of any potential intruders, and a quick escape route.

Whoever Deep Throat might have been, he was certainly a public official in private turmoil. As the two Post reporters would explain in their 1974 behind-the-scenes book about Watergate, All the President's Men, Deep Throat lived in solitary dread, under the constant threat of being summarily fired or even indicted, with no colleagues in whom he could confide. He was justifiably suspicious that phones had been wiretapped, rooms bugged, and papers rifled. He was completely isolated, having placed his career and his institution in jeopardy. Eventually, Deep Throat would even warn Woodward and Bernstein that he had reason to believe "everyone's life is in danger"—meaning Woodward's, Bernstein's, and, presumably, his own.

In the months that followed, the Post's exposés continued unabated in the face of mounting White House pressure and protest. Deep Throat, having become more enraged with the administration, grew more bold. Instead of merely corroborating facts that the two reporters obtained from other sources, he began providing leads and outlining an administration-sanctioned conspiracy. (In the film version of the book, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman would portray Woodward and Bernstein, while Hal Holbrook assumed the Deep Throat role.)

Soon public outcry grew. Other media outlets began to investigate in earnest. The Senate convened riveting televised hearings in 1973, and when key players such as John Dean cut immunity deals, the entire plot unraveled. President Nixon, it turned out, had tape-recorded many of the meetings where strategies had been hashed out—and the cover-up discussed (in violation of obstruction-of-justice laws). On August 8, 1974, with the House of Representatives clearly moving toward impeachment, the president announced his resignation, and more than 30 government and campaign officials in and around the Nixon White House would ultimately plead guilty to or be convicted of crimes. In brief, Watergate had reaffirmed that no person, not even the president of the United States, is above the law.

Due in no small part to the secrets revealed by the Post, sometimes in consort with Deep Throat, the courts and the Congress have been loath to grant a sitting president free rein, and are generally wary of administrations that might try to impede access to White House documents in the name of "executive privilege." Watergate helped set in motion what would become known as the "independent counsel" law (for investigating top federal officials) and helped make whistle-blowing (on wrongdoings in business and government) a legally sanctioned, if still risky and courageous, act. Watergate invigorated an independent press, virtually spawning a generation of investigative journalists.

And yet, ever since the political maelstrom of Nixon's second term, Deep Throat has declined to reveal himself. He has kept quiet through seven presidencies and despite an anticipated fortune that might have come his way from a tell-all book, film, or television special. Woodward has said that Deep Throat wished to remain anonymous until death, and he pledged to keep his source's confidence, as he has for more than a generation. (Officially, Deep Throat's identity has been known only to Woodward, Bernstein, their former editor Ben Bradlee—and to Deep Throat himself.)

In All the President's Men, the authors described their source as a man of passion and contradiction: "Aware of his own weaknesses, he readily conceded his flaws. He was, incongruously, an incurable gossip, careful to label rumor for what it was, but fascinated by it. … He could be rowdy, drink too much, overreach. He was not good at concealing his feelings, hardly ideal for a man in his position." Even though he was a Washington creature he was "worn out" by years of bureaucratic battles, a man disenchanted with the "switchblade mentality" of the Nixon White House and its tactics of politicizing governmental agencies. Deep Throat was someone in an "extremely sensitive" position, possessing "an aggregate of hard information flowing in and out of many stations," while at the same time quite wary of his role as a confidential source. "Deep Throat," noted Woodward in a lecture in 2003, "lied to his family, to his friends, and colleagues, denying that he had helped us."

And as the years went on, Joan Felt had really begun to wonder whether her father might just be this courageous but tortured man.

Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1913, Mark Felt came of age at a time when the F.B.I. agent was an archetypal patriot—a crime-fighter in a land that had been torn by war, the Depression, and Mob violence. Raised in modest circumstances, the outgoing, take-charge Felt worked his way through the University of Idaho (where he was head of his fraternity) and the George Washington University Law School, married another Idaho grad, Audrey Robinson, then joined the bureau in 1942.

Dapper, charming, and handsome, with a full head of sandy hair that grayed attractively over the years, Felt resembled actor Lloyd Bridges. He was a registered Democrat (who turned Republican during the Reagan years) with a conservative bent and a common man's law-and-order streak. Often relocating his family, he would come to speak at each new school that Joan Felt attended—wearing a shoulder holster, hidden under his pinstripes. In the bureau, he was popular with supervisors and underlings alike, and enjoyed both scotch and bourbon, though he was ever mindful of Hoover's edicts about his agents' sobriety. Felt helped curb the Kansas City Mob as that city's special agent in charge, using tactics both aggressive and innovative, then was named second-in-command of the bureau's training division in 1962. Felt mastered the art of succinct, just-the-facts-ma'am memo writing, which appealed to the meticulous Hoover, who made him one of his closest protégés. In 1971, in a move to rein in his power-seeking head of domestic intelligence, William C. Sullivan, Hoover promoted Felt to a newly created position overseeing Sullivan, vaulting Felt to prominence.

While Felt rose through the ranks, his daughter, Joan, became decidedly anti-Establishment. As Joan's lifestyle changed, her father quietly but strongly disapproved, telling her that she and her peers reminded him of radical Weather Underground members—a faction he happened to be in the process of hunting down. Joan cut off contact with her parents for a time (she has been reconciled with her dad for more than 25 years now), retreating to a commune where, with a movie camera rolling, she gave birth to her first son, Ludi (Nick's brother, now called Will), a scene used in the 1974 documentary The Birth of Ludi. On one occasion her parents arrived at Joan's farm for a visit, only to find her and a friend sitting naked in the sun, breast-feeding their babies.

Joan's brother, Mark junior, a commercial pilot and retired air-force lieutenant colonel, says that at that stage their father was utterly absorbed in his work. "By the time he'd got to Washington," Mark recalls, "he worked six days a week, got home, had dinner, and went to bed. He believed in the F.B.I. more than anything else he believed in in his life." For a time, Mark says, his dad also served as an unpaid technical adviser to the popular 60s TV program The F.B.I., occasionally going onto the set with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who played an agent with responsibilities similar to Felt's. "He was a cool character," says the younger Felt, "willing to take risks and go outside of the rule book to get the job done."

In his little-known 1979 memoir, The F.B.I. Pyramid, co-written with Ralph de Toledano, Felt comes across as a down-to-earth counterpart to the imperious Hoover—a man Felt deeply respected. Hoover, in Felt's view, was "charismatic, feisty, charming, petty, giant, grandiose, brilliant, egotistical, industrious, formidable, compassionate, domineering"; he possessed a "puritanical" streak, the bearing of an "inflexible martinet," and obsessive habits. ("Hoover insisted on the same seats in the plane, the same rooms in the same hotels. [He had an] immaculate appearance … as if he had shaved, showered, and put on a freshly pressed suit for [every] occasion.") Felt, a more sociable figure, was still a man in the Hoover mold: disciplined, fiercely loyal to the men under his command, and resistant to any force that tried to compromise the bureau. Felt came to see himself, in fact, as something of a conscience of the F.B.I.

Well before Hoover's death, relations between the Nixon camp and the F.B.I. deteriorated. In 1971, Felt was called to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The president, Felt was told, had begun "climbing the walls" because someone (a government insider, Nixon believed) was leaking details to The New York Times about the administration's strategy for upcoming arms talks with the Soviets. Nixon's aides wanted the bureau to find the culprits, either through wiretaps or by insisting that suspects submit to lie-detector tests. Such leaks led the White House to begin employing ex-C.I.A. types to do their own, homespun spying, creating its nefarious "Plumbers" unit, to which the Watergate cadre belonged.

Felt arrived at the White House to confront an odd gathering. Egil "Bud" Krogh Jr., deputy assistant for domestic affairs, presided, and attendees included ex-spy E. Howard Hunt and Robert Mardian, an assistant attorney general—"a balding little man," Felt recalled, "dressed in what looked like work clothes and dirty tennis shoes … shuffling about the room, arranging the chairs and I [first] took him to be a member of the cleaning staff." (Mardian had been summoned to the West Wing from a weekend tennis game.) According to Felt, once the meeting began, Felt expressed resistance to the idea of wiretapping suspected leakers without a court order.

After the session, which ended with no clear resolution, Krogh's group began to have reason to suspect a single Pentagon employee. Nixon, nonetheless, demanded that "four or five hundred people in State, Defense, and so forth [also be polygraphed] so that we can immediately scare the bastards." Two days later, as Felt wrote in his book, he was relieved when Krogh told him that the administration had decided to let "the Agency," not the F.B.I., "handle the polygraph interviews. … Obviously, John Ehrlichman [Krogh's boss, Nixon's top domestic-policy adviser, and the head of the Plumbers unit] had decided to 'punish' the Bureau for what he saw as its lack of cooperation and its refusal to get involved in the work which the 'Plumbers' later undertook."

In 1972, tensions between the institutions deepened when Hoover and Felt resisted White House pressure to have the F.B.I. forensics lab declare a particularly damning memo a forgery—as a way of exonerating the administration in a corruption scandal. Believing that trumped-up forgery findings were improper, and trying to sustain the reputation of the F.B.I. lab, Felt claimed to have refused entreaties by John Dean. (The episode took on elements of the absurd when Hunt, wearing an ill-fitting red wig, showed up in Denver in an effort to extract information from Dita Beard, the communications lobbyist who had supposedly written the memo.)

Clearly, Felt harbored increasing contempt for this curious crew at the White House, whom he saw as intent on utilizing the Justice Department for their political ends. What's more, Hoover, who had died that May, was no longer around to protect Felt or the bureau's Old Guard, the F.B.I. chief having been replaced by an interim successor, L. Patrick Gray, a Republican lawyer who hoped to permanently land Hoover's job. Gray, with his eyes on that prize, chose to leave an increasingly frustrated Felt in charge of the F.B.I.'s day-to-day operations. Then came the break-in, and a pitched battle began. "We seemed to be continually at odds with the White House about almost everything," Felt wrote, regarding the dark days of 1972. He soon came to believe that he was fighting an all-out war for the soul of the bureau.

As the F.B.I. pushed on with its Watergate investigation, the White House threw up more and more barriers. When Felt and his team believed they could "trace the source of the money that had been in the possession of the Watergate 'burglars'" to a bank in Mexico City, Gray, according to Felt, "flatly ordered [Felt] to call off any interviews" in Mexico because they "might upset" a C.I.A. operation there. Felt and his key deputies sought a meeting with Gray. "Look," Felt recalled telling his boss, "the reputation of the FBI is at stake. … Unless we get a request in writing [from the C.I.A.] to forgo the [Mexico] interview, we're going ahead anyway!

"That's not all," Felt supposedly added. "We must do something about the complete lack of cooperation from John Dean and the Committee to Reelect the President. It's obvious they're holding back—delaying and leading us astray in every way they know. We expect this sort of thing when we are investigating organized crime. … The whole thing is going to explode right in the President's face."

At a subsequent meeting, according to Felt, Gray asked whether the investigation could be confined to "these seven subjects," referring to the five burglars, plus Hunt and Liddy. Felt responded, "We will be going much higher than these seven. These men are the pawns. We want the ones who moved the pawns." Agreeing with his team, Gray chose to stay the course and continue the probe.

Felt's book gives no indication that during this same period he decided to go outside the bounds of government to expose the corruption within Nixon's team—or to overcome the impediments they were placing on his ability to do his job. There are only scant clues that he might have decided to pass along secrets to The Washington Post; in fact, Felt makes a point of categorically denying he is Deep Throat. But, in truth, the White House had begun asking for Felt's head, even though Gray adamantly defended his deputy. Felt would write:

Gray confided to me, "You know, Mark, [Attorney General] Dick Kleindienst told me that I might have to get rid of you. He says White House staff members are convinced that you are the FBI source of leaks to Woodward and Bernstein." …

I said, "Pat, I haven't leaked anything to anybody. They are wrong!" …

"I believe you," Gray answered, "but the White House doesn't. Kleindienst has told me on three or four occasions to get rid of you but I refused. He didn't say this came from higher up but I am convinced that it did."

It is clear from the Watergate tapes that Felt was indeed one of the targets of Nixon's wrath. In October 1972, Nixon insisted he would "fire the whole Goddamn Bureau," and singled out Felt, whom he thought to be part of a plot to undermine him through frequent press leaks. "Is he a Catholic?" he asked his trusted adviser H. R. Haldeman, who replied that Felt was Jewish. (Felt, of Irish descent, is not Jewish and claims no religious affiliation.) Nixon, who sometimes suggested that a Jewish conspiracy might be at the root of his problems, seemed surprised. "Christ," he said, "[the bureau] put a Jew in there? … It could be the Jewish thing. I don't know. It's always a possibility."

It was Gray, however, not Felt, who became the fall guy. At Gray's confirmation hearings, in February 1973, he was abandoned by his onetime allies in the West Wing and was left to "twist slowly, slowly in the wind," in the words of Nixon aide John Ehrlichman. With Gray now gone, Felt had lost his last sponsor and protector. Next up was interim F.B.I. director Ruckelshaus, who ultimately resigned as assistant attorney general in Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre. Felt left the bureau that same year and went on the lecture circuit.

Then, in 1978, Felt was indicted on charges of having authorized illegal F.B.I. break-ins earlier in the decade, in which agents without warrants entered the residences of associates and family members of suspected bombers believed to be involved with the Weather Underground. The career agent was arraigned as hundreds of F.B.I. colleagues, outside the courthouse, demonstrated on his behalf. Felt, over the strong objections of his lawyers that the jury had been improperly instructed, claimed that he was following established law-enforcement procedures for break-ins when national security was at stake. Even so, Felt was convicted two years later. Then, in a stroke of good fortune while his case was on appeal, Ronald Reagan was elected president and, in 1981, gave Felt a full pardon.

Felt and his wife had always looked forward to a retirement where they could live comfortably and bask proudly in his accomplishments. But as he endured years of courtroom travails, they both felt betrayed by the country he had served. Audrey, always an intense person, suffered profound stress, anxiety, and nervous exhaustion, which both of them bitterly blamed on his legal troubles. Long after her early passing, in 1984, Felt continued to cite the strain of his prosecution as a major factor in the death of his wife.

A week after our festive dinner in 2002, Nick Jones introduced me to his mother, Joan Felt—dynamic and open-minded, high-strung and overworked, proud and protective of her father, slim and attractive (she had been an actress for a time)—and to his grandfather. Felt, then 88, was a chipper, easygoing man with a hearty laugh and an enviable shock of white hair. His eyes sparkled and his handshake was firm. Though he required the assistance of a metal walker on his daily rounds, having sustained a stroke the year before, he was nonetheless engaged and engaging.

I soon realized the urgency behind Nick's request. A few weeks before—possibly in anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in—a reporter for the Globe tabloid, Dawna Kaufmann, had called Joan to ask whether her father was actually Deep Throat. Joan talked briefly about Woodward's mysterious visit three years before. Kaufmann then wrote a piece headlined DEEP THROAT EXPOSED! In her story she quoted a young man by the name of Chase Culeman-Beckman. He had claimed, in a 1999 Hartford Courant article, that while attending summer camp in 1988 a young friend of his named Jacob Bernstein—the son of Carl Bernstein and writer Nora Ephron—had divulged a secret, mentioning that his father had told him that a man named Mark Felt was the infamous Deep Throat. Ephron and Bernstein, divorced by 1999, both asserted that Felt was the favorite suspect of Ephron's, and that Bernstein had never disclosed Deep Throat's identity. According to Bernstein's response at the time, their son was simply repeating his mother's guess. (When approached by reporters speculating about Deep Throat's identity, Woodward and Bernstein have consistently refused to divulge it.)

Soon after the Globe article appeared, Joan Felt received a frantic phone call from Yvette La Garde. During the late 1980s, following his wife's death, Felt and La Garde had become close friends and frequent social companions. "Why is he announcing it now?" a worried La Garde asked Joan. "I thought he wouldn't be revealed until he was dead."

Joan pounced. "Announcing what?" she wanted to know.

La Garde, apparently sensing that Joan did not know the truth, pulled back, then finally owned up to the secret she had kept for years. Felt, La Garde said, had confided to her that he had indeed been Woodward's source, but had sworn her to silence. Joan then confronted her father, who initially denied it. "I know now that you're Deep Throat," she remembers telling him, explaining La Garde's disclosure. His response: "Since that's the case, well, yes, I am." Then and there, she pleaded with him to announce his role immediately so that he could have some closure, and accolades, while he was still alive. Felt reluctantly agreed, then changed his mind. He seemed determined to take his secret with him to the grave.

But it turned out that Yvette La Garde had also told others. A decade before, she had shared her secret with her eldest son, Mickey, now retired—a fortunate confidant, given his work as an army lieutenant colonel based at NATO military headquarters (requiring a top-secret security clearance). Mickey La Garde says he has remained mum about the revelation ever since: "My mom's condo unit was in Watergate and I'd see Mark," he recalls. "In one of those visits, in 1987 or '88, she confided to [my wife] Dee and I that Mark had, in fact, been the Deep Throat that brought down the Nixon administration. I don't think Mom's ever told anyone else."

Dee La Garde, a C.P.A. and government auditor, corroborates her husband's account. "She confessed it," Dee recalls. "The three of us might have been at the kitchen table in her apartment. There's no question in my mind that she identified him. You're the first person I've discussed this with besides my husband."

The day of her father's grand admission, Joan left for class, and Felt went for a ride with Atama Batisaresare, an assisted-living aide. Felt, as a rule, exhibited a calm demeanor, letting his thoughts wander from one topic to another. On this trip, however, so Batisaresare later told Joan and me, Felt became highly agitated and focused on one subject, which sort of came out of the blue. The caregiver now recalls, in his thick Fijian accent, "He did tell me, 'An F.B.I. man should have loyalty to the department.' He talked about loyalty. He didn't mention he was a Deep Throat. He told me he didn't want to do it, but 'it was my duty to do it, regarding Nixon.'" (Felt would frequently return to this theme. While watching a Watergate TV special that month, he and Joan heard his name come up as a Deep Throat candidate. Joan, trying to elicit a response, deliberately questioned her father in the third person: "Do you think Deep Throat wanted to get rid of Nixon?" Joan says that Felt replied, "No, I wasn't trying to bring him down." He claimed, instead, that he was "only doing his duty.")

On that Sunday in May when I first met Mark Felt, he was particularly concerned about how bureau personnel, then and now, had come to regard Deep Throat. He seemed to be struggling inside with whether he would be seen as a decent man or a turncoat. I stressed that F.B.I. agents and prosecutors now thought Deep Throat a patriot, not a rogue. And I emphasized that one of the reasons he might want to announce his identity would be for the very purpose of telling the story from his point of view.

Still, I could see he was equivocating. "He was amenable at first," his grandson Nick recalls. "Then he was wavering. He was concerned about bringing dishonor to our family. We thought it was totally cool. It was more about honor than about any kind of shame [to] Grandpa. … To this day, he feels he did the right thing."

At the end of our conversation, Felt seemed inclined to reveal himself, but refused to commit. "I'll think about what you have said, and I'll let you know of my decision," he told me very firmly that day. In the meantime, I told him, I would take on his cause pro bono, helping him find a reputable publisher if he decided to go that route. (I have written this piece, in fact, after witnessing the decline of Felt's health and mental acuity, and after receiving his and Joan's permission to reveal this information, normally protected by provisions of lawyer-client privilege. The Felts were not paid for cooperating with this story.)

Our talks dragged on, however. Felt told Joan that he had other worries. He wondered "what the judge would think" (meaning: were he to expose his past, might he leave himself open to prosecution for his actions?). He seemed genuinely conflicted. Joan took to discussing the issue in a circumspect way, sometimes referring to Deep Throat by yet another code name, Joe Camel. Nevertheless, the more we talked, the more forthright Felt became. On several occasions he confided to me, "I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat."

He also opened up to his son. In previous years, when Felt's name had come up as a Deep Throat suspect, Felt had always bristled. "His attitude was: I don't think [being Deep Throat] was anything to be proud of," Mark junior says. "You [should] not leak information to anyone." Now his father was admitting he had done just that. "Making the decision [to go to the press] would have been difficult, painful, and excruciating, and outside the bounds of his life's work. He would not have done it if he didn't feel it was the only way to get around the corruption in the White House and Justice Department. He was tortured inside, but never would show it. He was not this Hal Holbrook character. He was not an edgy person. [Even though] it would be the most difficult decision of his life, he wouldn't have pined over it."

At one lunch at a scenic restaurant overlooking the Pacific, Joan and Mark sat their father down to lay out the case for full, public disclosure. Felt argued with them, according to his son, warning them not to betray him. "I don't want this out," Felt said. "And if it got in the papers, I'd guess I'd know who put it there." But they persisted. They explained that they wanted their father's legacy to be heroic and permanent, not anonymous. And beyond their main motive—posterity—they thought that there might eventually be some profit in it. "Bob Woodward's gonna get all the glory for this, but we could make at least enough money to pay some bills, like the debt I've run up for the kids' education," Joan recalls saying. "Let's do it for the family." With that, both children remember, he finally agreed. "He wasn't particularly interested," Mark says, "but he said, 'That's a good reason.'"

Felt had come to an interim decision: he would "cooperate," but only with the assistance of Bob Woodward. Acceding to his wishes, Joan and I spoke to Woodward by phone on a half-dozen occasions over a period of months about whether to make a joint revelation, possibly in the form of a book or an article. Woodward would sometimes begin these conversations with a caveat, saying, more or less, "Just because I'm talking to you, I'm not admitting that he is who you think he is." Then he'd express his chief concerns, which were twofold, as I recall. First, was this something that Joan and I were pushing on Felt, or did he actually want to reveal himself of his own accord? (I interpreted this to mean: was he changing the long-standing agreement the men had kept for three decades?) Second, was Felt actually in a clear mental state? To make his own assessment, Woodward told Joan and me, he wanted to come out and sit down with her father again, not having seen him since their lunch.

"We went through a period where he did call a bit," Joan says of her discussions with Woodward. (Nick says he sometimes answered the phone and spoke with him, too.) "He's always been very gracious. We talked about doing a book with Dad, and I think he was considering. That was my understanding. He didn't say no at first. … Then he kept kind of putting me off on this book, saying, 'Joan, don't press me.' … For him the issue was competency: was Dad competent to release him from the agreement the two of them had made not to say anything until after Dad died? At one point I said, 'Bob, just between you and me, off the record, I want you to confirm: was Deep Throat my dad?' He wouldn't do that. I said, 'If he's not, you can at least tell me that. We could put this to rest.' And he said, 'I can't do that.'"

Joan says that during this period Woodward had at least two phone conversations with Felt "without anyone else listening. Dad's memory gradually has deteriorated since the original lunch they had, [but] Dad remembered Bob whenever he called. … I said, 'Bob, it's unusual for Dad to remember someone as clearly as you.'" She says that Woodward responded, "He has good reason to remember me."

Woodward spoke with Mark junior at his home in Florida, as well. "He called me and discussed whether or not, and when, to visit Dad," he says. "I asked him briefly, 'Are you ever going to put this Deep Throat issue public?' And he said, essentially, that he made promises to my dad or someone that he wouldn't reveal this. … I can't imagine another reason why Woodward would have any interest in Dad or me or Joan if Dad wasn't Deep Throat. His questions were about Dad's present condition. Why would he care so much about Dad's health?"

According to Joan, Woodward scheduled two visits to come and see her father and, so she hoped, to talk about a possible collaborative venture. But he had to cancel both times, she says, then never rescheduled. "That was disappointing," she says. "Maybe [he was] just hoping that I would forget about it."

Today, Joan Felt has only positive things to say about Bob Woodward. "He's so reassuring and top-notch," she insists. They still stay in touch by e-mail, exchanging good wishes, their relationship engendered by a bond her father had forged in troubled times.

Nowadays, Mark Felt watches TV sitting beneath a large oil painting of his late wife, Audrey, and goes for car rides with a new caregiver. Felt is 91 and his memory for details seems to wax and wane. Joan allows him two glasses of wine each evening, and on occasion the two harmonize in a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." While Felt is a humorous and mellow man, his spine stiffens and his jaw tightens when he talks about the integrity of his dear F.B.I.

I believe that Mark Felt is one of America's greatest secret heroes. Deep in his psyche, it is clear to me, he still has qualms about his actions, but he also knows that historic events compelled him to behave as he did: standing up to an executive branch intent on obstructing his agency's pursuit of the truth. Felt, having long harbored the ambivalent emotions of pride and self-reproach, has lived for more than 30 years in a prison of his own making, a prison built upon his strong moral principles and his unwavering loyalty to country and cause. But now, buoyed by his family's revelations and support, he need feel imprisoned no more.

John D. O'Connor is a San Francisco attorney. This is his first piece for Vanity Fair.

Illustrations by TIM SHEAFFER

    "I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat", Vanity Fair, copié 20.5.2005, http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/articles/050530roco02


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watergate > timeline

 

 

 

 

November 5, 1968

Richard Milhous Nixon, the 55-year-old former vice president who lost the presidency for the Republicans in 1960, reclaims it by defeating Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39496-2002May31.html

 

 

 

January 21, 1969

Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A48644-2002Jun14&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 23, 1970

Nixon approves a plan for greatly expanding domestic intelligence-gathering by the FBI, CIA and other agencies. He has second thoughts a few days later and rescinds his approval.

 

 

 

June 13, 1971

The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers - the Defense Department's secret history of the Vietnam War. The Washington Post will begin publishing the papers later that same week.

 

 

 

September 3, 1971

he White House "plumbers" unit - named for their orders to plug leaks in the administration - burglarizes a psychiatrist's office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

 

 

 

June 17, 1972

Five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A42006-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

June 19, 1972

A GOP security aide is among the Watergate burglars, The Washington Post reports. Former attorney general John Mitchell, head of the Nixon reelection campaign, denies any link to the operation. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A42023-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

August 1, 1972

A $25,000 cashier's check, apparently earmarked for the Nixon campaign, wound up in the bank account of a Watergate burglar, The Washington Post reports. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52809-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

September 29, 1972

John Mitchell, while serving as attorney general, controlled a secret Republican fund used to finance widespread intelligence-gathering operations against the Democrats, The Post reports. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A53021-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

October 10, 1972

FBI agents establish that the Watergate break-in stems from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of the Nixon reelection effort, The Post reports. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A53077-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

November 7, 1972

Nixon is reelected in one of the largest landslides in American political history, taking more than 60 percent of the vote and crushing the Democratic nominee, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A53217-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

January 30, 1973

Former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. Five other men plead guilty, but mysteries remain. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A40719-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

April 30, 1973

Nixon's top White House staffers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resign over the scandal. White House counsel John Dean is fired. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A40926-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

May 18, 1973

The Senate Watergate Committee begins its nationally televised hearings. Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson taps former solicitor general Archibald Cox as the Justice Department's special prosecutor for Watergate. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A41932-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

June 3, 1973

John Dean has told Watergate investigators that he discussed the Watergate cover-up with President Nixon at least 35 times, The Post reports. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A41955-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

June 13, 1973

Watergate prosecutors find a memo addressed to John Ehrlichman describing in detail the plans to burglarize the office of Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, The Post reports. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A41983-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 13, 1973

Alexander Butterfield, former presidential appointments secretary, reveals in congressional testimony that since 1971 Nixon had recorded all conversations and telephone calls in his offices. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52641-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 18, 1973

Nixon reportedly orders the White House taping system disconnected.

 

 

 

July 23, 1973

Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential tape recordings to the Senate Watergate Committee or the special prosecutor. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52672-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

October 20, 1973

Saturday Night Massacre: Nixon fires Archibald Cox and abolishes the office of the special prosecutor. Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus resign. Pressure for impeachment mounts in Congress. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A53162-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

November 17, 1973

Nixon declares, "I'm not a crook," maintaining his innocence in the Watergate case. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A53333-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

December 7, 1973

The White House can't explain an 18 ½-minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes. Chief of Staff Alexander Haig says one theory is that "some sinister force" erased the segment. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A53399-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

April 30, 1974

The White House releases more than 1,200 pages of edited transcripts of the Nixon tapes to the House Judiciary Committee, but the committee insists that the tapes themselves must be turned over. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A41868-2002May31&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 24, 1974

The Supreme Court rules unanimously that Nixon must turn over the tape recordings of 64 White House conversations, rejecting the president's claims of executive privilege. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52736-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 27, 1974

House Judiciary Committee passes the first of three articles of impeachment, charging obstruction of justice. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52788-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

August 8, 1974

Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to resign. Vice President Gerald R. Ford assumes the country's highest office. He will later pardon Nixon of all charges related to the Watergate case. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52946-2002Jun3&notFound=true

 

 

 

June 13, 2002

Stanley L. Greigg, 71, the former Democratic National Committee official who filed the original criminal complaint against the Watergate burglars, dies in Salem, Va. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A57903-2002Jun15&notFound=true

 

 

 

June 25, 2002

One week after the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, an alternative theory of what prompted the most famous burglary in American political history returns to U.S. District Court. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A39194-2002Jun24&notFound=true

 

 

 

February 10, 2003

Ronald Ziegler, 63, who as President Richard M. Nixon's press secretary at first described the Watergate break-in as a "third-rate burglary," a symbol of his often-testy relations with reporters, dies after a heart attack. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A55072-2003Feb11&notFound=true

 

 

 

April 8, 2003

In one of the largest such purchases in American history, the University of Texas at Austin buys the Watergate papers of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for $5 million, the university announced. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52875-2003Apr7&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 16, 2003

Chesterfield Smith, 85, a prominent Florida lawyer who, as president of the American Bar Association in 1973, became a critic of President Richard Nixon's efforts to avoid the stains of the Watergate scandal, dies in a hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., after a heart attack. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A8889-2003Jul17&notFound=true

 

 

 

July 27, 2003

Thirty years after the Senate select committee hearings on Watergate riveted the nation and doomed the Nixon presidency, a key figure in the scandal says he has a fresh and explosive revelation: Richard M. Nixon personally ordered the burglary of Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A51085-2003Jul26&notFound=true

 

 

 

August 24, 2003

John J. Rhodes, 86, an Arizona Republican who as minority leader of the House of Representatives played a critical role in the events leading to the 1974 resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, dies of cancer at his home in Mesa, Ariz. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A45206-2003Aug25&notFound=true

 

 

 

October 31, 2003

Thomas F. McBride, 74, an associate prosecutor in the Watergate investigation and former inspector general of the Agriculture and Labor departments, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage while walking his dog in a park near his home in Portland, Ore. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/watergate/chronology.htm

 

 

 

November 13, 2003

Congressional negotiators agree to undo part of a Watergate-era law that prevented former president Richard M. Nixon from taking his tapes and papers with him, but say the records would still have to be processed here before being released to establish the presidential library that Nixon and his family always wanted. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A33652-2003Nov12&notFound=true

 

 

 

December 11, 2003

National Archives and Records Administration release 240 more hours of tape of the 37th president. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A54767-2003Dec10&notFound=true

 

 

 

April 9, 2004

Helen M. Smith, 84, who worked at the White House as press secretary and trusted aide to first lady Pat Nixon during the turbulent Watergate years, dies of vascular disease at her home in Washington. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A13359-2004Apr14&notFound=true

 

 

 

May 27, 2004

Transcripts of telephone conversations released show President Richard M. Nixon jokingly threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on Capitol Hill in March 1974 as Congress was moving to impeach him over the Watergate scandal. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58802-2004May26.html

 

 

 

May 29, 2004

Archibald Cox, 92, the Harvard law professor and special prosecutor whose refusal to accept White House limits on his investigation of the Watergate break-in and coverup helped bring about the 1974 resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, dies at his home in Brooksville, Maine. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1755-2004May29.html

 

 

 

May 29, 2004

Samuel Dash, 79, the chief counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee whose televised interrogation into the secret audiotaping system at the White House ultimately led to President Richard M. Nixon's resignation, dies of multiple organ failure May 29 at Washington Hospital Center. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1603-2004May29.html

 

 

 

July 29, 2004

Frederick Cheney LaRue, 75, the shadowy Nixon White House aide and "bagman" who delivered more than $300,000 in payoffs to Watergate conspirators, dies of coronary artery disease in a Biloxi, Miss., motel room, where he lived. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22711-2004Jul28.html

 

 

 

January 22, 2005

Rose Mary Woods, 87, the Nixon White House secretary whose improbable stretch was supposed to account for part of an 18 ½-minute gap in a crucial Watergate tape, dies at a nursing home in Alliance, Ohio, where she lived. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30678-2005Jan23.html

 

 

 

February 4, 2005

Thousands of pages of notes, memos, transcripts and other materials collectively known as the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers opens to the public at the University of Texas, minus the most fascinating detail connected to the demise of the Nixon administration: the identity of Deep Throat. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61824-2005Feb3.html

 

 

 

February 5, 2005

James Joseph Bierbower, 81, a well-known Washington lawyer who represented Nixon campaign aide Jeb Stuart Magruder during the Watergate trials and EPA official Rita Lavelle during a Superfund inquiry, dies of at Charlotte Hall Nursing Home in St. Mary's County. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12579-2005Feb9.html

 

 

 

February 18, 2005

Robert R. Merhige Jr., a judge who who wrote the decision that threw out the appeals of Watergate figures G. Gordon Liddy, Bernard Barker and Eugenio Martinez after they were convicted of breaking into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist dies. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38599-2005Feb19.html

 

 

 

May 31, 2005
The Washington Post confirms that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was "Deep Throat," after Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous source. Post Story > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/31/AR2005053100655.html

Revisiting Watergate,
Chronology > © 2002-2005 The Washington Post Company, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/watergate/chronology.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > History

 

Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994)

37th President of the United States 1969-1974

 

 

USA > 20th, early 21st century > Timeline in pictures

 

 

 

 

Related

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/index.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-nixon

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/watergate

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/books/
bob-woodward-last-of-the-presidents-men-review.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/deadlineusa/2009/jun/23/
richard-nixon-watergate-tapes

 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/jun/03/
pressandpublishing.usnews1

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1977/01/05/
archives/all-the-presidents-men-makes-it-2-in-a-row.html

 

 

 

 

Kenneth Harry Dahlberg        1917-2011

 

Mr. Dahlberg became the unwitting link

between the Nixon re-election campaign

and the five men who,

only days before Nixon’s remark,

were charged with breaking

into the Democratic National Committee headquarters

at the Watergate complex in Washington.

 

He had been a fund-raiser

or Nixon’s re-election campaign,

and his name was on a $25,000 cashier’s check

that had been deposited in the bank account

of one of the burglars, Bernard L. Barker.

 

The money was to help cover the burglars’ expenses,

and Mr. Barker had withdrawn that amount in $100 bills.

 

He was carrying more than $5,000

when he was arrested on June 17.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/us/
kenneth-h-dahlberg-watergate-figure-and-wwii-ace-dies-at-94.html

 

 

 

 

In Tapes, Nixon Rails About Jews and Blacks        NYT        10 December 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/us/politics/11nixon.html

 

 

 

 

James Robert Mann        1920-2010

 

South Carolina congressman

who played a critical role

in drafting the articles of impeachment

against Richard M. Nixon

and emerged as one of the South’s

most eloquent voices on the matter

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/us/politics/23mann.html

 

 

 

 

William Bart Saxbe        1916-2010

 

Attorney General during Watergate inquiry

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/us/25saxbe.html