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MONDAY, JUNE 24, 1974
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:50 a.m., in room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (chairman) presiding:
Present: Representatives Rodino (presiding), Brooks, Kastenmeier, Edwards, Hungate, Conyers, Eilberg, Waldie, Flowers, Mann, Sarbanes, Seiberling, Danielson, Drinan, Rangel, Jordan, Thornton, Holtzman, Owens, Mezvinsky, McClory, Smith, Sandman, Railsback, Wiggins, Dennis, Fish, Hogan, Butler, Cohen, Lott, Froehlich, Moorhead, Maraziti, and Latta.
Impeachment inquiry staff present: John Doar, special counsel; Albert E. Jenner, Jr., special counsel to the minority ; Samuel Garrison III, deputy minority counsel; Evan A. Davis, counsel.
Committee staff present: Jerome M. Zeifman, general counsel; Garner J. Cline, associate general counsel; and Franklin G. Polk, associate counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order.
The members have today's agenda before them. I would like to advise that since we have now reached the end of the presentation or the initial evidentiary phase of the inquiry, today and for several days just ahead, we will be making some basic decisions regarding the committee's future course and it is the hope of the Chair that we will proceed to make these choices with an eye toward concluding the deliberations of this committee sometime in the latter part of July. In order that we fulfill our responsibility to conduct a fair and thorough inquiry and accommodating the need to come to as prompt a conclusion as is consistent with that responsibility, I think it would be important for us to bear in mind that we will have to try to compress a good many matters that are going to be considered within a time frame which I am sure the members realize is a necessity for
Today we are going to consider the request for subpena authorizations and the limitation of the President's counsel to respond to the presentation. Tomorrow we will be considering the question of the release or publication of materials developed during the evidentiary phase of this inquiry and the question as to the witnesses who will be called before this committee. I am hopeful that we may be able to determine that after today's meeting, Mr. St. Clair will be invited to
respond with his initial evidentiary presentation himself by Thursday of this week and that following this, we will be able to, next week sometime, begin the calling of witnesses. That matter, of course, will be decided upon tomorrow sometime.
[Committee business unrelated to the impeachment inquiry has been omitted.]
I recognize the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Eilberg.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Chairman, I move that the chairman be authorized to send a letter to Chairman Fulbright responding to the Foreign Relations Committee's request of June 13 to make available any documents or other information in possession of the committee relating to Dr. Kissinger's role in the wiretapping operation. Such response will advise Chairman Fulbright that the Department of Justice has informed our counsel that it has forwarded directly to the Foreign Relations Committee all material respecting Dr. Kissinger that it has furnished to the Judiciary Committee.
Mr. McCLORY. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire!
This would involve sending a letter to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and would indicate that we have no objection to any materials being received by his committee, but subject to any objections that any other agency might have. Is that about it?
The CHAIRMAN. That is correct. As the gentleman knows, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a letter to me as chairman on June 13 requesting material which we have in our possession relating to some of the matters discussed during the phase of our wiretapping inquiry. The counsel for the impeachment inquiry was directed to discuss this matter with the Justice Department. The Justice Department has advised special counsel that it has already furnished directly to the Senate committee all the relevant material it has furnished to us. I would so advise Chairman Fulbright.
Mr. McClory. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, because I want to be sure that our committee does not impose any impediment whatever to Dr. Kissinger's vindication or exoneration of any charges or allegations that have been made regarding his individual conduct. Just so we are offering our cooperation and certainly not indicating that we are blocking any kind of clarification of this subject.
The CHAIRMAN. The question occurs on the motion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania. All those in favor of the motion, please say aye.
[Chorus of "ayes.")
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I propose to offer motions for four subpenas—first on ITT, second on the dairy industry's contributions, third on domestic surveillance, and fourth on the Internal Revenue Service. These four subpenas are to this same extent. A copy of the subpena and the attachment giving the detailed request for information and data is in each member's folder. Already delivered in our offices has been a detailed justification of each of these four separate subpenas, plus there is this, of course. We who have attended the executive meetings know that most of this material is
required as a result of the presentation of data that we have already heard in executive session and while that material has not been reproduced in the justification because of the confidentiality provisions under which this committee operates, it is known to the members. I would at this time, Mr. Chairman, move that the Committee on the Judiciary authorize and direct the issuance and service upon Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, of a subpena to be signed by the chairman, the text of which is at the desk and copies of which are now before the members of the committee, being the one on the ITT operation.
Mr. McCLORY. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. BROOKS. I will be pleased to yield to my distinguished friend from Illinois.
Mr. McClory. The question I have with regard to this subpena and with regard to all the subpenas being presented this morning is this: Have we previously directed a letter to the President requesting the furnishing of these materials which was sent pursuant to the joint agreement of the chairman and the ranking minority member
Mr. Brooks. I am not certain. I am sure that it was fruitless if we did. But counsel could tell us. Have we written a letter?
Mr. Doar. With respect to the matters requested in the ITT and milk price support subpenas, we have written that letter.
With respect to the matters in the IRS subpena, we have requested that from Mr. St. Clair, the 17 minutes of the tape of the meeting following the meeting on September 15 between John Dean, the President, and Mr. Haldeman. We have not requested the meeting between Mr. Haldeman and the President prior, immediately prior to the meeting with John Dean.
With respect to the matters on domestic surveillance, we have not written a letter to Mr. St. Clair with respect to some of these matters, because these matters just recently came to our attention. They relate to a number of conversations, particularly between the President, Mr. Colson, and Mr. Haldeman during the summer of 1971 and between the President and Mr. Ehrlichman in September 1971. They relate to matters that were developed for the committee and information that came to our attention after the President advised the committee that he would not honor or respond to any further subpenas.
Mr. DENNIS. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. DENNIS. Mr. Chairman, I have supported most of the subpenas here on the theory that it is our duty to obtain all the information we can obtain, and I may support these on the same theory. But I am faced with this problem: I have heard the evidence, for instance, on the ITT that we have had here—you all have. However that evidence may be characterized, it has not seemed to me to establish any kind of an impeachable offense at this point or even to indicate it very much. But whatever it is, the basic conversations we have had before us. Now, it is very difficult-here you get the justifications, of course, the morning of the hearing, and I am not saying that we can do any better, but I wish we could. They are awfully long and I would like to know what I am doing. What I am wondering is, what are we asking for here that we have not already had? What is there here that we really need, that we have not already had put before us on this subject?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Jenner.
Mr. JENNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In response, Mr. Dennis, on ITT, the only thing that is new is sub-B.
Mr. Dennis. Sub-B of the subpena now?
Mr. JENNER. Of the schedule, I should say. It is the third page of the ITT subpena. Those are copies of the daily news summaries that were compiled by the White House staff members during February 22, 1972, through June 9, 1972, and
Mr. Dennis. Well, if I may ask counsel, if sub-B of the subpena is the only thing new, what are we subpenaing A-1 through 12 for?
Mr. JENNER. We are subpenaing those, Mr. Dennis, because pursuant to the practice that the committee has pursued, instead of asking for a subpena based upon the letter that we sent to the President, that the committee have the evidentiary material that was presented so you would have more information with regard to the pertinence after the items requested in the schedule supporting this subpena.
Mr. WIGGINS. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Wiggins. Counsel, the material subpenaed, proposed for subpena with respect to ITT, all relate to times and events after the decision was made to not pursue the appeal and settle the case. Is that correct?
Mr. JENNER. That is correct, sir.
Mr. WIGGINS. All right, now. I take it, then, that the subpenas are attempting to develop evidentiary material on some theory other than a corrupt bargain.
Mr. JENNER. That is correct.
Mr. JENNER. That theory is, Congressman Wiggins, that during the course of Mr. Kleindienst's confirmation proceedings before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, various statements were made by Mr. Kleindienst to that committee, if I may use the word "mistaken" rather than a more severe word, mistaken statements made by Mr. Kleindienst before that committee. Whether those statements came to the attention of the President and if so, then what did the President do or not do in that respect, and in addition to the materials actually presented to you, it was determined by the staff to recommend to you that we also obtain copies of the news summaries that the staff was in the habit of preparing each day with regard to the reports in the press.
Mr. Wiggins. That is to establish Presidential knowledge? Is that the purpose of it?
Mr. JENNER. Yes; for your consideration and the consideration of all members of the committee as an item bearing upon your ultimate decision as to whether or not and the extent to which the President had knowledge.
Mr. WIGGINS. Well, then, all of this relates to a theory that if the President had knowledge that Mr. Kleindienst testified falsely before the Senate, that it perhaps is impeachable with respect to the President because of his failure to do something at that point; is that correct?
Mr. JENNER. That is correct, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the motion.
Mr. Lott. First of all, Mr. Chairman, this motion would include all four subpenas; is that correct?
The CHAIRMAN. No, no, this motion is addressed only to the I.T. & T.
Mr. JENNER. No; I was holding my finger up to indicate it was one subpena.
Mr. Lott. Have we received any additional material, whether subpenaed or requested, have we recently received any material from the White House through Mr. St. Clair?
Mr. Doar. We received the transcript of the April 4, 1972, conversation between the Presidont and John Mitchell, an edited transcript.
Mr. Lott. Now, explain to me why we are again, this time for the first time, including in the subpenas materials which have previously not been requested.
Mr. JENNER. Congressman Lott, in part, perhaps, an oversight on the part of the staff of something that we-we had it in mind but we did not include it in the letter. The thrust of it did not come home to us really seriously until we were in the course of presenting the evidentiary material to you. And since the issue presented is the possible knowledge of the President, when we learned and began to think more seriously about it, that here was a practice of preparing daily news summaries for the President to scan, it occurred to us that the staff had an obligation, a professional responsibility to this committee, to draw your attention to that additional source of information which you might consider. So we have included it in this subpena.
Mr. Lort. Is this material in the subpenas, has it all been-have you received some sort of refusal from counsel or more or less just no response ? Refusal or no response.
Mr. JEXXER. Refusal, Congressman.
Mr. Lott. Let us dream for a minute that we might get this material under this subpena. What would you intend to do with it, based on any projected schedule that we might have? In other words, would we again go into the type of meetings that we have been having? Would you present us with an additional book or would this just be supplementary material? How would it be handled? I am just trying to get to the point of what we are going to do.
Mr. JENNER. Obviously, Mr. Lott, we would not expect this to be hearing material received from other committees of the Congress or grand jury material. This would be material which we would not feel would need to be presented in executive session. What we would do, as we anticipate, is assemble the material in a booklet distributed to the members of the committee.
Mr. Lott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SANDMAN. Mr. Jenner, I intend to vote for all of these subpenas, as I have all of the others. But I was wondering on the "B"