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Interview of Carl Shoffler on December 3, 1973

Douglas Caddy

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Note: Reproduced below is the Watergate Special Prosecution Force memorandum of their interview with Carl Shoffler on December 3, 1973. This document was obtained from the U.S. National Archives and bears its official stamp. Several points need to be made with reference to the memorandum: Shoffler’s last name is misspelled as Schoffler throughout the document. Sgt. Paul Leeper’s last name is misspelled as Leper. The fourth paragraph contains four redactions; these redactions deal with my name. However, for whatever reason, my name was not redacted in the last sentence in that paragraph or in the following paragraph and appears in the document.

The Watergate Special Prosecution Force interviewed Robert Merritt in depth on three occasions before their sole, two-page interview of Carl Shoffler. The Force’s ten-page, single-spaced memorandum dated November 20, 1973 opens as follows: “Earl Robert Merritt, accompanied by his attorney, David Isbell, was interviewed on three occasions. On October 18 and 19, 1973, Merritt was interviewed by Martin and Hecht; on November 1, 1973, Merritt was interviewed by Martin and Akerman. Merritt is a former informer for the Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI, and on one occasion, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division of the Treasury Department.” It should be noted that Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox was present for a period of time at the October 19th Merritt interview, which was the day before Cox was fired in the Saturday Night Massacre.

Shoffler in his subsequent interview states that he “introduced Merritt to FBI Agents O’Connor and Tucker and it took about a week for them to find that he was a xxxx.” However, in preparation for writing his book Merritt obtained hundreds of documents from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). One of these documents is dated 3/22/72 and addressed to “Director, FBI” and states in regard to Merritt that “During the period the informant has been contacted, he has shown no signs of emotional instability or unreliability. He has maintained very regular contact and there has been no indication that he has furnished any false information.” Another FBI document obtained under FOIA dated 4-12-72 and addressed to FBI SAC R.C Kunkel, states: “The file pertaining to the above-captioned informant has been reviewed by the Inspection Staff, and the informant has been rated as Excellent.”

These facts should be kept in mind while reading the Force’s interview of Carl Shoffler, a/k/a Carl Schoffler.





Date: December 20, 1973

To: Files

From: Frank Martin

Subject: Interview of Carl Schoffler

Sgt. Carl Schoffler of the Metropolitan Police Department was interviewed on December 3, 1973, by Horowitz, Akerman and Martin. Horowitz advised Shoffler of his right to counsel and his right to remain silent and Schoffler voluntarily provided the following information.

From 1970 until April 1973, Schoffler worked in the Second District as a TAC officer doing semi-undercover work on street crime. Schoffler stated that he did not normally report on intelligence information but would occasionally do so if while he was working on street crime he came across any information of interest to Intelligence. Schoffler stated that he met Robert Merritt, whom he knew as Robert Chandler, in 1970 and that Merritt did some informant work on street crime for him. Schoffler stated that Merritt was giving him information almost every day and did provide some good criminal investigation work. Schoffler noted that he once provided a notebook [redacted] and was accused of various rapes and that the notebook showed the addresses of various places where this individual had been accused of committing rapes. Schoffler stated that he saw Merritt every three or four days for almost two years.

Concerning May Day, Schoffler stated that he occasionally supplied information on May Day and would phone the Intelligence office and give the information to whomever answered the phone. Schoffler stated that he had some contracts with ATF and with the FBI but none with regard to May Day. Schoffler also worked some on crowd control during May Day. Schoffler introduced Merritt to Scrapper, and Merritt worked with Scrapper and with Dixie Gildon. Schoffler noted that Acree, who headed much of the Intelligence work, did not like Schoffler.

Schoffler was questioned concerning the incident involving [redacted]. Schoffler stated that at some time after the Watergate arrests, Schoffler and Leper were in their car and met Merritt near his residence at 2121 P Street. Schoffler stated that he had first seen [redacted] the day after the Watergate arrests when [redacted] came to represent the Cubans. When Schoffler and Leper met Merritt, Merritt stated that he might know [redacted] and Merritt had an article from the newspaper with a picture of [redacted] on it. Schoffler told Merritt to let him know if Merritt found out who [redacted] was and if he was “funny”, i.e. homosexual. Schoffler stated that this was an off-hand comment and he never expected Merritt to do anything, and Merritt never told Schoffler anything about Caddy.

Schoffler stated that in the summer of 1973, after he testified in the Watergate hearings, Schoffler met Merritt. Merritt stated that he made all sorts of calls to Senators concerning Watergate and the Caddy incident with Schoffler. Schoffler stated that he told Merritt that if he, Merritt, reported a crime then that was one thing, but that if he reported something that was only in his head it was going to come back to him. Schoffler said that he did not in any way threaten Merritt.

Schoffler stated that he introduced Merritt to FBI Agents O’Connor and Tucker and that it took a week for them to find out he was a xxxx. Schoffler stated that of the leads that Merritt gave, only perhaps one in ten or twenty would turn out to be of any value but that Schoffler always followed the leads because of that one in twenty chance. Schoffler stated that he had never worked with Ann Koelgo.

cc: Chron





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