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used it in a good-faith effort to acquaint people, his aides, with the fact that there were allegations against them, or whether he used it corruptly, with bad motives, to interfere with the investigation and to assist the people under investigation in rebuffing and resisting the investigation instituted against them. That was my understanding of his testimony.
The second point I just wanted to touch on briefly occurred to me when Dick Cates talked about Strachan and the President's activity with respect to Strachan and to April 14, I just wảnted to remind the committee that it was on March 13 that John Dean told the President that Strachan knew about the break-in in advance and John Dean told the President on March 13 that Strachan had lied. And he said that it was a matter of personal loyalty for Strachan to lie, that he did not have to be asked to lie; he just did it.
Then on the night of March 21, when the President dictated his recollections of the events of the day, he said that Strachan has been a courageous fellow through all of this and that he had knowledge of the matter.
Then on April 14, in the events that Mr. Cates was discussing, the President says, after hearing the report of what Magruder is going to say about his contracts with Strachan, he tells both Haldeman and Ehrlichman to get with Strachan and to cover these points.
Late that night he talks to Ehrlichman on the telephone at 11:55, and he says, be sure you are going to meet with Strachan, be sure you put him through–I think the phrase is "a little wringer.”
Mr. GILL. There is one other thing along the lines of what Ms. Holtzman asked with reference to Petersen, the dimension of whether the President goes forward and tells Petersen what he knows relates to the issue of the Fielding break-in. You recall Mr. Petersen told him about it on April 18. He presented the Silbert memorandum and said, Mr. President, do you know anything about this or where I can get information?
He answered, no, you stay out of that, that is national security. And he turned it off.
Mr. Petersen said, Mr. President, do you know where I can get information? And the President's answer was, no, I do not.
Of course, the President had been informed about it as far back as March 17 without any dispute by Dean. He told the Acting Attorney General, in essence, that he did not know where there was any information on the subject.
So there is a dimension to the relationship to Petersen that in addition to it as a direct issue, how it relates to the coverup of other activities, whether he is using Petersen as a part of covering up things or conduct related to a coverup.
Mr. DENNIS. Mr. Chairman, I think we have to be careful here to keep in mind what we are doing. The question is whether we have got an impeachable offense.
Now, if you have got a situation on one hand where the President of the United States is deliberately obstructing justice, intentionally leaking information to putative defendants so as to help them to get off the hook, taking active measures to that end and with that intent-as Mr. Davis says, the intent is all important that is one thing.
Establishing to our individual satisfaction that maybe he did not act
completely as we would like to see a gentleman act in every relationship of life or that he did not tell Henry Petersen everything he knew at some given point in the course of their conversation is something else again.
Let's not get too enthusiastic here. This is a case of circumstantial evidence and circumstantial evidence is all right, but it can be argued both ways and will be, and if you are going to have a case of impeachment that will stand up on circumstantial evidence, you have got first the problem that the prosecution always has. You have the burden of proof.
Second, you have got the problem with the House and the American people that you are talking about the President, and they are not all going to take every intendment against him, you know, even if maybe some of us do.
I just throw that out.
Mr. SEIBERLING. I wonder if the gentleman recognizes the distinction between the President and just any other gentleman, because it isn't the question of whether it isn't the kind of thing for a gentleman to do, but he is the President of the United States who is in a unique position, who is charged with administering and executing the laws, and yet he is withholding information.
Mr. HUNGATE. Will the gentleman yield!
Mr. Dennis, if the gentleman will yield on that, I don't forget he's different, but I don't necessarily think it's a criminal offense, because he doesn't tell Petersen that he's listened to a tape. Now, maybe he should and maybe he shouldn't. I am talking about whether it is an offense. After all, he is the chief law enforcement officer himself, and he may be deciding whether or not to fire these guys and this and that. And just whether he didn't tell Petersen something at some point in time is not conclusive of anything.
Mr. DRINAN. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. SEIBERLING. The question is whether it is compatible with the constitutional mandate that he faithfully execute the laws, and that's really what we have to decide.
The CHAIRMAN. We are going to have to say all this in 5 more minutes, because I am going to bang the gavel in 5 minutes.
Mr. HUNGATE. Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman? I think the gentleman from Indiana makes to some extent the same point that the gentleman from Ohio is making. The President is different, and we must recognize that the inferences will not all be drawn against him. They will be drawn for him in some cases, and for him because he is the President in some cases. It is a real problem.
Mr. Drinan. Mr. Chairman, I want to hear these people who know so much about this case, and I would like them also to go into the two areas where I think Mr. Doar said they wanted to cover. Did you?
Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, maybe Mr. Dennis can get some of his Republican colleagues together when we adjourn and we might have an informal briefing to go over some of these more serious questions that we are considering.
Mr. DENNIS. I don't see many of my Republican colleagues here. I am the most enthusiastic man you have got.
Mr. Doar. We had completed the matters we wanted to cover.
Mr. DRINAN. Well, there are other areas. Have you touched upon every single item in the book?
Mr. DOAR. No.
Mr. DRINAN. Well, I have questions about some of the others, but we can defer them until another time.
Mr. Doar. Let me say, Mr. Chairman, that any staff members here at the table over the weekend, and Monday and Tuesday next week, are available to meet with the members individually, in small groups, or however the chairman wishes on any particular subject that the members wish.
Mr. Fish. Mr. Chairman, I understand that we are meeting Monday at 2 p.m. for a business session?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, we are going to first meet at 10:30 on Monday morning to hear Mr. Garrison. Mr. Garrison will have his briefing to present at that time, and following that, in the afternoon, we will dispose of the business matters, and some of the matters will relate to procedures that will be adopted, and each of you has, I think, a set of the proposed procedural resolution that we intend to consider and hopefully we may adopt some form of this so that we have very orderly debate and together with that we may have to consider at that time, since it is on the agenda, if the House will have acted on the question as to whether or not to permit live television and that will be a matter that could be appropriately before the committee. Plus the releasing of the other materials, such as the political memoranda which has as yet not been formally released by the committee.
Mr. Fish. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was particularly concerned as to—we meet Mr. Garrison on Monday morning, and we all received quite a large brief from Mr. St. Clair late in the afternoon yesterday, and I found today and yesterday with counsel to be extremely helpful and was hoping that at some point prior to Wednesday, following our chance to read Mr. St. Clair's brief, and following Mr. Garrison's presentation, that we would have a chance to come back with the full complement of counsel, perhaps on Tuesday, to have further sessions such as this one.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean as an informal group?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am sure that if it would be helpful, then, fine, we will do so.
Incidentally, it was hoped that rather than this kind of a setup, we could have and this was a suggestion by Mr. Mann, which unfortunately we couldn't at all implement, but I thought it was a good suggestion--we could have sat around the table and discussed this across the table, but we couldn't get a custodian and the microphone and the table, so we weren't able to implement that kind of a plan.
Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Mann. I just wanted to agree with you that I found this very helpful and that perhaps certainly Tuesday as a minimum, we can
continue this sort of thing, and the chairman has suggested, mentioned, if we could put a rectangular set of tables out here with proper audioand I don't know how we can do that—we might have a very, very useful discussion. We might have a discussion that will actually lead us into a discussion of the multiple articles that we have. Otherwise, I see the more formalized television appearance of this committee as being somewhat chaotic and drawn out and I think that a discussion of the type that we are carrying on here, directed towards the articles that we have, could substantially narrow the issues and keep some rather extreme positions from being brought up, really. And in our formal debate, by eliminating them by consensus earlier—and I think Tuesday is late enough to do that, perhaps even Monday afternoon after our business we can do that, and to some extent do it after our session Monday morning, or Monday:
The CHAIRMAN. Or Monday evening. Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman? Mr. SEIBERLING. Mr. Chairman ! The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rangel. Mr. RANGEL. In following that up, that we do it without the benefit of a stenographer, that we just get together informally where we can just make our exchanges as lawyers and members rather than abide by the somewhat formal rules of procedure.
Mr. SEIBERLING. Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that's fine. I think that that can be helpful. Mr. Seiberling.
Mr. SEIBERLING. I just wanted to find out whether we are going to get any presentation of the kind we have just been through with respect to the issues of the impoundment and the secret bombing of Cambodia, which we did cover inthe evidentiary presentation?
Mr. HOGAN. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. HOGAN. I just want to say if we are not going to go by the rules, I think we ought to all agree to leave all weapons before we come into the session.
Mr. SEIBERLING. Could we have an answer to my question, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the Chair had not expected that there would be any further presentation other than these informal briefing sessions had developed, and thought that we would highlight these now. I think that you are always free to request further briefings, and I think staff has already indicated that.
Mr. Hogan. Mr. Chairman, the real reason I sought recognition is a housekeeping suggestion. At the end of each year the House gives us trunks in which to put some of our materials, and if we have any money left over from our budget, I would recommend that provisions be made for extra trunks for members of this committee to take care of all of the materials.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure that we can make an appropriate request of the Clerk of the House. Mr. Hogan. I thank the Chair. The CHAIRMAN. The committee now stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:03 p.m., the committee was recessed until Monday, July 22, 1974, at 10:30 a.m.]
MONDAY, JULY 22, 1974
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
, D. The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:50 a.m., in room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (chairman) presiding.
Present: Representatives Rodino (presiding), Donohue, Brooks, Kastenmeier, Edwards, Hungate, Conyers, Eilberg, Waldie, Flowers, Nann, Sarbanes, Seiberling, Danielson, Drinan, Rangel, Jordan, Thornton, Holtzman, Owens, Mezvinsky, Hutchinson McČlory, Smith, Sandman, Railsback, Wiggins, Dennis, Fish, Mayne, Hogan, Butler, Cohen, Lott, Froelich, Moorhead, Maraziti, and Latta.
Impeachment inquiry staff present: John Doar, special counsel; Samuel Garrison III, special counsel to the minority; Albert E. Jenner, Jr., senior associate special counsel; Richard Cates, senior associate special counsel; Bernard W. Nussbaum, senior associate special counsel; Evan A. Davis, counsel; and Ben A. Wallis, Jr., counsel.
Committee staff present: Jerome M. Zeifman, general counsel; Garner J. Cline, associate general counsel; Alan A. Parker, counsel; Daniel L. Cohen, counsel; William P. Dixon, counsel, Arden B. Schell, assistant counsel; Franklin G. Polk, associate counsel, Thomas E. Mooney, associate counsel; Michael W. Blommer, associate counsel.
Also present: James D. St. Clair, special counsel to the President; John A. McCahill, assistant special counsel; and Malcolm J. Howard, assistant special counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. Good morning.
As had been previously noted we were scheduled to hear Mr. Garrison and I understand that Mr. Garrison is ready to present his briefing, and as we did in the case of Mr. Doar, the Chair hopes that we would permit Mr. Garrison to go on and to complete his statement before any questions are directed. Mr. Garrison.
Mr. Garrison. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and ladies and gentlemen of the committee. Good morning.
First, I would like to thank the chairman and the committee for giving me this opportunity to present views relating to the question of the impeachment of the President. I distributed to you a little cartoon that appeared in the newspaper this morning, and I did it for two reasons. One, frankly I think it is funny, but secondly, to the extent that one would take a serious connotation to the concluding frame of that cartoon, I would like to utilize that device to express a contrary view. As a member of the staff, having sat through just about every ses