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In The First Hour of Watergate

Douglas Caddy

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10 minutes ago, Douglas Caddy said:

You have rushed to a judgment based on reading only the Introduction to my forthcoming book, IN THE FIRST HOUR OF WATERGATE. The book will have approximately twenty chapters. I have finished writing the first ten. A lot more evidence and information will be provided in the remaining chapters. 

Here is a key sentence from my Introduction: "Houston and Angleton recognized immediately that they had been presented a unique opportunity utilizing Hunt to co-op the Republican burglary plan to use it to drive Nixon from office, which would end the immediate threat to the agency posed by the Huston Plan and an even more far serious one."

Mr. Caddy, I haven't rushed to judgment on anything, but I certainly do not take seriously your claim that aliens had something to do with not only the Kennedy assassination but Nixon's removal from office ...

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Here is the tentative list of remaining chapters of my book that I will be writing:

Chapter 9: What Woodward and Bernstein told me in Houston on 9/25/2014

Chapter 10: Lane Lewis and his key actions in the Watergate case and in the Lawrence vs. Texas case

Chapter 11: Profiles of Gordon Liddy, Howard Hunt and Robert M. Scott

Chapter 12: In their Own Words by Key Persons in Watergate

Chapter 13: Who was Carl Shoffler?

Chapter 14: How the CIA Set-Up the Burglars for Arrest

Chapter 15: Robert Merritt's Two Sworn Affidavits

Chapter 16: Senator Howard Baker's Report on the CIA's Role in Watergate

Chapter 17: The Senate Church Committee investigation

Chapter 18: What the Kennedy Assassination and Watergate have in Common

Chapter 19: Epilogue


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do you address the "bay of pigs" thing in your book? When I mentioned this to John Dean at a legal ethics seminar he gave (can you believe that!), he said that Haldeman subsequently disavowed the statement in his book that was Nixon's code for the JFK assassination. I have not been able to find any evidence of such disavowal but of course it might have been done at a time when it would be hard to search for this. 

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1 hour ago, Lawrence Schnapf said:

do you address the "bay of pigs" thing in your book? When I mentioned this to John Dean at a legal ethics seminar he gave (can you believe that!), he said that Haldeman subsequently disavowed the statement in his book that was Nixon's code for the JFK assassination. I have not been able to find any evidence of such disavowal but of course it might have been done at a time when it would be hard to search for this. 

I most likely will address the issue.

Here is Bing's AI search for "Nixon's bay of pigs" thing:

nixon bay of pigs thing - Search (bing.com)

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I have previously provided the Introduction to IN THE FIRST HOUR OF WATERGATE. Here now are chapters one and two of the forthcoming book.

                                                                                    CHAPTER ONE



     Watergate was America’s biggest criminal case of the Twentieth Century. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Senate Watergate Committee, and the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. The full investigation ran for five years from 1972 to 1977.


     At the time it was the most publicized crime in American history. Millions of American sat transfixed for hours as they watched the daily public hearings of the Senate Watergate Committee. Sixty-nine persons were indicted and forty-four convicted. President Richard M. Nixon was forced to resign from office.


     Charles F. Ruff was the fourth and final Watergate Special Prosecutor. I remember that on the day in May 1977 that he announced the official dissolution of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, he made a starling public statement. He said that he had a strong feeling that something important had been missed by the investigation.


     At the center of what was missing is a mysterious telephone call that Howard Hunt made in the first hour about twenty minutes after the arrests of the five burglars inside the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Office Building on June 17, 1972. Hunt and Gordon Liddy were the leaders of the seven-man burglary team and were in the Watergate Hotel adjacent to the Watergate office building as the arrests took place. Their hotel room was the headquarters for the planned burglary. Alerted promptly of the arrests by a lookout across the street, they gathered most of their belongings and safely fled.


     The person whom Hunt telephoned about twenty minutes later from the lookout room of the burglars in the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge across the street from the Watergate buildings was awaiting the call, although Hunt did not know it. He was a lawyer and one of the three CIA principal conspirators who behind the scenes were remotely and clandestinely orchestrating the burglary of the DNC and the arrests of the burglars. Immediately after the CIA lawyer got the call from Hunt, he telephoned the leader of the three conspirators and told him of the arrests.


     The 1231-page Final Report of the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities of the United States Senate, hereafter referred to as the Senate Watergate Committee, does not even mention Hunt’s phone call from the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge although Alfred Baldwin, a key prosecution witness, testified before that committee in its public hearings that he saw Hunt make the call and heard a portion of it. There is a reason it is not being mentioned in the Committee report.


     Watergate Special Counsel Ruff was right in feeling that the investigation missed something important.


     The excerpt below reproduced from the Committee report sets the stage for answering the question of what important thing was missed that would have changed everything.



Excerpt from the Report of the Senate Watergate Committee

Chapter 1

The Watergate Break-in and Cover-up

1.    The Watergate Break-in and its Prelude


     In the early morning hours of June 17, 1972, James McCord, Barnard L. Barker, Frank Sturgis, Eugenio Martinez and Virgilio Gonzalez illegally entered the Democratic National Committee headquarters on the sixth floor of the Watergate Office Building. Nearby in a room in the Watergate Hotel, Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, the supervisors of the burglary, stood by keeping in walkie-talkie communication with Alfred Baldwin, who served as a lookout across the street in the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge. The mission was ill-fated. Within a short time after the break-in, a Washington Metropolitan Police plain-clothes unit responded to a call to assist a guard at the Watergate Office Building. The guard, Frank Wills, had become suspicious, when for the second time that night, he found masking tape on the edge of the door in the garage leading to the office building. The tape had been placed to hold back the locking mechanism, permitting the door to be opened without a key. Earlier that night, Wills had removed tape from the same door thinking it had been inadvertently left by a building supervisor.


     The plainclothes unit under the direction of Sergeant Paul Leeper entered the Watergate Office Building stairwell through the garage door and ascended to the eighth floor. The policemen worked their way down to the sixth-floor level and entered the floor through the stairway door which they found unlocked by the same masking tape technique employed on the garage door.


     Alfred Baldwin, across the street at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge, at first took no interest in the unmarked car which was parked in front of the Watergate Office Building and in the casually dressed individuals who entered the building. That a plainclothes police squad in an unmarked car answered the dispatcher’s call was fortuitous. The call initially went out to a marked police car but that vehicle was on its way to a gasoline station. The dispatcher then repeated the call for any tactical unit in the vicinity of the Watergate. Had the marked police car answered the call and had uniformed policemen entered the office building, Baldwin would have immediately taken notice and alerted the burglars who might have escaped. The true nature of the break-in might have not been discovered and there might have been no need for the massive cover-up that followed, which, when exposed, became the most serious political scandal in the nation’s history.


     Baldwin did not become alarmed until he noticed the lights go on in the building – first on the eighth floor and then on the sixth – and saw two individuals emerge on the sixth-floor terrace of the DNC headquarters, one holding a pistol. He then radioed Hunt and Liddy and asked “Are our people on the sixth floor in suits or are they dressed casually?” When the answer came back, “Our people are dressed in suits, why?” Baldwin replied “You have some trouble because there are some individuals around here who are dressed casually and have their guns out.” Within minutes, Sergeant Leeper and his unit discovered the five burglars and arrested them. Hunt and Liddy escaped unnoticed from the Watergate Hotel. Baldwin was told to leave the Motor Lodge, which he promptly did.


     Subsequently Hunt and Liddy were indicted with the five men apprehended in the DNC headquarters (United States v, Liddy, et al., under indictment of September 15, 1972) and Baldwin became a principal government witness against his former co-conspirators. All defendants initially pleaded not guilty. But, as the trial opened in early January 1973, Hunt, Barker, Sturgis, Martinez and Gonzales changed their pleas to guilty after a trial that left a number of questions that disturbed the trial judge, Congress and the American people. The crimes of wire-tapping, burglary and conspiracy had been proved. But, why had these crimes been committed? Who sponsored them? What were the motivations? Was the break-in, as the White House immediately claimed, merely a “third=rate burglary?”


     This [Committee] report attempts to put this crime in focus.



How I First Met Howard Hunt


     My role as original attorney for the Watergate Seven is necessary to understand the untold story of Watergate.  Bear with me as I sketch the background that led me to that role. 


     Upon completing my six months of active duty in the Army at the end of 1961 under a program that required me to serve an additional five and a half years in the reserves after which I received my Honorable Discharge, I enrolled in the New York University School of Law in 1962 in the evening division. During the day I worked in the Manhattan office of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller on the staff of Lieutenant-Governor Malcolm Wilson who was a conservative Republican while Rockefeller was a liberal one. The office was located at 22 West 55th Street and was a five-story townhouse privately owned by the governor. Only about forty people worked in the building as it was considered to be the inner sanctum of the Rockefeller political machine. The most interesting event of my employment there occurred on November 22, 1963, when I received a phone call shortly after noon from a close friend, John Holmes, who worked on Wall Street. He breathlessly told me that President Kennedy had just been assassinated in Dallas and then hung up. I walked to Lt.-Gov. Wilson’s office that was nearby and informed him of the call. He ordered me to go to the press office on the first floor and check it out.


     I rode the small elevator down to the first floor and entered the press office. Only the receptionist was there. Carl Spad, the governor’s press secretary, was at lunch. I said to the receptionist, “President Kennedy has just been assassinated.” She looked at me as if I were crazy, saying, “what, what are you talking about?” and then pointed to a small closet. I opened its door and inside was a Telex machine with its alarm bells endlessly ringing as it printed out news of the assassination. At that point the receptionist telephoned Spad to return pronto. I left the press office and walked throughout the townhouse spreading the news. On one floor I walked into a large conference room where about twenty-five men were seated around a long conference table deep in discussion about something important. Everything stopped as I entered, and all looked quizzically at me. Ashen faced I announced, “President Kennedy has just been assassinated in Dallas.” No one said a word or even moved. They just sat frozen and transfixed as each absorbed the shocking news. Getting no response, I turned and left the room. The next day Hugh Morrow, the governor’s speech writer, came to see me on the fifth floor. He asked, “How did you learn of the news of the assassination before anyone else did?”  I gave him a vague reply, not wanting to disclose that a fellow evening law school student had beaten the vaunted Rockefeller Intelligence operation with news of the assassination.


     The next evening, I attended a long-scheduled Republican Party dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. I was seated next to a man who would soon be elevated to the New York Supreme Court. We talked about the assassination, and he ominously told me, “I fear that fellow Oswald will be killed by those who assassinated the President. He knows too much.” My mind tried to process his shocking prediction. When the dinner was over, I returned to where I lived while in law school. It was in a co-op (akin to today’s condominium) at 520 E. 72 St. It had a spectacular view of the New York skyline. Its owner was Alice Widener, a syndicated newspaper columnist. She was the widow of Nicholas Berezowsky, a talented musician who fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution by working his way to the border playing the piano in whore houses.  Once in America he became a famous orchestra conductor. Alice, posing as the widow of Nicholas, at the urging of the FBI joined the Communists Party, USA where she made regular donations of money. By doing this over a period of time she was eventually admitted to the innermost meetings of the party’s leaders and afterwards she filed reports with the FBI. She visited J. Edgar Hoover in Washington when she thought she had some especially important to report. When I got home from the dinner, I told her what the judge-to-be had told me about Oswald likely being killed. She responded, “That would never happen in Dallas but certainly would in New York City.” Both she and I were shocked the next day when we witnessed on television Oswald being shot and killed while being escorted by the Dallas Police.


     After I graduated with a J.D. degree from law school, I went to work for General Foods Corporation in White Plains, N.Y., then the world’s biggest food manufacturer. Robert Mullen and Robert Oliver, Washington advisers to the corporation, regularly visited General Foods at its headquarters to discuss developments in the nation’s capital. In 1969 the company informed me that I was being transferred to Washington, D.C.  to represent it in government relations. I was told that for the first year I would be situated inside the office of the Robert Mullen Company. Its office was in the Kiplinger Building. I moved to Washington in late 1969 and began representing General Foods in government affairs.


     On May 1, 1970, Howard Hunt joined the staff of the Mullen Company. He was retiring from the CIA where he had worked shortly after that agency was founded in 1947 and was being placed in the Mullen Company by CIA Director Richard Helms. Hunt and I shared a large room in the office. We immediately became close friends when we discovered that we both knew William F. Buckley, the publisher of National Review magazine. Howard told me that Buckley as a CIA agent had served under him when he was the agent-in-charge in Mexico City. After working there for two years Buckley returned to Connecticut to write God and Man at Yale, which became a best-selling book. He then went on to found National Review.


     Hunt asked me how I got to know Buckley. I told him it was a long story. He responded that as a CIA agent he was used to hearing long stories because the primary purpose of the CIA was the gathering of information. This is what I told him:


     I attended Alcee Fortier High School in New Orleans from 1954 to 1956. While in high school I became acquainted with Kent and Phoebe Courtney who had a monthly publication, Free Men Speak. I worked voluntarily after school for the publication. Kent invited me in 1955 to attend a meeting being sponsored by Guy Banister, a former FBI agent and then the Assistant Superintended of the New Orleans Police Department. The meeting was to discuss the report by Aaron Kohn on crime in the Big Easy city.  Lee Harvey Oswald at the same time was a student at a different high school. He lived with his mother above a bar on Exchange Place in the French Quarter, a short distance from Bannister’s office in the Police headquarters. As it later turned out, in 1963 Oswald was in New Orleans following his return from Russia. Bannister, now owner of a private detective firm, was his handler. In 1972 In Watergate, I represented Howard Hunt, a figure in the assassination of President Kennedy. For a period of time in 1955 and 1956 Oswald. Bannister and I were within walking distance of each other but, of course, none of us knew what the future held. In 1959, Bannister and I spoke at a Free Enterprise Rally in New Orleans.


     I got to know Buckley when I was an undergraduate student at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University that I attended from 1956 to 1960, which was when I graduated.

While enrolled as a student I received a scholarship to work part-time for Human Events, a newsletter with a conservative editorial policy. In those days there was no Conservative Movement.  I decided to start one. In 1958 and enlisted the assistance of a friend, David Franke. We founded the National Student Committee for the Loyalty Oath to keep the loyalty oath in the National Defense Education Act. Senator John F. Kennedy had proposed legislation that would remove the oath from the Act. Our committee immediately attracted support from scattered students around the country because of the publicity it had received. I wrote a letter-to-the-editor of The New York Times that the newspaper published on February 5, 1960, under the title, “Student Affidavit Upheld. Argument that Loyalty Requirement is Discriminatory is Rejected.”  Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire made a speech on the floor of the Senate about the student committee. Kennedy’s legislation failed but when he became president, he successfully got the oath repealed. Two books recount this founding of the Conservative Movement: The Other Side of the Sixties by Professor John Andrew III and Revolt on the Campus by M. Stanton Evans, managing editor of Human Events.


     Senator Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, lived on N Street two blocks from Georgetown University. Jackie attended night school at the university and studied government under Professor Jules Davids who wrote the first draft of Profiles in Courage for which Kennedy later was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. I was editor of the student publication, the Foreign Service Courier. In 1959 three girls on the Courier’s staff baked a cake to present to me on my birthday at a party inside the publication’s office. As they carried the cake past Kennedy’s residence on N Street, he stepped out of his front door to enter a car waiting for him. He saw the girls and the cake and asked about the occasion. After they told him he took one of his fingers and gently pushed it into the cake. He then licked his finger and pronounced it delicious and with a wave of his hand entered the car. The girls were thrilled with excitement when they arrived at the office and insisted that I eat the slice of the cake where Kennedy had put his finger. So, maybe for a short period of time I had a minute portion of the future president’s DNA inside me.


     Also, in 1959, while still a student at Georgetown, I founded the National Committee for Goldwater for Vice President. The Washington Star newspaper carried an article about the group, “A Solid Goldwater Caddy.”  Upon bring graduated from Georgetown in 1960, I went to work for Marvin Liebman Associates in New York City. Former Governor of New Jersey, Charles Edison, was a client of the firm. He was the son of Thomas Edison and was Chairman of the McGraw-Edison Company. He provided funds for our Goldwater Committee to open a headquarters in the Pick-Congress Hotel in Chicago at the Republican Convention in August 1960. At the convention Goldwater came to our headquarters and encouraged us to form a permanent organization. This led to the founding of Young American for Freedom at the Buckley family estate in Sharon Connecticut in September1960. I was elected YAF National Director. In March 1961 YAF sponsored a rally at Manhattan Center. The New York Times reported in its article of March 4, 1961, “3,200 at Rally Here Acclaim Goldwater.” Its first paragraphs read, “Senator Barry Goldwater told a cheering, stomping audience last night that the country was caught up in a wave of conservatism that could easily become ‘the political phenomenon of our time.’ Addressing the first political rally of Young Americans for Freedom, a national organization of young conservatives, the Arizona Republican said of the conservative ideology: ‘Nobody knows for sure its present strength or its future potential. But something is afoot which could drastically alter our course as a nation.’’ Another 6000 people were outside Manhattan Center unable to gain entrance to the rally.  Goldwater went outside and addressed them. Life magazine of June 9, 1961, carried a featured interview, Gore Vidal Meets Goldwater, in which the Senator singled me out for special praise. About that time The New Leader magazine carried an article about YAF with a picture of me on its cover. In June, I entered the Army for six months active duty and five and a half years in the reserves. For the six months I was stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. When I got out of the Army at the end of 1961, I discovered YAF had been moved from New York City to Washington, D.C. and that a professional fund-raiser from Texas was now its head. In short YAF, a patriotic youth organization that I had been instrumental in founding, cast me aside while I was serving the nation in its armed forces. It was then at age 24 that I decided to enroll in law school.

     I cannot speak for Goldwater or Buckley today, but my belief is that they long ago, like I did, would have disassociated themselves for what passes as conservatism today, which is now led by sociopaths, opportunists and extremists whose only interest is in themselves and their quest for power while presenting a serious threat to our democracy.


Edited by Douglas Caddy
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  • 2 weeks later...


                                                                 I join a law firm and Hunt accepts a White house position


     Howard and his wife, Dorothy, became my closest friends in Washington. I visited then on occasion at their residence, Witches Island, in Potomac, Maryland.


     In early 1971 Robert Mullen asked Howard and I to come into his office. He told us that he wanted to retire and asked if we were interested in purchasing his company. If so, he added, we could pay off its purchase price from the profits of the firm over future years. Howard responded that he needed some time to think about it. I concurred.


     To our surprise a few days later Mullen called us back into his office and announced that he had agreed to sell his firm to Robert Bennett, son of Senator Wallace Bennett of Utah. One of the clients of the firm was the Mormon Church and Mullen had written a book on the history of the church. On the surface the sale to Robert Bennett made sense.


     What I did not know was that Robert Bennett was a longtime asset of the CIA. He was comfortable with Howard on his staff because of his CIA background. He was uncomfortable with me staying in the office as a General Foods employee because I had no CIA connection. What I did not know at the time and later learned when Senator Howard Baker disclosed it in the Watergate investigation was that Robert Mullen Company was a CIA controlled entity.


     About that time in 1971 the opportunity arose to join the Washington law firm of Gall, Lane, Powell and Kilcullen whose sole practice was labor law. Jerome Powell, the managing partner, represented Armco Steel Company. partner Robert M. Scott represented the United Mine Workers Union and partner John Kilcullen represented the National Right to Work Committee. I was delighted to join the firm as an associate attorney. A few weeks later Howard Hunt telephoned and asked for an appointment to discuss a legal matter. Robert Scott joined me in meeting Hunt. Hunt’s legal matter dealt with the conditions surrounding his remaining on the staff of the Mullen Company as Vice President. Hunt subsequently made two additional appointments. The first of these was to request that I send letters to several book publishers to see if they would be interested in publishing two books he had written. The last appointment was to request that I write a letter of recommendation for Hunt on my legal letterhead to Charles Colson, Counsel to President Nixon, for him to be employed on the White House staff as a part-time consultant. I was pleased to do this, and Hunt soon thereafter got the position on July 6, 1971.  Robert Scott joined me in meeting Hunt on all three of Hunt’s appointments at the law firm. Later Scott was to play a key role in Watergate.




The Steps that Led to Watergate


     In this and future chapters I shall directly quote the words of key persons involved in the scandal as recorded in the printed hearings in 1973 of the Senate Watergate Committee (whose official title was Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities) citing the hearings book number when appropriate. Hunt’s testimony appears in Book 9.


     Howard Hunt testified before the committee on September 24, 1973. The following excerpts are from his prepared statement that he read to the committee:


     In 1949, I joined the CIA, from which I retired on May 1, 1970, having earned two commendations for outstanding contributions to operations ordered by the National Security Council. 


     To put it unmistakably, I was an intelligence officer – a spy – for the Government of the United States. 


     After I retired from the CIA, I was employed by a firm whose officials maintained a relationship with the CIA. [This was the Robert Mullen Company.] Some months after I joined the firm, I was approached by Charles W. Colson, special counsel to the President, to become a consultant to the Executive Office of the President. 


     From the time I began working at the White House until June 17, 1972, the day of the second Watergate entry, I engaged in essentially the same kind of work that I performed for the CIA. I became a member of the special investigations unit, later known as the Plumbers which the President had created to undertake specific national security tasks for which the traditional investigative agencies were deemed by the President to be inadequate. In this connection, I was involved in tracing leaks of highly classified information. 


     These investigations led to an entry by the Plumbers into the office of Dr. Lewis Fielding, Dr. [Daniel] Ellsberg’s psychiatrist.  


     The Fielding entry occurred in September 1971. In late November, I was told by Mr. Liddy that Attorney General John M. Mitchell proposed the establishment of a large-scale intelligence and counterintelligence program, with Mr. Liddy as its chief. Mr. Liddy and I designed a budget for categories and activities to be carried out by this program which became known as Gemstone. It was my understanding that the program had been approved by Messrs. Jeb Stuart Magruder, a former White House aide, and John W. Colson III, Counsel to the President. Later I learned that Charles W. Colson, Special Counsel to the President, had approved it, too. 


     In April 1972, Mr. Liddy told me that we would be undertaking the Watergate operation as part of the Gemstone program. He said that he had information, the source of which I understood to be a Government agency, that the Cuban Government was supplying funds to the Democratic Party campaign. To investigate this report, a surreptitious entry of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate was made on May 27, 1972, and a second entry on June 17. The second entry was accomplished by a group, two of whose members had been among those who accomplished the Fielding entry. I was indicted for my part in the Watergate entry. 


     The funds provided me and others who participated in the break-in have long been exhausted. I am faced with an enormous financial burden in defending myself against criminal charges and numerous civil suits. Beyond all this, I am crushed by the failure of my Government to protect me and my family as in the past it has always done for its clandestine agents.


     In conclusion, I want to emphasize that at the time of the Watergate operation, I considered my participation as a duty my country. I thought it was an unwise operation, but I viewed it as lawful, I hope the court will sustain my view, but whatever the outcome, I deeply regret that I had any part in this affair. I think it was an unfortunate use of executive power and I am sorry that I did not have the wisdom to withdraw. At the same time, I cannot escape the feeling that the country I have served for my entire life and which directed me to carry out the Watergate entry is punishing me for doing the very things it trained and directed me to do.[End of Hunt’s prepared statement to the committee.]  


Edited by Douglas Caddy
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The Burglars Arrests and Hunt’s mysterious phone call soon afterwards as reported by Alfred Baldwin


     Three Metropolitan Washington Police Department officers arrested the burglars inside the DNC at Watergate. They were Sergeant Paul W. Leeper, Officer John Bruce Barrett and Officer Carl M. Shoffler. Their testimonies below are from Book 1.


Fred D, Thompson, Committee Minority Counsel: Officer Shoffler: Do you recall when you received the word from headquarters to answer this call at Watergate? Were you in the car with Sergeant Leeper?


Officer Shoffler: Yes, sir.  


Mr. Thompson: What time in the morning was this?


Officer Shoffler: Approximately 1:52 a.m.  


 Samuel Dash, Committee Chief Counsel and Staff Director: Where were you located when you received that call?


Sergeant Leeper: We were in the area of about K and 30th, Washington, D.C.


Mr. Dash: How close was it to the Watergate complex?


Sergeant Leeper: Approximately a minute and a half. 2 minutes away.


          Alfred Baldwin was the burglars’ lookout situated across the street in the Howard Johnson Motor Inn in a room on the seventh floor. From his balcony he could see the front floor of the Watergate Office Building. His testimony before Senate Watergate Committee is key to understanding the important thing that the Watergate investigations missed. His testimony is found in Book 1:


Mr. Baldwin: I put the walkie-talkie down and proceeded out on the balcony again. I noticed the lights flicker on the sixth floor of the Democratic headquarters to the extreme right. They just went on briefly and went off. I went back inside and picked up the walkie-talkie and was standing in the doorway when I observed these individuals coming out on the balcony of the Democratic National Committee.


Senator Weicker: Which individuals are you referring to?


Mr. Baldwin: There were two individuals. Do you want me to describe them?


Mr. Weicker: I want you to describe to the committee what you saw that night.


Mr. Baldwin: One individual had on what I would call a windbreaker, appeared to have a university emblem and a university written across one of the pockets, in the breast area. The other individual had a weapon out and both were casually dressed. One individual had sort of long blond hair, a stocky build individual.

    As I observed them I called over the walkie-talkie again “Base 1, unit 1, are our people in suits or are they dressed casually?” And the answer came back,” “Our people are dressed in suits. Why?”

     I said, “You have trouble because there are some individuals out here who are dressed casually and they have their guns out.,” and the guy on the other end went a little frantic. [Laughter.]

     I put the walkie-talkie down and I continued to hear “Are you reading me? Are you telling us? Hello, hello.”

     I knew they were not calling me. I stood out on the balcony and watched as they continued to search the building, a third individual had turned the lights on and there were three now searching.


Senator Weicker: Were you able to observe anyone else on the street below?


Mr. Baldwin: I don’t directly recall at that specific point, Senator, in time right now.


Senator Weicker: Why don’t you continue your narrative then?


Mr. Baldwin: Well, the individuals then went into the office and proceeded to the left of the building and as they passed by various offices eventually they went out of sight and I didn’t see them.

     I believe it was about this time that a voice came over the unit that said, “They have got us,” in a whisper something like, “They have got us,” and then what I believe was Mr. McCord ‘s voice in the distance saying, “Are you gentlemen Metropolitan police?” or something to that effect.  

     Then another voice came on, he said, “Are you still across the street? And I thought if somebody is listening you know what was going on, I said, “Yes, I am,” and they said, “Well, we will be right over,”

     Subsequently to that I saw two individuals walking out between the Watergate building directly across the street and the one closest to the Capitol Building, they came out of an alleyway.


Senator Weicker: Can you identify these two individuals?


Mr. Baldwin: One of the gentlemen looked up at me, I was still on the balcony, he was Mr. Sturgis. The other individual was dressed in a windbreaker and I believe casual shirt. The other individual was dressed in a suit and from my observation he didn’t look up but I had  the belief it was Mr. Liddy.


Senator Weicker: Did you see Mr. Hunt go over to the Howard Johnson Motel?


Mr. Baldwin: They walked up in front of this far complex, almost in front of that lobby, got into a car and proceeded up the street and as soon as they went in the car another voice came over the walkie-talkie and said, “I am on my way” and approximately 2 or 3 minutes later Mr. Hunt came into the room.


Senator Weicker: All right, Mr. Hunt came into the room. Will you describe Mr. Hunt’s entry into the room?


Mr. Baldwin: Everything?


Senator Weicker: Everything.


Mr. Baldwin: Well, he proceeded over and I was standing there in balcony area and he crouched down behind a table and said, “What’s going on?” And just about that time they were leading Mr. McCord and the other gentlemen out of the lobby and there were all kinds of police cars there and I was standing on the balcony, “C’mon, see.” 


He says, “I have got to use the bathroom.”


He went into the bathroom and came out and said, “I have got to call a lawyer, where is your phone?” I said, “It is right over there.” And he went over, he dialed a direct number because in the motel room if you want to place a long distance call you have to go through the desk, so he dialed 8 as I would do when I would dial a local number and he dialed a direct number. I paid no attention to the conversation. I proceeded to the balcony, continued to watch and, I did hear him say, “I have got $5,000 cash on me now, Al, for bail or bonds if you need it,” and something to that effect, “will you go right down or should I go down,” and I believe that was it. He then proceeded to give me instructions on what to do with the equipment.


Senator Weicker: What were those instructions?


Mr. Baldwin: Well, he removed a walkie-talkie and put it on the bed and told me to pack up everything. I believe his expression was “Get the hell out of here, get yourself out of here, go somewhere. Where are you going to go?”


I said, “Well, I am going to Connecticut.”


He said, “Well, go.” He said, “We will be in touch, you will get further instructions.” He said, “I want you to take all of this equipment to Mr. McCord’s house.”


I had a little debate with him about that, I said, “Well, there are two of you and only one of me. Why can’t somebody drive you back if you go out there? I have no way to get back.”


He said, “Mrs. McCord or somebody will drive you back. You work that out,” and he proceeded to go out the door and he went down to the elevator.


Senator Weicker: “You say he went out the door, and was he running down the hall or walking?”


Mr. Baldwin: “Yes, he was. He was departing---


Senator Weicker: “Did you say anything to him as he was running down the hall?”


Mr. Baldwin: Yes, I did.


Senator Weicker: “What did you say to him?”


Mr. Baldwin: “I asked him if this meant I wasn’t going to Miami?” [Laughter.]


     It is important here to observe that that Baldwin never heard Hunt utter the name of the lawyer he was calling on the phone.



Who was the lawyer that Hunt called from the Howard Johnson Motor INN?


     This is the key to solving what the investigations missed.


     Here is what Hunt first told the Senate Watergate Committee (Book 9)


Mr. Dash: Where were you situated when the entry team was arrested?


Mr. Hunt: In room 214 of the Watergate Hotel, which is another building.


Mr. Dash: What did you do immediately after you were made aware that an arrest had been made?


Mr. Hunt: I closed up Mr. McCord’s briefcase, which contained electronic equipment, and with Mr. Liddy, we left the premises. I drove to the White House, where I inserted the briefcase, belonging to Mr. McCord, into my two-drawer safe. I went – I believe I called Mr. Douglas Caddy’s apartment, he being an attorney.


Mr. Dash: Who is Mr. Caddy?


Mr. Hunt: Mr. Douglas Caddy, an attorney and a former employee of the Mullen Company, and asked if he could receive me at that early hour in the morning.


Mr. Dash: Did you take any money out of the safe?


Mr. Hunt: Yes, sir, I did.


Mr. Dash: How much?


Mr. Hunt: I took out $10,000.


Mr. Dash: Where did you get that money?


Mr. Hunt: That was contingency money that had been provided me by Mr. Liddy.


Mr. Dash: Contingency just in case there was this kind of trouble?


Mr. Hunt: Yes, sir, in case there was a mishap.


Mr. Dash: What did you do with that money?


Mr. Hunt: I took it during the course of the morning to Mr. Caddy’s apartment and gave it to him on behalf of the five men who had been arrested. (p. 3689)


     Later Hunt changed his story while testifying that same day:


Mr. Thompson: After the break-in, did you have occasion to call Mr. McCord and talk about Mr. Baldwin, about hiring Mr. Baldwin?


Mr. Hunt: Yes, sir, I did.


Mr. Thompson: Would you relate that conversation?


Mr. Hunt: At about the time that Mr. Baldwin began telling his story to the Los Angeles Times ---


Mr. Thompson: When was that? How long after the break-in would you say?


Mr. Hunt: May I consult my notes?


Mr. Thompson: Yes, sir.


Mr. Hunt: It should be a matter or record.


Mr. Thompson: I would have to place it as a guess at some time toward mid-July, or even late July, at a time when Mr. McCord was no longer in the District of Columbia jail and at a time when Mr. Baldwin had begun, so to speak, to sing.


Mr. Thompson: All right. Would you relate the conversations?


Mr. Hunt: I was disturbed by the revelations that Mr. Baldwin was making. I telephoned Mr. McCord and asked him to explain, in effect, the circumstances surrounding this apparent disloyalty on the part of a man he had hired. Mr. McCord said that he, himself, Mr. McCord, was short on funds. I suggested that he sell the van, which Mr. Baldwin had, for some reason, driven to Mr. McCord’s home in the wake of the operations against my instructions to take it elsewhere.


Mr. Thompson: Pardon me. You say against your instructions?


Mr. Hunt: Yes. Following the break-in – and I should probably go back to clarify the record. In a very minor way, I had been asked before the lunch break to recount my own movements following the Watergate, the arrest of the five men. I did not go directly to the White House. I went over to the Howard Johnson Hotel and spoke with a man I had not previously seen or met, but whom I knew to be an employee of Mr. McCord’s, and told him to load all his equipment into the van that Mr. McCord had and drive away, get away from the premises. [emphasis added.]


He said: “Where shall I go, shall I take it to Mr. McCord’s home?”


I said, “No, any place but that, I do not care where you take it. Drive it into the river, I do not care.”


In any event, it developed that Mr. McCord—Mr. Baldwin took it to Mr. McCord’s home and left it there.


Mr. Thompson: You didn’t know Mr. Baldwin except through Mr. McCord, I take it?


Mr. Hunt: I saw him at 2:30-odd hours on the morning of June 17 in the darkened room. I would never be able to identify him except through a photograph I saw in a newspaper.


     Later Hunt again changed his story somewhat in his autobiography, Secret Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond (2007) (pp.234-235):


The Howard Johnson hotel was a far cry from the executive-style Watergate. The elevator was either interminably slow or my mind was just racing too fast, because it seemed a year to get up to the seventh floor listening post, where I finally knocked on the door and was admitted into the room by Alfred Baldwin, who handed me the binoculars. “Take a look,” he said. “The cops are leading them out.”


There wasn’t time. “Listen,” I said. “It’s all over. Pack up and get going.”


He looked at me like I was crazy. “Lotta heavy gear here. What do I do with it?”


“Load the goddamn van and shove off, I snapped Impatiently.


“Where should I go – McCord’s house?”


The guy was supposed to be a former FBI agent but was acting like am amateur. “That’s the last place to go. I don’t care if you drive the van into the river. Just get the stuff out of here. Understood?” I strode purposely toward the door.


Baldwin’s plaintive voice wafted behind me. “What’s going to happen?”


“I don’t know, “I said. “But you’ll be contacted.


Then as I was closing the door, Baldwin asked, “Does this mean we’re not going to Miami?”


All I could do is stare at him coldly for a second before slamming the door shut.


Downstairs, I joined a few other casual rubberneckers on the sidewalk, where I watched the police load my guys into white paddy wagon across the street. It was sickening. I cursed McCord, the principals, Liddy – saving the worse admonitions for myself for not voicing a strong enough dissent. This was the one time my life experience should have really told me to abort the operation. The small voice nagged, but it should have blared an order in my brain with a megaphone.


I walked to my car and drove over to my White House office in the Executive Office Building, where I flashed my pass to the guard and entered with the three heavy attaché cases. I unlocked the door room 338, went in, and opened my two-drawer safe, then took out my operational notebook and dialed a number.


It was 2:15 in the morning. Five of our guys had been arrested and presumably taken to the D.C. Jail. I had recruited them, and it was my responsibility to get them out. I started making calls. My first call was to lawyer Douglas Caddy, who had resigned from Mullen & Company when the promised transfer to our stewardship had failed to take place. His sleepy voice didn’t sound too happy. “Yes,” he said.


“Doug? This is Howard. I hate to wake you up but I’ve got a tough situation and I need to talk to you. Can I come over.”


That was the beginning of Watergate – a scandal that would bring down a president and

destroy my life in the process.


     It should be noted that Hunt in his autobiography omits mention of the phone call he made to an unnamed lawyer that Alfred Baldwin heard portions of.


     Hunt’s statement above that I resigned from Mullen & Company is inaccurate. I was never an employee of that company. I was employed by General Foods Corporation, which sent me to Washington in late 1969 to work out of the Mullen office for one year before opening a separate office to represent General Foods as its Washington Representative. I believe Hunt did not want to say that I worked for General Foods Corporation because that company had a relationship with the CIA.


     Hunt’s statement above that “It was 2:15 in the morning” refers to the actual time that the five burglars were arrested. Washington Metropolitan Police officer Shoffler testified to the Committee that the police dispatcher’s call came at 1:52 a.m. Sargent Leeper who was in the police vehicle with Shoffler testified that it would take only 1 to 2 minutes to get to the Watergate. It is a fair assumption that they arrived at 1:55 a.m. Hunt testified to the Committee that he entered Alfred Baldwin’s room at the Howard Johnson Motor Hotel around “two thirtyish.” When he telephoned me, I glanced at my bedside clock, and it was 3:05 a.m. He arrived at my apartment at 3:40 a.m.


     The timing is important. It shows that Hunt made two calls. His first call was from the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge to a lawyer who he did not name in a conversation that Baldwin partially overheard. This would have been around 2:30 a.m. His second call to me was at 3:05 a.m. from his White House office.


    So, who was the lawyer he called while in the presence of Baldwin? I am going to name him now. It was Lawrence Houston, Legal Counsel of the CIA.


    Houston was one of the three conspirators orchestrating the burglary and the burglars’ arrests. After he received the call from Hunt, he immediately called his chief, the ringleader of the conspiracy, Richard Helms, the CIA Director. Journalist Carl Rowan, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, reported in his newspaper column of May 13, 1973, that he had a conversation at a social occasion with CIA Director Helms about the Watergate break-in and that Helms disclosed that “Cynthia [Helms wife] and I had been up late [Friday night] and had just fallen asleep they telephoned to tell me that these fellows had been arrested in the Watergate.”


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How I got involved as an attorney in the Watergate case


     Hunt: “In April 1972, Mr. Liddy told me that we would be undertaking the Watergate

operation as part of the Gemstone program.” (Book 9)


     April turned out to be crucial for me and for what two months later became known as Watergate. April was the month that the Republican’s project to burglarize the DNC was taken over clandestinely by CIA unbeknownst to the Republicans.


     I need to provide further detail about my meeting with Lawrence Houston, CIA Legal Counsel, because after that meeting my life quickly changed as unbeknownst to me the CIA began moving me around like a piece on a chessboard in anticipation to what occurred on June 17th.


     In mid-April 1972, Hunt telephoned me at the law firm from his White House Office and requested that I join him and Lawrence Houston the next day at 4 p.m. at a restaurant on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. He did not disclose the purpose of the meeting.


     I showed up at the appointed hour. Our meeting was in the large dining room that was empty of no one except us. Introductions were made and we seated ourselves at a large table. Houston was on the opposite side facing me and Hunt was seated next to me. No beverages were served. The meeting lasted about twenty minutes.


     Houston cut to the chase quickly. He asked if I was interested in joining the CIA and if I were he had an assignment for me. It was about Nicaragua and the rise of the pro-communist Sandinistas revolutionary organization that sought to gain control of that country’s government. If I accepted the employment offer, I would be sent to Nicaragua to construct a luxurious hotel on the seashore to lure the Sandinista leaders there where they could be recorded engaging in activities that would compromise them and subject them to blackmail or worse.


     As Houston spoke, I glanced briefly at Hunt seated to my left. He was sitting on the edge of his chair staring intently at Houston and hanging onto every word. The thought ran through my mind that for some reason he had a lot riding on Houston’s decision to employ me based on my reaction to the offer.


     Houston then said that the employment offer was subject to my being vetted and asked if I had any problem with this. I responded. “No, but I shall have to think about the offer.” As I said this my mind was racing because I was a closeted gay person, and this would prove to be an issue when being vetted. Houston replied, “Good. Think about it and let Howard know of you decision and he can inform me.” With that, I excused myself and left, leaving Hunt and Houston still seated.


     What was so strange about the meeting was that Houston never asked me about my background: Where I had been born, my age, where I went to undergraduate college and where I went to law school. These and other questions are always asked when someone is being interviewed for a job. Instead, Houston cut to the chase immediately and offered me a job as a CIA agent stationed in Nicaragua working on what had to be a highly classified CIA project.


     Afterwards, the more that I thought about the job offer the less it made sense. Why would I, a gay man at age 34 (or for that matter a straight man), want to take three to five years out of his life to construct a luxurious hotel on the seashore in Nicaragua to lure the Sandinista leaders? There would be a myriad of problems in undertaking such an expensive project and in the end, there was no guarantee that the Sandinista leaders would even come to the hotel. If the Sandinistas ever got control of the Nicaraguan government (which they later did and rule today) they would lose no time in expropriating the hotel and its property.


     About a week after the meeting with Hunt and Houston, I was summoned by John Kilcullen to his office in the law firm.  He said that he had received a telephone call from George Webster, the chairman of the Lawyers Committee for the Reelection of the President, asking if the law firm could spare me to do part-time voluntary work for the committee and that I was hereby being volunteered. He told me to call Webster to get my assignment. When I called Webster, he told me that I would be working for John Dean, the White House Counsel. Dean’s White House diary shows that Webster and I met with him on April 25. My first assignment was to go to the office in the Capitol where candidates running for president filed reports of donations they had received. It took me awhile to review the reports of the Democratic Party candidates and hand copy the names and addresses of donors who had contributed large sums of money to the candidates. I typed these up and gave the list to Dean.


     In early May Webster telephoned me and said that I would also be working for Gordon Liddy, Legal Counsel to the Finance Committee for the Reelection of the President.

     I had met Gordon Liddy once before. This was in January 1972 when a friend, Peter Millspaugh, who had recently become engaged invited me to meet his fiancée at lunch in the White House Mess, which is where White House employees have their meals. Shortly after I arrived another guest, Liddy, appeared and my friend introduced me. What I remember to this day is that Liddy dominated the entire conversation at lunch with his enthusiasm about Triumph of the Will, Lena Riefenstahl’s film about the Nazi Party’s rally in 1934. The film, which was widely acclaimed for its unique photography, had been commissioned by Hitler. Liddy waxed praise for every aspect of the film. I thought him to be a little crazy and exceedingly rude in using such a joyous occasion to talk endlessly about a Nazi propaganda film.

      In mid-May Hunt invited me to have lunch with him and Liddy at a private dining club for members of the Intelligence Community that was in the Georgetown section of Washington. Liddy again dominated the occasion with endless talk about his expectation to receive a high position in the Department of the Treasury in the second Nixon Administration. On the surface this made sense to me as he was Counsel to the Finance Committee for the Reelection of the President, was a former FBI agent and at one time had worked in the Treasury Department.  His non-stop discourse was interrupted by a man entering the dining room who was seated at a nearby table. Hunt then suddenly exclaimed, “There’s that son-of-a-bitch Cord Meyer.” Meyer was a senior CIA official whose ex-wife was a mistress to President John Kennedy and who was murdered not long after JFK’s assassination because she knew too much. Soon thereafter, Liddy excused himself to use the restroom and while he was away Hunt asked me if I had reached a decision about joining the CIA. I responded that I was still thinking about it. Then out of the blue Hunt exclaimed, “Ellsberg is not a traitor. He is just misinformed and misled.” I only knew Daniel Ellsberg from the newspapers as a controversial figure in the Pentagon Papers disclosure. At that point Liddy returned and again picked up where he had left off talking about his expectation of a high Administration position when Nixon was reelected.

      In late May Liddy called me into his office and said that a major donor from Florida to the Finance Committee had requested him to refer a lawyer for a real estate matter he had in the District of Columbia. Liddy said he had given my name to the donor and to expect a phone call from him. The donor subsequently called me and outlined the legal matter. Because the Memorial Day holiday was a short time away, I inquired if could visit with him then in Florida about the matter. He readily agreed and I flew to Florida over the holiday and met with the donor and his wife in Delrey Beach. I told him I would prepare a report on the real estate issue and present it to Kilcullen when I returned to Washington. I then spent two days on the beach in Fort Lauderdale before flying back to the nation’s capital. After Watergate broke, I learned that on May 28, while I was in Florida, the Watergate burglary team headed by Liddy made its first entry into the office of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Office Building. The burglary was only partially successful and soon thereafter a decision of made to make a second entry on June 17.

     On June 17 I was awakened at 3:05 A.M. by a phone call from Hunt who said he was calling from his White House office. He said an important matter had arisen and asked if he could visit me immediately. I told him to come ahead and that I would alert the desk clerk downstairs of his imminent arrival. I lived in an apartment house about a mile from the White House and as it turned out about the same distance from the Watergate complex. Hunt arrived around 3:40 A.M. and informed me what had happened at Watergate. Five burglars had been arrested inside the DNC. He and Liddy had escaped because they were in a room in the adjacent Watergate Hotel and had been alerted by former FBI agent Alfred Baldwin whom McCord had stationed across the street in the Howard Johnson Hotel. I quickly realized that this event posed a dire threat to the survival of President Nixon’s Administration although I do not think that Hunt at the time fully recognized it as such. I explained to him that our law firm specialized in labor law and was not a criminal defense firm and that I had to call a partner in the firm to get guidance. Only Robert Scott, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, was in town. Jerome Powell was on the eastern shore of Maryland and John Kilcullen and his wife were vacationing in Italy. Scott knew Hunt as a prior client of the firm. When I telephoned Scott he said, “They must have been set up. They must have been set up.” He told me to sit tight while he called a criminal defense lawyer to assist me in representing the defendants and also called his nephew whom I did not know. Scott called back about twenty minutes later and said that Joseph Rafferty, a criminal defense attorney, would assist me and indicated where I should meet him in a couple of hours. Scott added that he had also spoken to his nephew.

      After I informed Hunt what Scott had said, he told me that in addition to representing him he wanted me also to represent the five arrested burglars. He then used my telephone to call Liddy who also asked me to represent him and the five arrested burglars. Hunt then departed around 5 A.M. to go home.

      The intent of moving fast on this was to get the five arrested burglars released as quickly as possible to avoid publicity surrounding the event. It was an extremely long shot but deemed worth the effort considering what was at stake, which was the survival of the Administration of President Nixon.

      Later that morning I met with Rafferty and we visited the five arrested burglars in a police precinct and then proceeded to the arraignment in court. Upon arrival at the court I got the feeling that our arrival was expected. Bail was denied to the arrested. The next day I conferred with McCord in the District of Columbia jail. He requested that I visit his wife at their Maryland home, which I did the following day.

      John Kilcullen returned from Italy a few days after Watergate broke. He asked me to explain the case to him. Afterward he held his head in his hands and sadly exclaimed, “The Republicans have really done it to themselves this time.”

      At Liddy’s request I met with him in the office of the law firm on Saturday, June 24, a week after the arrests. Upon arrival he immediately gave me a one-dollar bill which he said was to cement the attorney-client relationship. I then said to him, “Gordon, who dreamed up this thing? It is mind boggling.” He looked me in the eye and proudly replied “I did.” Then he switched his eyes to look out my office window that was above Connecticut Avenue not far from the White House, and proudly exclaimed, “This is the biggest criminal case of the century.” What struck me about his utterances was there no showing of remorse. Quite the opposite. He was jubilant and exhilarated and on an emotional happy high. His eyes glistened as if in anticipation of something only he knew. With that he got ready to depart, asking if there was a rear entrance to the office building that he could use. He got on the elevator and waved goodbye. Both he and Hunt remained free until they were indicted in September along with the five arrested burglars. The next time I would see Liddy would be at the trial of the seven defendants in January 1973.

      On June 28, four days after Liddy’s visit, when I was in the federal courthouse working on the case, I was served a subpoena signed by Chief Judge John Sirica to appear before the federal grand jury empaneled to investigate Watergate. Donald Campbell, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, who served the subpoena then grabbed me by my arm and pulled into the grand jury room. Earl Silbert, principal Assistant U.S. Attorney, administered the oath to me and then I was excused to confer with the attorneys at my law firm. I was ultimately to appear before the grand jury six times and have my bank records subpoenaed.

      On June 29 I learned for the first time that Robert Scott’s nephew whom he called while Hunt was in my apartment was an Assistant U.S. Attorney. My new attorney, Urban Lester, who was a relative of Jerome Powell, concluded that Scott had been providing information about the case to his nephew who in turn informed the prosecution and also to the Democratic leadership since my phone call to him on June 17. Scott was a Democrat and a union lawyer who represented the Mine Workers Union. Lester believed that the grand jury problems I was experiencing stemmed from information about the case that Scott was providing to these outside sources and that he might even have been embellishing the information to make himself look good. Lester and I started to make certain Scott was not privy to what we were doing to protect the interests of the seven defendants. Once I became a witness before the grand jury, I could no longer represent them. When new attorneys came on board to represent the defendants, Lester advised them of the double role being played by Scott.

      On July1 the Washington Post carried a front-page article by Bob Woodward, “Bugging Suspects’ Lawyer Is Quizzed by Jury.” The article stated that prosecutor Silbert in court “told Sirica that Caddy’s conduct was ‘specious, dilatory and …an obstruction of justice,” which is a crime. I wondered if he was setting me up to frame me. My fear that this was in the works came in about two weeks later when Judge Sirica also leveled a false charge against me.  

      As recounted previously I was approached with a “hush” money for the defendants over the July 4th holiday that I rejected.

      On July 12 in a court hearing Chief Judge John Sirica falsely declared that I was a principal in the break-in at the DNC and if I did not answer all the questions before the grand jury, he would hold me in contempt of court and jail me. That night at the law firm the attorneys concluded that I could not answer questions that were protected by the attorney-client privilege. The next day, on July 13, I refused to answer the disputed 38 questions before the grand jury and Judge Sirica held me in contempt and jailed me. The U.S. Court of Appeals ordered my release pending a hearing before it on the merits. After that hearing the Appeals Court on July 18 upheld Judge Sirica’s contempt citation and ordered me to testify before the grand jury under pain of imprisonment if I failed to do so. The headline in The New York Times the next day was “Lawyer Held in Contempt in Democratic Raid Inquiry.”

      My team of attorneys decided that I should answer the disputed questions before the grand jury on July 19 because we had built a strong enough case of abuse of me as the defendants’ attorney by Sirica and the Court of Appeals that if the seven defendants were convicted their conviction could be overturned on appeal. As I prepared to go before the grand jury, unbeknownst to me President Nixon and his close aide John Ehrlichman, were discussing me in the White House. What is crucially missing in their discussion is that since April 25 I had be working part-time as a volunteer lawyer for the Lawyers Committee for the Reelection of the President under the direction of John Dean, whose office was close to the Oval Office. Furthermore, since early May Webster had assigned me a volunteer lawyer to work part time for Liddy at the Finance Committee.  Had Dean, who was the mastermind of the newly emerging coverup, informed Ehrlichman or President Nixon and Ehrlichman of my close ties to the White House, they would have likely concluded that any coverup would ultimately fail. Thus, the coverup might have ended right there.

      While the Oval Office discussion was underway, I was appearing before the grand jury. I answered all questions posed to me and then there was a lull in the proceedings. I decided to put on the grand jury record the mysterious phone calls I had received that sought me out to be a conduit of “hush” money to all the defendants and their families. I declared to the grand jury that “I received these mysterious phones from someone….” That was as far as I got because suddenly Seymour Glanzer, one of the prosecutors, cut me off and switched back to asking me more questions. It was obvious that the prosecutors did not want to hear what I had to say about the mysterious phone calls. Who was behind this scheme to prevent me from testifying? The answer can be found in the Oval Office tapes. On July 14 there was this exchange about Henry Petersen, Assistant Attorney General from the Criminal Division in the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney General Richard Kleindienst:

President Nixon: What is the situation on Peterson, Kleindienst and the rest?

Ehrlichman: Petersen, pretty good. Kleindienst is one step removed from it. Petersen’s always been very good with Dean in trying to help evaluate the thing as it goes along and in keeping Dean informed of the direction that things are going.

President Nixon: What the U.S. Attorney is up to, and so forth?

Ehrlichman: Yes. And he’s managed to keep a hold of the U.S. Attorney better. It is a better situation than it was.

      Had the prosecutors on July 19 allowed me to speak about the mysterious phone “hush” money phone calls I had received, the coverup that was its infancy would have been ended. So twice on the same day history could have turned out differently because of my role in the case.

      A few days later Scott asked me to join him for lunch. We had barely sat down in the restaurant when his nephew joined us. I was startled by this development. They began to ask me questions as if I were before the grand jury. I uttered a few meaningless grunts now and then but never replied, fearing anything I might say could adversely affect the rights of the seven defendants.  Not long thereafter in open court Silbert threatened to subpoena Scott before the grand jury. My guess is that he had figured out the nefarious scheme Scott was engaged in to bring down President Nixon.

      In August famed attorney Edward Bennett Williams took my sworn deposition in a lawsuit that the Democratic National Committee had filed against named persons connected to Watergate. The day before the deposition Scott had returned to our law office in the late afternoon and announced that he had just come from a meeting with Williams. Urban Lester and I read into Scott’s surprising declaration that he had met with Williams was to make certain that any questions Williams might ask me would not reveal Scott’s double agent role.  In any event the deposition was uneventful except for what occurred just before I started my testimony. I had arrived half an hour early at William’s office building and proceeded to the law firm’s reception area. I did this to escape being cornered by the reporters that later gathered on the street outside. When the time came for my deposition, I got on the elevator and went up Williams’s floor. As I got off the elevator, I found CBS reporter Lesley Stahl talking to Williams’s secretary who was seated at her desk in front of Lesley. Then the secretary saw me and suddenly stood up and shouted, “You have no right to be on this floor. Leave immediately!” Lesley informed her that I was the witness. This flustered the secretary who then ushered me into the conference room where ten people were gathered, including Williams and Urban Lester and his law partner, Joseph Contrucci.

     That same month Liddy sent me a handwritten letter dated August 24, 1972, in which he wrote, “I understand, however, that you have answered some questions before a federal grand jury in a manner which, I believe, quite frankly, disregarded your obligation to me as my attorney.” I was grievously offended by Liddy’s gross ungratefulness. In my effort to protect the attorney-client privilege of all the defendants I was held in contempt of court by Judge Sirica and jailed. This had occurred six weeks before Liddy wrote me his letter. Neither he nor his attorney had made any effort to support me or clarify our relationship while I waged the battle against being held in contempt of court. In contrast Hunt at that time had provided me with a letter that I read to the grand jury that affirmed our long-standing attorney-client relationship.

      In September attorney William Bittman who succeeded me in representing Hunt after I had to withdraw requested that I and Lester and Contrucci visit him.  Bittman was a famed former Justice Department prosecutor and was now with a major law firm. He told me that I would be a key witness at the criminal trial of the seven defendants scheduled for January 1973. He said that I soon would be called to visit the U.S. Attorney’s office to review my grand jury testimony that spanned five appearances. He declared, “Doug, when you review your testimony check carefully to make sure that no alterations have been made in it.” Upon hearing this, Lester, Contrucci and I nearly fell out of our chairs. The idea that prosecutors can alter grand jury testimony shocked us to our cores. I then casually remarked that I had received mysterious phone calls from someone. Bittman upon hearing this became agitated and asked for more information but for some reason Lester would not let me talk further.

     In December Dorothy Hunt was killed in a plane crash in Dallas. I have always felt that this might be related to Hunt threatening Colson and the White House in a phone call he made to Colson in November after Nixon was reelected. Hunt demanded “hush” money be paid to the families of the seven defendants if the defendants were convicted at the pending trial in January -- or else the coverup would be exposed. The dramatic phone call can be listened to on YouTube by typing in Howard Hunt’s phone call to Charles Colson in November 1972.

      I attended Dorothy’s funeral at a Catholic church. In the parking lot Hunt walked over crying with his eyes red and swollen embraced me. Then I started crying while trying to console him. FBI agents took photographs of this. I attended the interment on a hilltop at a nearby cemetery. It was a scene I shall never forget. As the priest administered rites the entire sky was filed with dark and ominous clouds. Lightning was continuously striking nearby and far away. Yet no rain was falling. It was something one would expect to see in a horror movie.

     At the beginning of the defendants’ Watergate trial in January Hunt pled guilty and the four Cuban Americans followed his lead. I have always wondered whether attorney Bittman persuaded Hunt to do so and that Bittman was so motivated because he had accepted the “hush” money that I had turned down. Anthony Ulasewizc, the bagman, left it in a phone book in a phone booth in the lobby where Bittman’s law firm had its office and Bittman came down and retrieved it.

      Just before the trial of Liddy and McCord started, McCord sought me out and expressed his sincere appreciation for the legal work I had done for him and all the defendants. I was moved by what he said. While I was on the witness stand, being a voluntary witness for the defendants and an involuntary one for the prosecution, Silbert asked about Liddy’s visit to me in the law firm a week after the case broke when he paid me one dollar to cement the attorney-client relationship. He asked if it was my common practice to accept one dollar under such circumstances. I responded that none of the partners were in the office on that Saturday so there was no one with whom to confer. The jury soon retired to consider the verdict. Liddy and I had a brief lunch together. Upon our return it was announced that the jury had reached a verdict.  Liddy and McCord were found guilty and led away.

     In March 1973 McCord wrote Judge Sirica a letter exposing the coverup and the payment of “hush” money. I have always wondered if the CIA had told him that it was the time publicly to expose the coverup, which would end Nixon’s presidency.

     Around June I appeared for the final time before the grand jury. The prosecutors – Silbert, Glanzer and Campbell – met with me in Silbert’s office before I entered the grand jury room. Glanzer recalled that in my July 19th testimony the year before when I had referred to mysterious phone calls from someone.  I pointed my arm at him and twice emotionally declared, “And you cut my testimony off.” There was complete silence as the implications of what I had said set in. I then spoke up and declared, “but it could have been from anyone. It could even have been from a reporter from the Washington Post. Had I taken that money, then everything you have been saying about me all this time would be true.” With that I went into the grand jury room and testified about being offered the “hush” money on phone calls from someone whose identity was still unknown to me.

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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      The assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the plot to destroy President Nixon in 1972 had common elements. These included some of the same CIA people being involved in both, a coalition of the CIA and Miliary Intelligence, and flawed investigations into what took place. Historian Peter Dale Scott in an interview in The Kennedy Beacon of January 23, 2024, declared, “The truth is, we’ve been living with “fake facts” ever since the Warren Report. The Warren Report is so phony that even some of the men who drafted it, and signed it, didn’t believe it! Some were quite vocal about it. They were signing a fake document. To believe the Warren Report you have to believe that one bullet was able to cause seven wounds in two different people, hit a bone, and then fall unscathed onto a stretcher. It’s all in the report. And if you believe that, you’re nuts.”

     The same is true that we have been living with crucial “fake facts” in the Watergate case in the Appeals Court decision of November 1974, almost two years after the trial took place. The Court’s decision with its lies and misrepresentations about me is the primary exhibit of how the role of the CIA escaped being exposed during the multi-investigations into the Watergate case. By declaring that Hunt called me from the Watergate burglar’s lookout post in room 723 of the Howard John Moter Hotel after the five burglars were arrested, Prosecutor Silbert, Judge Sirica and the Court of Appeals foreclosed any possible inquiry that Hunt called someone else, which is what he did – CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston, one of the three principal conspirators.

     It is ludicrous to believe that the CIA conspirators would have included me, an associate attorney in a labor law firm, as a conspirator in their conspiracy to destroy President Nixon. What they did was to move me around like a piece on a chessboard without me be aware of it to end up as I did to be the attorney Hunt called from his White House office at 3:05 a.m. to be counsel in the case.

     Fortunately, the 1973 public hearings of the Senate Watergate Committee supplemented by evidence from other sources such as the Nixon Oval Office tapes reveal the gross deficiencies of the Appeals Court’s decision. Key witnesses that were never called to testify at the 1973 trial subsequently provided crucial testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee that filled in the shortcomings of the Appeals Court opinion.

     Judge Sirica at the trial again became the prosecutor just as he did in the early days of the case.

    The Appeals Court’s decision here is followed by my analysis and commentary. In reading the court opinion bear in mind that the intention of Henry Petersen, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division in the U.S. Department of Justice, and Prosecutor Silbert was to keep the investigation confined solely to the burglary of the DNC. They did not want it to extend further because it might implicate higher-ups in the White House or in CREEP. They never were aware that the CIA clandestinely was running the cover-up and that their actions meant that any investigation into the role of the CIA in Watergate was foreclosed. This strategy is explained in this Oval Office tape of October 20, 1972, the day after I testified before the grand jury.

     The following is from a discussion between President Nixon and H.R. Haldeman:

Haldeman: Another thing I didn’t know that [John] Mitchell told me is that John Dean…went to [Henry] Petersen and laid out the whole scenario to him of what actually happened, who was involved and where it all fit. Now, on the basis of that, Petersen is working with that knowledge, directing the investigation along the channels that will not produce the kind of answers we don’t want produced. Petersen also feels that the fact that there were some lines in this case that ran to the White House is very beneficial because it has slowed them down in pursuing things, because all of them are of the view that they don’t want to indict the White House, they only want to indict the -- they want to tighten up that case on the criminal act and limit it to that to the degree that they can….

     Here is the Appeals Court decision followed by my analysis and commentary.


    United States of America v. George Gordon Liddy, A/k/a George F. Leonard, Appellant, 509 F.2d 428 (D.C. Cir. 1974)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit - 509 F.2d 428 (D.C. Cir. 1974) Argued June 14, 1974. Decided Nov. 8, 1974

Peter L. Maroulis, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for appellant. Thomas A. Kennelly, Washington, D.C., also entered an appearance for appellant.

Sidney M. Glazer, Asst. Sp. Prosecutor, for appellee. Leon Jaworski, Sp. Prosecutor, Philip A. Lacovara, Counsel for the Sp. Prosecutor, Richard D. Weinberg and Robert L. Palmer, Asst. Counsel to the Sp. Prosecutor, were on the brief for appellee.

Before BAZELON, Chief Judge, and WRIGHT, McGOWAN, LEVENTHAL, ROBINSON, MacKINNON and WILKEY, Circuit Judges, sitting en banc.

LEVENTHAL, Circuit Judge:

Appellant Liddy seeks reversal of his conviction on charges relating to the burglary and wiretapping of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment-office building complex in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 17, 1972. Appellant was named in six counts of an eight count indictment returned against seven defendants1  on September 15, 1972. On January 8, 1973, jury selection began before then Chief Judge John J. Sirica of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Shortly after the trial commenced, five defendants changed their pleas to guilty.2  On January 30, 1973, the remaining defendants, appellant Liddy and James W. McCord, Jr., were found guilty by the jury. Appellant was convicted of conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (count 1), burglary in violation of 22 D.C.Code § 1801(b) (counts 2 and 3), and unlawful endeavor to intercept oral and wire communications and interception of communications in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1) (a) (counts 4, 5, and 8). The sentences imposed by Judge Sirica on Liddy on March 23, 1973, are set forth in the margin.3 

Appellant presents five grounds for reversal: (1) The trial judge erred in conducting voir dire by refusing to engage in individual questioning of each venireman who had been exposed to pretrial publicity. (2) The trial judge erred in reading to the jury the testimony of a government witness and related bench conferences taken outside of the jury's presence. (3) Instructions improperly allowed the jury to consider the time and circumstances under which appellant retained an attorney as bearing on his state of mind. (4) The trial judge erred in allowing testimony regarding defendant's statement that he lost his job for failure to cooperate with the FBI. (5) Appellant was denied his right to cross-examine a government witness by the trial judge's adherence to an order of this court prohibiting the introduction into evidence of the contents of illegally intercepted wire communications. We find no reversible error, and affirm.

During a three-week jury trial the Government introduced extensive evidence concerning the activities of defendants Hunt, Liddy, and McCord regarding their efforts to secure political intelligence from the headquarters of various Democratic presidential candidates and the offices of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The presentation focused on the period of May and June, 1972, during which the conspiracy was alleged to have been formed and the acts of burglary and violations of the wiretapping laws took place.

We summarize the evidence pertaining to the involvement of appellant Liddy. In late 1971 Liddy was hired by the Committee for the Reelection of the President (CRP) to serve as general counsel. Later, in January 1972, he agreed to organize an intelligence gathering operation to protect the campaign from violence and disruptions. In March, 1972, he moved from CRP down a flight of stairs to become counsel for the Finance Committee to Re-elect the President, although he continued his prior intelligence gathering assignment.

The Government presented several lines of evidence connecting Liddy with the five defendants apprehended in the DNC offices on June 17, 1972--McCord, and four residents of the Miami area, Barker, Martinez, Gonzalez, and Sturgis. First, there was the testimony of Hugh Sloan, treasurer of the finance committee. In April 1972, Sloan consulted Liddy regarding possible problems in accepting four checks drawn on a foreign (Mexican) bank, payable to and endorsed by one Manuel Ogarrio. The two agreed that the best way to handle these checks was to convert them into cash, and Liddy undertook to do this with the aid of friends around the country. The Government established that these Mexican checks, and also a check payable to and endorsed by a member of the finance committee totaling $114,000, were deposited in a Miami bank account by defendants Barker and Martinez on April 20, 1972, and that the bulk of the funds were withdrawn within two weeks by Barker. Liddy later returned $111,500 in $100 bills to Sloan.

Sloan further testified that he turned over to Liddy a total of $199,000 in cash, primarily in $100 bills. Bills of that denomination were given by Liddy to McCord, who was in charge of security for CRP and the finance committee, and later were found, in sequence, on McCord and the four other defendants apprehended in the DNC offices on June 17. The hundred dollar bills found on those men and in their hotel rooms were traced to Barker's Miami bank account.

In addition to the use of the checks and the hundred dollar bills, the Government introduced telephone company and hotel records. The telephone slips showed calls from Liddy to Barker placed just prior to trips made by the four Miami residents to Washington in May and June, 1972. The guest records indicated that six of the defendants, using aliases, checked in together at a Washington hotel on May 22, 1972, and rented rooms together at the Watergate Hotel until May 29, 1972.

Thomas Gregory, a college student, gave evidence tying Liddy to Hunt and other defendants in connection with plans to enter the offices used by Senator McGovern in his campaign to secure the Democratic Presidential nomination. Gregory had been hired by Hunt in early 1972 to infiltrate Senator Muskie's headquarters and pass information to Hunt. In April, Hunt directed Gregory to switch to McGovern headquarters and continue his activities there. Gregory testified to meeting Liddy, along with Hunt, and driving around while Liddy questioned Gregory about the layout of the McGovern offices. They then proceeded to McGovern headquarters at approximately 2:00 a.m. where they found the back entrance locked and the front entrance too well lighted. Gregory met Liddy again on May 22, along with Hunt, McCord, Gonzalez, Sturgis, and two other men, at the hotel where six of the defendants had recently checked in. In Liddy's presence, Gonzalez, a locksmith, asked Gregory, McCord, and Hunt about the locks on the doors at the McGovern headquarters.

The operation for monitoring of the conversations on the intercepted DNC telephones was described by Alfred Baldwin, a former FBI agent who had been hired by McCord. McCord instructed Baldwin on the operation of the equipment he had assembled in room 419 of the Howard Johnson Motel located across the street from the DNC offices and requested that he monitor conversations which were political or personal in nature. McCord indicated that the unit was activated whenever the telephone of DNC's executive director, Spencer Oliver, was in use. In order to improve reception, the operation was moved to room 723 of the motel, which looked directly down into DNC headquarters. Through the first half of June, Baldwin estimated that he monitored 200 calls, including conversations of Oliver and his secretary Ida Mae Wells. He testified that on May 26, Hunt and Liddy came to room 419 and McCord then showed them the monitoring equipment. Later, Hunt, Liddy and McCord visited room 723 and used the balcony to survey the DNC offices.

The Arrests and Subsequent Events

When McCord, Barker, Martinez, Gonzalez, and Sturgis were apprehended in the DNC offices in the Watergate complex on June 17, at 2:00 a.m., they had in their possession walkie talkies, burglary tools, documents that had been taken from DNC files, telephone bugging devices, and equipment capable of transmitting voice conversations. Baldwin, who was acting as a lookout from the balcony of room 723, saw two men emerge from an alleyway near the Watergate building shortly after uniformed policemen arrived at the scene. He identified one of the men as Hunt and testified that the other was wearing a suit he recognized as Liddy's. At about 3 a.m. Hunt arrived at room 723 with a walkie talkie and used the telephone to call an attorney, Michael Douglas Caddy.

Caddy's testimony established that about a half hour after this phone call, Hunt visited Caddy's apartment. Caddy then made a series of telephone calls to retain an attorney with more experience in criminal law. Caddy stated that at about 5 a.m. Hunt called Liddy from Caddy's apartment and informed Liddy that an attorney experienced in criminal law matters had been retained. Caddy talked to Liddy and confirmed what Hunt had said. Then Hunt gave Caddy $8500 in cash, one $500 bill and the rest in $100 bills.

At 8:30 a.m., Caddy went to arraignment court where he met Joseph Rafferty, a lawyer with experience in criminal law. They checked with the clerk to see whether the arraignment sheet contained names of five individuals, names that were the aliases then being used by the five men arrested in the Watergate. Shortly thereafter the attorneys went to a police station to confer with the five men. Caddy had met Barker a year previous but had never met any of the others. Caddy had not been contacted by any of these men prior to his appearance at the police station. After the meeting at the police station, Caddy called Hunt at home. A few days later, Liddy directed Caddy by telephone to pay to Mr. Rafferty $2500 of the $8500 he had received.

Later in the morning of Saturday, June 17, Liddy went to the Finance Committee for the Re-election of the President. Hugh Sloan testified that he ran into Liddy in the hall outside his office, at which time--'He was obviously in a hurry. He indicated to me at that point he couldn't stop; he said to the best of my recollection: my boys got caught last night; I made a mistake; I used somebody from here which I said I'd never do. I'm afraid I am going to lose my job.' (Tr. 1452).

Later in the day, Liddy inquired about the Committee's largest shredding machine and was instructed in its operation. He was subsequently seen with a large stack of papers on the floor where the shredder was located. The Government introduced, as further evidence of Liddy's guilty knowledge, testimony of Hunt's employer, Robert Bennett, that on July 2 Liddy told him that he had lost his job at the Committee for failing to cooperate fully with the FBI.

The defense consisted primarily of an attack on the credibility of Gregory and Baldwin and challenges to their identifications of Liddy. Character witnesses and evidence that Liddy cooperated with the FBI in late July were presented. Liddy did not testify.


The purpose of voir dire examination is to safeguard the right to jury trial which 'guarantees to the criminally accused a fair trial by a panel of impartial, 'indifferent' jurors.'4  The requirement of impartiality demands that voir dire examination serve as a filter capable of screening out prospective jurors who are unable to lay aside any opinion as to guilt or innocence and render a verdict based on the evidence presented in court.5  The trial judge, acting under Rule 24(a), Fed. R. Crim. P., is accorded broad discretion to mold the manner and mode of voir dire examination, to fit the demands of the case at hand,6  and provides no basis for reversal unless he abuses his discretion, and there is substantial prejudice to the accused.7 

In United States v. Bryant, this court endorsed the recommendation of the American Bar Association Project on Minimum Standards for Criminal Justice, Standards Relating to Fair Trial and Free Press § 3.4(a) (1968) as encapsulating the proper criteria for determining when individual voir dire examination regarding pretrial publicity is required.8  This standard requires individual examination '(w)henever there is believed to be a significant possibility that individual talesmen will be ineligible to serve because of exposure to potentially prejudicial material.' Whether such a 'significant possibility' exists in a given case depends on such circumstances as the amount and pervasiveness of the publicity, its tone or quality, its proximity to the date of trial, and the nature of the particular case. The totality of the circumstances controls whether the likelihood of prejudice is too great to permit the jurors' avowals of impartiality to be accepted.9  When such a likelihood exists, individual questioning is necessary to provide the trial judge with a basis for determining whether the juror will be able to lay aside any opinion as to guilt or innocence and render a verdict based on the evidence adduced at trial.

Appellant contends that, in light of the extensive pretrial publicity regarding the Watergate incident, such a significant possibility existed with regard to each prospective juror who admitted some prior knowledge of the case. He relies primarily on the Ninth Circuit's decision in Silverthorne v. United States, supra, which reversed a conviction because the trial judge failed to inquire into what each talesman knew about the case in order to assess the impact of the massive pretrial publicity. In that case the quantity, focus, and, most importantly, the inflammatory tone of the publicity created a substantial possibility that the prospective jurors' impartiality might have been undermined.10  All of the sixty-five veniremen in Silverthorne confessed knowledge of the case and thirty percent of those veniremen initially questioned had formed an opinion regarding the guilt or innocence of the accused. 400 F.2d at 639. The Ninth Circuit concluded that, 'under the peculiar and difficult facts of this case' and 'in such an atmosphere,' the trial judge had abused his discretion by not employing individual questions to develop an objective basis for determining each juror's impartiality. 400 F.2d at 639--640. Like Silverthorne, the other cases which appellant relies upon to urge the inadequacy of general assurances of impartiality given by jurors in response to en masse questioning involved extreme circumstances created by pervasive, inflammatory publicity.11 

In United States v. Bryant, supra, this court recently approved a voir dire examination procedure involving general question addressed to the veniremen en masse supplemented by individual questioning of those prospective jurors who had formed an opinion as to guilt or innocence or who recalled details of the case. 153 U.S.App.D.C. at 76--77, 471 F.2d at 1044--1045. In Bryant only some of the jurors admitted to having prior knowledge of the case, no juror indicated an opinion as to guilt or innocence, and a few confessed recollection of details. This court concluded that the trial judge's voir dire examination was 'generally in accord with' the ABA recommendation.12  Moreover, this court recognized the countervailing pressure, also present in the instant case, to shorten voir dire in order to reduce exposure of the veniremen, prior to empaneling and sequestration, to publicity generated by the commencement of the jury selection process.13 

In the present case, the trial judge used voir dire examination procedures similar to those employed in Bryant--general questions addressed to the entire array, followed by individual questioning of those who responded affirmatively to any of the initial inquiries, and thus raised the possibility they might have formed an opinion on the case. Although the trial judge recognized that the Watergate matter had been publicized extensively,14  he did not abuse his discretion in declining the defendants' request that all the veniremen who had heard anything about the case be examined individually.

The trial judge, after determining that virtually all of the veniremen had some knowledge of the case,15  did grant defendants' request to the limited extent of conducting individual questioning of eight members of the array who had acknowledged exposure to some publicity. This individual questioning indicated that most knew little about the case, few remembered even a single detail, and none had formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants.16  The results of the individual examinations thus served to verify prior responses to en masse questioning which indicated that few veniremen had formed an opinion regarding guilt or innocence.17  Under these circumstances, the trial judge acted within his broad discretion in abandoning individual questioning and continuing voir dire on an en masse basis. He complied with the ABA recommendation by examining individually all prospective jurors who indicated an opinion regarding guilt or innocence or who recalled details of the case, for only those veniremen, under the facts of this case, presented a significant possibility of ineligibility.


Immediately after Hugh Sloan testified that he did not understand the significance of Liddy's hurried statement--'my boys got caught last night'--at the time that it was made, the trial judge excused the jurors and announced that the rest of Sloan's testimony would be heard out of their presence. Following the prosecutor's completion of direct examination, the trial judge propounded 42 additional questions. (Tr. 1460--65). After the jury returned, the prosecutor asked Mr. Sloan when Liddy's June 17 remark came to have meaning to him. Defense counsel objected, and the prosecutor stopped his examination. Defense counsel put no questions on cross-examination and Sloan was excused.

Upon reviewing the record, the trial judge concluded that the jurors should have the benefit of the testimony taken in their absence. Three days after Sloan had completed his testimony, the trial judge informed counsel of his intention to read to the jury the transcript of Sloan's testimony beginning four pages before the jury was excused, continuing through the examination conducted out of the jurors' presence, and concluding with the final questioning of Sloan and a related bench conference which took place after the jury had returned. Prior to presenting the material to the jury, the trial judge read the entire section to counsel, indicating that several of his comments were to be excluded and allowing counsel to state objections to the procedure. The Government said it preferred that the evidence be developed by having the jury hear it from Sloan directly. The trial judge responded: 'No, Mr. Sloan might have a lapse of memory, I don't know. I would rather read it from the record.'18  The Government acquiesced. The trial judge advised both sides that he would permit Sloan to be recalled for further questioning or cross-examination.19 

The Government also asked whether the judge intended to read the bench conferences. The judge indicated that he did not 'think they (were) harmful to either side' and explained that 'the jury ought to hear the testimony in sequence.'20  Appellant's counsel objected to the entire proposal on the grounds that it would cause the jurors to place undue emphasis on Sloan's testimony and would undermine his decision not to cross-examine Sloan. He did not object to the inclusion of the bench conferences, however, until after they had been presented to the jury.

After recalling the jurors, the trial judge explained his decision to read the aforementioned testimony and cautioned them not to draw any inferences regarding his views from the procedure.21  Subsequently, after Sloan's testimony was read to the jury, appellant raised objection to the disclosure of the material presented in the bench conferences. The trial judge then instructed the jurors that questions of counsel and arguments at the bench do not constitute evidence.22 

Appellant asserts three claims of error with regard to the trial judge's action in reading Sloan's testimony to the jury: (1) The procedure prejudiced the appellant by lending undue emphasis to Sloan's testimony. (2) The disclosure of the bench conferences exposed the jury to inadmissible material prejudicial to appellant. (3) The procedure deprived appellant of his right to confrontation and cross-examination.

The precepts of fair trial and judicial objectivity do not require a judge to be inert. The trial judge is properly governed by the interest of justice and truth, and is not compelled to act as if he were merely presiding at a sporting match. He is not a 'mere moderator.'23  As Justice Frankfurter put it, '(f)ederal judges are not referees at prize-fights but functionaries of justice.' Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 46, 54, 68 S. Ct. 391, 395, 92 L. Ed. 468 (1948) (dissenting in part). A federal trial judge has inherent authority not only to comment on the evidence adduced by counsel, but also--in appropriate instances--to call or recall and question witnesses.24  He may do this when he believes the additional testimony will be helpful to the jurors in ascertaining the truth and discharging their fact-finding function.25  What is required, however, are reins of restraint, that he not comport himself in such a way as to 'tilt' or oversteer the jury or control their deliberations.26 

Applying these general principles to this particular case, we conclude that, although certain problems are presented by the action of the trial judge in reading to the jury from the testimony first taken from Sloan outside the jury's presence, his overall course was neither an abuse of his judicial function nor a denial of fair trial.

In this case we do not have the situation that commonly leads to a claim of judicial excess, wherein the trial judge either creates an appearance of partiality by continued intervention on the side of one of the parties27  or undermines the effective functioning of counsel through repeated interruption of the examination of witnesses.28  Here there was no interjection by the trial judge until he excused the jury at a time when the prosecutor had almost completed his examination. And there was no questioning by defense counsel.

The decision of the trial judge to proceed outside the presence of the jury was announced when Sloan gave testimony that the judge found hard to credit. (Sloan said he had not appreciated at the time the significance of Liddy's 'my boys got caught' statement.) The removal of the jury was a prelude to questioning by the trial judge. The prosecutor completed his direct examination, eliciting that when Sloan initially gave information to the FBI and the prosecutors he was concerned about his liability under the campaign financing law, but was informed that, although no promises could be made, 'common sense' made charges against him unlikely. Then the trial judge put his questions to the witness.

The majority of the questions put by the trial judge to Sloan were a retraverse of subjects covered on direct--the mechanics of the 'laundering' of the Mexican checks; the cash payments to Liddy; the relation between Sloan and the prosecutor. The trial judge went beyond the ground covered in the prosecutor's direct examination in one respect. The judge asked Sloan to testify why the cash payments were made to Liddy. While the prosecutor elicited from Sloan on direct that cash payments had been made to Liddy, he did not inquire as to the purpose of those payments. And so the record as it stood left the jury only with the testimony of a prior witness, Jeb Stuart Magruder, the deputy campaign director of CRP, that substantial sums had been paid to Liddy in cash for the intelligence gathering functions that Magruder had assigned to Liddy, and that he, Magruder, had not known of the plans for wiretapping and burglary. This left the jury with the prosecutor's approach that Liddy was the mastermind of both the intercept plan and the unlawful entry to implement it. The judge acted well within his discretion in seeking information of the accuracy of this approach from a witness who was likely to have such information. Magruder's testimony did not foreclose further inquiry. There were gaps in the record even assuming Magruder had been accurate. (a) Magruder only purported to testify that on being consulted by Sloan concerning a large sum drawn by Liddy, he assumed the funds related to Liddy's indication that 'he needed a considerable amount up front to get his intelligencegathering operation into being' (Tr. 1415). (b) Magruder testified as to a 'large sum' but not necessarily to all of the $199,000 Sloan paid out to Liddy. The questioning in some detail about the $199,000 in cash which Sloan had turned over to Liddy reflects the trial judge's evident skepticism that such a large sum would have been made available by Sloan without any explanation of the purpose for which it was to be used.

In response to the judge's questioning as to the purpose of the cash withdrawals by Liddy, Sloan could only say that he was not informed by Magruder, who gave the authorization, as to the purpose of the withdrawals. Magruder had established that the finance committee, although nominally a separate committee, had the function of making disbursements on the authorization of CRP. Sloan testified that he had verified Magruder's authority with former Secretary Stans, director of the finance committee, who in turn checked with former Attorney General Mitchell of CRP (Tr. 1443). Sloan also testified that eventually he made a full accounting to Stans of the cash he had disbursed (Tr. 1450). Although the judge's questions to Sloan went beyond Magruder's responses, the testimony given by Sloan was congruent with that previously given by Magruder.

We cannot say that the trial judge abused his discretion either in the questioning of Sloan, or in submitting to the jury the information elicited in its absence.

Where a trial judge is concerned with a witness's reliability, he may insist on supplemental questioning--and the procedure for withdrawal of the jury in the first instance may serve to prevent irreparable prejudice to the trial. The judge is not confined by the fact that the questions he has in mind were not put by counsel.

The judge's latitude to insist on further questions to a witness must be judged prospectively. It is therefore not undercut by the fact that, with regard to Sloan, the supplemental questioning in court produced no evidence that significantly affected the testimony given on direct.

Liddy's contention of prejudice would have more force if it were predicated on questioning by the judge that had passed outside judicial discretion to an inquisitorial undertaking. While it is ironic that Judge Sirica, concerned as he was with perjury at the trial, did not question Magruder, whose perjury was later developed in the massive, historic inquiry by Congress, this development serves to underline that the judges's questioning of Sloan did not portray a wide-ranging probe of witnesses that transcended the judicial province. We are not here concerned with any indications the judge may have given before or after the trial as to the public need for a broader investigation. So far as the questioning of Sloan is concerned, this was apparently triggered by what seemed to be the improbability of his account as given. It may well be that all that was involved as to Sloan was naivete, and the willingness of an A.B. in history, not versed in law or economics, to follow the instructions of senior officials of the political committee, including a former cabinet member, and to make large disbursements of cash without further inquiry. But the matter must be judged prospectively; there was certainly basis for the trial judge's concern at the time that Sloan was holding back, and that supplemental questioning was needed to prevent pollution by perjury of the trial he was conducting.

Even though the supplemental questioning did not significantly affect the thrust of Sloan's direct testimony, the trial judge had discretion, on reviewing that testimony, to conclude that its presentation to the jury would help it discharge its responsibility. He might well have concluded that the evidence regarding Sloan's relationship with the prosecutors and the more detailed development of matters raised in previous testimony would better equip the jury to digest the substance of Sloan's testimony, to assess its bearing on Sloan's credibility, and to appraise the weight the evidence should be accorded.29 

Separate problems are raised by the procedure used to present Sloan's testimony to the jury, as distinguished from the fact of its presentation. Sound and accepted doctrine teaches that the trial judge should avoid extensive questioning of the witness and should rely on counsel to develop testimony for the jury's consideration.30  Here the trial judge not only failed to seek an alternative to personal intervention, he declined the prosecutor's request to elicit the additional testimony by further questioning of Sloan in the jury's presence.31  A reopening of the record to enhance appraisal of credibility would ordinarily be furthered by presenting the witness, and his demeanor, if available. The problems are certainly not resolved by the trial judge's comment that Sloan 'might have a lapse of memory, I don't know.'

Nevertheless, we feel that the procedure did not infringe upon the requirement of fair trial. The impact of the extensive questioning by the trial judge was muted. He did not interrupt the direct examination with his inquiries. Reading a record already made tends to have less impact than question and answer by the witness. The judge's editing excised comments that might have been construed as an expression of an opinion regarding the credibility of the testimony given by Sloan.

The case would stand in a different posture if defense counsel had urged the trial judge to recall the witness for additional testimony. But here it was the prosecutor and not the defendant who asked that Sloan testify in person. Appellant's counsel clearly indicated that he did not want any further testimony from Sloan. In response to questioning at oral argument on appeal he stated:

Oh, let there be no misunderstanding about that your Honor. I did not intend to have my position understood as being that I wanted Sloan brought back. I don't believe that, however, my choices should be that I should join with the prosecutor in either having the matter read back or having the witness brought back. I don't think that covers the entire spectrum of choices. I think there is another choice, that it should be left alone.

As to appellant's claim that the entire procedure was invalid because undue emphasis was accorded Sloan's testimony concerning Liddy's statement of June 17 that 'my boys got caught last night,' we are convinced by the Government's response that 'no reasonable jury would have overlooked or forgotten such testimony.'32  Sloan's initial testimony about the June 17 remark given before the jury on direct examination and the Government's highlighting of the admission in summation and rebuttal rendered de minimis the effect of its inclusion at two points in the 22 pages of the record read to the jury. We also take note of the cautionary instruction given to the jury prior to the reading of the testimony.33 

Although prejudicial information contained in bench conferences may serve as grounds for reversal if the remarks are overheard by the jury,34  the inclusion of two bench conferences in the portion of the record read to the jury also fails to support reversal in this case.

Colloquy like that heard in bench conferences is often spoken in open court. An examination of this record and these conferences validates the trial judge's determination that the conferences were not harmful to either side.35  Although the dry run of the trial judge included the bench conferences before they were read and the Government specifically asked whether bench conferences would be read, defense counsel did not object to their inclusion. As soon as the point was raised, the trial judge instructed the jury that statements made during bench conferences are not evidence to be considered by the jury.36 

We turn to appellant's claim that the reading of Sloan's testimony deprived him of his right to cross-examination. The trial judge afforded appellant an opportunity to cross-examine Sloan and counsel steadfastly declined to exercise this right.37  He urges that the right to cross-examine includes the right to refuse to cross-examine, and that this right was undercut by the trial judge's action. This is the kind of point that establishes resourcefulness of counsel, but not legal error. Although defense counsel may exercise his discretion regarding cross-examination, he has no absolute right to prevent further testimony by a witness.

In sum, defense counsel has no right to preclude recall of a witness. A judge not only has power of recall, but latitude to use it to remove or dilute the pollution of a trial by testimony he believes to be perjurious or highly questionable. He may supplement the examination by counsel in order to draw out more information from a witness and to enhance the perspective for appraising his testimony.38  The public interest in safeguarding a record from taint is particularly keen when the case involves the integrity of the nation's political system--as can fairly be said when persons in the campaign of one major political party used clandestine contributions to penetrate the internal process of the other--and is consequently of moment in both the daily press and history. Judge Sirica's palpable search for truth in such a trial was not only permissible, it was in the highest tradition of his office as a federal judge. And although his execution of this objective presented problems, as must be acknowledged, they were not of a kind that deprived defendants of a fair trial. 'A defendant is entitled to a fair trial but not a perfect one.' Lutwak v. United States,344 U.S. 604, 619, 73 S. Ct. 481, 490, 97 L. Ed. 593 (1953). The vitality of this precept is attested by e.g., Brown v. United States, 411 U.S. 223, 231, 93 S. Ct. 1565, 36 L. Ed. 2d 208 (1973); Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123, 135, 88 S. Ct. 1620, 20 L. Ed. 2d 476 (1968). Assuming for discussion that the problems already noted reflect error by the trial judge, it must be ranked as harmless rather than prejudicial error.


On direct examination, attorney Michael Douglas Caddy testified as follows: At approximately 3:40 a.m. Saturday morning, June 17, 1972, Howard Hunt arrived at his apartment and arranged with him to secure counsel for the five men arrested in the Democratic National Committee's offices an hour and a half earlier. At about 4:45 a.m. Hunt called Liddy and both Hunt and Caddy explained to Liddy the steps that had been taken to retain an attorney for those men. During this conversation, Liddy indicated that he desired to have Caddy represent him in this matter.

Appellant assigns as error the trial judge's instruction that the jury could draw no adverse inferences from the fact that Liddy retained counsel but could 'consider the time and other surrounding circumstances at which Mr. Liddy retained Mr. Caddy with respect to the state of mind of Mr. Liddy only.'39  Appellant claims that allowing the jury to draw inferences of guilty knowledge from his efforts to obtain counsel imposes a penalty on the exercise of his Sixth Amendment rights.40  Liddy cites the Government's emphasis in closing argument on the unusual hour at which he retained counsel as evidence of the prejudicial nature of the alleged error.41 

Appellant bases his Sixth Amendment claim on Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609, 85 S. Ct. 1229, 14 L. Ed. 2d 106 (1965). In that case the Court held that comment on the defendant's failure to testify was forbidden by the Fifth Amendment, because it was tantamount to a penalty for exercising a constitutional right. Id. at 614--615, 85 S. Ct. 1229. A number of courts, including this court, have extended the principle announced in Griffin to prohibit comment on the defendant's failure to make an exculpatory statement upon arrest.42 

There is only scant law on the applicability of the penalty analysis employed in Griffin to the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Some courts have found reversible error in circumstances in which the prosecutor has commented on the defendant's silence and request for counsel upon arrest.43  Those cases, though containing language referring generally to the right to counsel, appear to be bottomed on considerations involving the rights of an accused facing police interrogation--a context in which the right to counsel is intimately bound up with the privilege against self-incrimination. They are thus of marginal value in ascertaining the applicability of Griffin to the Sixth Amendment claim raised in the present case.

In the present case, the trial judge instructed the jury that no adverse inferences could be drawn from the fact that appellant Liddy exercised his constitutional right to counsel. The trial judge, however, drew a distinction between the fact of hiring counsel and the time and circumstances under which an attorney was retained by the defendant.

Although it is the latter action of the trial judge that is contested on this appeal, we may usefully begin our discussion by approval of his instruction prohibiting the drawing of an adverse inference from the mere fact of hiring an attorney, at least when the circumstances are such that admission of evidence of such a request provokes the possibility that it will be taken as self-in-criminatory. This prohibition of adverse inference from the fact of hiring an attorney seems to us to be a fair corollary to the Supreme Court's opinion in Griffin. We should, perhaps, refer to our opinion in Jones v. United States, 111 U.S.App.D.C. 276, 296 F.2d 398 (en banc 1961), cert. denied, 370 U.S. 913, 82 S. Ct. 1260, 8 L. Ed. 406 (1962), although it was not cited by parties. Insofar as Jones, which rejects a Sixth Amendment claim, uses the broad principle that the expression of a desire to have a lawyer never impinges on the right to have one, we think it is superseded by the reasoning of Griffin.44 

The trial judge erred, however, in limiting the application of the principle of Griffin with a ruling that apparently considered that it is generally proper to take into account the time and circumstances of retaining an attorney, and to draw whatever inferences as seem appropriate. Such a distinction generally raises problems that hobble the right to seek counsel. To the extent that an inference of criminality is operative, it invites probing of the very process of selection of counsel--who, why, when and where--and pressing the defendant to come forward with evidence concerning this process. The mischief of the approach is underlined by it semantic subtleties, which opens the door to maneuver and misunderstanding. It would be a rare case indeed where the prosecutor could not point out that the incriminating feature of the employment of counsel--in the absence of explanation--rests not in the employment as such but in the time and circumstances surrounding that event, and inferences therefrom that reflect adversely on the defendant.45 

The Third Circuit recently examined the application of Griffin to a Sixth Amendment contention in United States ex rel. Macon v. Yeager, 476 F.2d 613 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 855, 94 S. Ct. 154, 38 L. Ed. 2d 104 (1973). In that case the prosecutor in his summation to the jury commented upon the fact that the defendant called an attorney the morning after the alleged crime and argued that this action cast doubt on the defendant's claim that the shooting was an accident. Id. 476 F.2d at 614. Although the defendant neither objected to the comment nor requested an instruction, the court held that there was plain error that required a reversal of the conviction. The court read Griffin as an absolute prohibition against the imposition of any penalty for the exercise of a constitutional right in a criminal law context. Id. at 615--616.

We agree with the Third Circuit's analysis that the admission of a request for counsel raises Sixth Amendment problems under Griffin. We are not called upon in this case to determine whether the Third Circuit was correct in treating Griffin as a bar that is absolute--whether, for example, it would apply where the request for or retainer of counsel was part of the actions constituting the offense, sometimes called the res gestae, so that omission of the request or retainer would distort the underlying account of the witnesses or undercut the likelihood that it would be considered reasonable or natural.

In the present case, even if it be assumed that there was error in the admission of evidence, the prosecutor's summation, or the instruction, or all of these, the error would be 'harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.'46  In Macon, where the Third Circuit found reversible error, the prosecutor's comment was directed at the credibility of the accused's story which was a central issue in the case. 476 F.2d at 616. Here, the time at which Liddy retained counsel was but one of a number of factors that linked him to Hunt and the five defendants apprehended a couple of hours earlier. Moreover, the effect of the error was mitigated by the fact that evidence of part of Liddy's 5:00 a.m. conversation with Caddy was clearly admissible to show Liddy's involvement in his action of retaining counsel for those arrested during the break-in. His assertion of a right to Sixth Amendment protection against any use of his statements to obtain counsel for himself certainly does not prohibit inquiry into portions of his conversation with Caddy relating to his action in obtaining counsel for others. This evidence of Liddy's efforts on behalf of the five defendants only a few hours after their arrest was probative of his involvement in their venture.47 

The evidence against the appellant, summarized at the outset of the opinion, was so overwhelming that even if there were constitutional error in the comment of the prosecutor and the instruction of the trial judge there is no reasonable possibility that it contributed to the conviction.48 


Appellant's fourth claim of error is also based on Griffin v. California.49  He asserts that his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination was violated by testimony that Liddy had told Robert Bennett, Hunt's employer, that he was no longer with the re-election committee because he had failed to cooperate with the FBI. He argues that the use of that evidence by the prosecutor during summation constituted a comment on his silence in violation of Griffin.

The Fifth Amendment prohibits any Government coercion that impairs an accused's right of silence, and Griffin reproves even the prospective coercion of prosecutorial comment at trial. But the right of silence is alloyed by speech, even the speech that refers to the silence, at least where, as here, the statement is to a private party,50  and is made freely and voluntarily without any hint of coercion.51  The cases (footnotes 50 and 51) establish that in such circumstances Fifth Amendment values are not impaired. It was within the discretion of the trial judge to hold that the statement volunteered by appellant as an explanation for his action (of leaving the committee) was admissible to establish his consciousness of guilt.


Prior to trial, persons claiming to be parties to intercepted conversations moved to suppress the contents of the illegally wiretapped conversations and to prevent their disclosure by witnesses at trial. After a series of rulings by the district court and this court and an in camera hearing on proposed testimony regarding the conversations, this court held that proof of the contents of the intercepted communications was not required to prove the charges against the defendants and ordered that the contents not be offered as evidence. The order allowed evidence regarding the identity of the telephones which were tapped and the persons at the Democratic National Committee who used those telephones. United States v. Liddy and Allen, No. 73--1020 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 19, 1973). Appellant contends that the foreclosure of questioning on the substance of the intercepted material violated his Sixth Amendment right to cross-examination.

The order prohibiting disclosure of the conversations restricted the range of proof available to both parties on the charge of actual interception of wire communications (count eight). As a result, the Government was limited to circumstantial evidence and to Baldwin's testimony that he overheard voices he recognized as those of Spencer Oliver and his secretary, Ida Mae Wells. Appellant was given ample opportunity to cross-examine Baldwin regarding the details of the wiretapping operation, his identifications of Liddy, and his ability to identify certain voices.52  Although questioning regarding the contents of the conversations which Baldwin allegedly overheard might have provided an additional area in which to test his credibility, such an examination was not required to afford appellant a fair opportunity to test the truth of the direct testimony.53  Under the circumstances of this case, the order prohibiting disclosure of the contents of the intercepted conversations vindicated the rights of the movants without undue interference with the rights of the accused.


                    Analysis and commentary on the “Fake Facts” in the Appeals Court’s decision.  The section of the court’s opinion being reviewed is in bold face print.


(1)  Sidney M. Glazer, Asst. Sp. Prosecutor, for appellee. Leon Jaworski, Sp. Prosecutor, Philip A. Lacovara, Counsel for the Sp. Prosecutor, Richard D. Weinberg and Robert L. Palmer, Asst. Counsel to the Sp. Prosecutor, were on the brief for appellee.

     I was questioned several times on tangential matters by the Office of the Special Prosecutor but was never contacted by the Senate Watergate Committee to provide testimony. It appears that the Office of Special Prosecutor and the Senate Watergate Committee merely accepted what had been provided them by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in its investigation of Watergate headed by Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Silbert and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seymour Glanzer and Donald Campbell.

     Glanzer’s prosecutorial role in the trial was supported by Judge Sirica. Here is an example:

     At the trial Liddy’s attorney adamantly contended that Liddy’s Sixth Amendment constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel was being violated by my being forced to testify. He argued:

“…If Mr. Liddy or any citizen of the United States or any person under the jurisdiction of the United States has a Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel…it ought not to matter one whit whether he exercises that right at three in the morning or three in the afternoon and what Mr. Silbert is suggesting is that there should be some limitation as to the hours when one can consult with an attorney and have no adverse inference drawn there from. I submit that it would have a chilling effect on the right to effectiveness of counsel.”

     Sirica openly sneered at this argument, declaring:

“How do I know Mr. Caddy in the context of the facts of this case is truly Mr. Liddy’s attorney? The simple fact that he says he is my attorney does not make him his attorney, does it? Then, if he wants to take the stand and go into detail when he consult him and how Mr. Caddy became his lawyer, what fee he paid him, and anything like that, I will listen to him, and then make a ruling. He hasn’t made any showing. Does your client want to take the stand? He will be cross-examined as to the relationship between Mr. Liddy and Mr. Caddy.”

      Liddy’s attorney responded, “Is your honor requiring that the only method in which I can establish the attorney-client relationship is to put my client on the stand?”

      Judge Sirica retorted, “I am not saying anything, but you have offered no evidence and your argument is not evidence to me. It is simply a statement by you.”

      At this point the prosecution began to worry that Liddy’s attorney was building a good case for appeal. So, Silbert called upon his second in command, Glanzer, to pollute the record with a tantalizing smear of me. Glanzer told the judge:

“There are many cases even though there is a relationship of attorney-client, the court can lift the confidentiality where it is in furtherance of a criminal venture although we are not saying it here. I am just citing an example where lawyers are called to testify or testimony is admitted with respect to lawyers of defendants at trial. There are no Sixth Amendment claims raised in those cases. It is preposterous.”

     Sirica, his bias barely concealed, jumped at Glanzer’s smear: “I think you are right.”

      (2) When McCord, Barker, Martinez, Gonzalez, and Sturgis were apprehended in the DNC offices in the Watergate complex on June 17, at 2:00 a.m., they had in their possession walkie talkies, burglary tools, documents that had been taken from DNC files, telephone bugging devices, and equipment capable of transmitting voice conversations. Baldwin, who was acting as a lookout from the balcony of room 723, saw two men emerge from an alleyway near the Watergate building shortly after uniformed policemen arrived at the scene. He identified one of the men as Hunt and testified that the other was wearing a suit he recognized as Liddy's. At about 3 a.m. Hunt arrived at room 723 with a walkie talkie and used the telephone to call an attorney, Michael Douglas Caddy.”

     This is a “fake fact.” Hunt made the phone call from room 723 around 2:30 a.m. to an unnamed attorney. However, he called me from his White House Office at 3:05 a.m. as I testified at the trial.

          On September 25, 2014, Bob Woodward, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Watergate, and his Washington Post colleague, Carl Bernstein, gave a lecture on the case in Houston at the Wortham Center. I was invited to the VIP Reception and had a friendly reunion with the two famous journalists. Both signed my copy their best-seller, All The President’s Men. At one point in our discussion, Bernstein declared, ‘Hunt called you from the Howard Johnson Motor Hotel.” Before I could reply, Woodward intervened, shaking his head negatively from side to side, saying, “No not him.” Bernstein looked stunned. I, too, was stunned to hear this truth spoken by the person who knows the most about what happened in Watergate. Woodward, always the skilled and honest reporter, then took the opportunity to ask me, “When did you first meet Howard Hunt?” and I replied, “at the Mullen Company.” Our discussion ended there as other people at the reception wanted to meet and talk to Woodward and Bernstein.

          In December 2023, Ari Melber interviewed Woodward on his MSNBC show, The Beat. The interview was played two different times on MSNBC and I viewed it both times. In the second minute of the interview, Woodward declared that after 50 years new information has come forth about Nixon and Watergate. He then added that what he had written about Watergate was a first draft. I believe that his remarks were in reference to what I had written here in The First Hour of Watergate.

     Alfred Baldwin in his testimony in 1973 before the Senate Watergate Committee testified Hunt called an unnamed lawyer from room 723 in the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge shortly after the burglars arrest.

     Baldwin, in an earlier interview published in The New York Times of October 7, 1972, said:

“Moments later I was contacted on the walkie‐talkie again and told: “We're on the way up. Be there in a minute.” I said, “You'd better not park near this building, police are all over the place.”

He said, “Okay.”

Then I heard a voice from another unit whisper, “They've got us.” Then Mc Cord's voice came through: “What are you people? Are you metropolitan police or what?”

Another voice demanded: “What's that?” And then the unit went silent. I tried to renew the contact, but to no avail.

A few minutes later Hunt, wearing a windbreaker, rushed into the room. He was extremely nervous.

“What do you see?” he asked.

I told him I saw McCord and some other man being led away from the Watergate in handcuffs. He walked over, looked down at the scene and then said: “I've got to call a lawyer.”

Picking up the phone, he dialed a local number. “They've had it,” he told the party on the other end, adding: “Well, I've got $5,000 in cash with me we can use for bond money.”

Hunt, hanging up the phone, turned and asked if I knew where McCord lived. I said yes, I had been to his house in Rockville. He instructed me to pack all the equipment and take it to McCord's house and asked if I had a place to go.”


     On December 24, 2005, historian John Simkin interviewed Baldwin on Spartacus-educational:

John Simkin: Is it true that when E. Howard Hunt arrived at your hotel room, he made a phone call to Douglas Caddy?

Alfred Baldwin: True Hunt on arriving at my room did make a call to someone who I realized was a lawyer due to the nature of the conversation coming from Hunt. No name was ever used so I cannot name that person.

      The FBI report of July 19, 1972, states: “Michael Douglas Caddy, also known as Douglas Caddy, is an Attorney at Law having offices at 1250 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. and is associated with the law firm Gall, Lane, Powell and Kilcullen. Caddy gratuitously appeared at the Metropolitan Police Department where subjects were taken after being arrested and claimed to represent them. Prior to Caddy’s arrival, none of the subjects made any phone calls which might have precipitated his appearance. Investigation disclosed telephone calls were made during the early morning hours of June 17, 1972, from the telephone of Everette Howard Hunt at the Robert R. Mullen and Company to the Barker residence in Miami, Florida and from Barker’s residence to the residence of Caddy.

     “Upon Caddy’s appearance before the Federal Grand Jury at Washington, D.C., he was held in contempt of court for failing to answer questions on the basis he had an attorney-client privilege relationship with Hunt. Contempt action was upheld at the U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19, 1982. Caddy subsequently testified he received a telephone call from Hunt at around 3:00 a.m. on June 17, 1972.”

     “Around 12:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., June 17, 1972, McCord received a telephone call and told Baldwin that ‘We’re going across the Street’ pointing to the Democratic Headquarters. McCord told Baldwin to watch and if anything unusual occurred to contact McCord by walkie-talkie.

     “Around 2:15 a.m., June 17, 1982, Baldwin noticed lights going on in the Watergate Apartments and subsequently police beginning to arrive. He attempted to utilize the walkie-talkie to alert McCord and received a response in a whisper. ‘We hear you; they have us.’ About this time Baldwin noticed two men leaving the alley on the east side of the Watergate and identified them as Hunt and Liddy. Hunt came to Room 723 and used the phone to call an attorney.”

    Again, the attorney Hunt called was not named in the FBI report.


    From: E. Howard Hunt, Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent (Berkley, 1974):     

From there I drove to the White House Annex – the Old Executive Office Building, in bygone years the War Department and later the Department of State.

Carrying three heavy attaché cases, I entered the Pennsylvania Avenue door, showed my blue-and-white, White House pass to the uniformed guards, and took the elevator to the third floor. I unlocked the door of 338 and went in. I opened my two-drawer safe, took out my operational handbook, found a telephone number and dialed it.

The time was 2:13 in the morning of June 17, 1972, and five of my companions had been arrested and taken to the maximum-security block of the District of Columbia jail. I had recruited four of them and it was my responsibility to get them out. That was the sole focus of my thoughts as I began talking on the telephone.

But with those five arrests the Watergate affair had begun….

After several rings the call was answered, and I heard the sleepy voice of Douglas Caddy. ‘Yes?’

Doug? This is Howard and I hate to wake you up, but I’ve got a tough situation and I need to talk to you. Can I come over?

‘Sure. I’ll tell the desk clerk you’re expected.’

I’ll be there in about 20 minutes, I told him, and hung up.

From the safe I took a small money box and removed the $10,000 Liddy had given me for emergency use. I put $1,500 in my wallet and the remaining $8,500 in my coat pocket. The black attaché case containing McCord’s electronic equipment I placed in a safe drawer that held my operational notebook. Then I closed and locked the safe, turning the dial several times. The other two cases I left beside the safe, turned out the light and left my office, locking the door.


(3)   Caddy's testimony established that about a half hour after this phone call [from Room 723 at the Howard Johnson Motor Hotel], Hunt visited Caddy's apartment. Caddy then made a series of telephone calls to retain an attorney with more experience in criminal law. Caddy stated that at about 5 a.m. Hunt called Liddy from Caddy's apartment and informed Liddy that an attorney experienced in criminal law matters had been retained. Caddy talked to Liddy and confirmed what Hunt had said. Then Hunt gave Caddy $8500 in cash, one $500 bill and the rest in $100 bills.

     This is another “fake fact.”  Hunt made the phone call from room 723 around 2:30 a.m. to an unnamed attorney. He called me from his White House Office at 3:05 a.m. as I testified at the trial. Hunt then came to my apartment about a mile from the White House arriving at 3:40 a.m.

     Another court opinion of “fake fact” is that “Caddy then made a series of telephone calls to retain an attorney with more experience in criminal law.”  I made only one phone call. I was an associate attorney in the six-man labor law firm that had three partners and three associate attorneys. I had no authority to accept a case for the law firm without first contacting a partner. The only partner available was Robert Scott. The managing partner, Jerome Powell, was at his vacation home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I did not have its phone number. The third partner, John Kilcullen, was on vacation with his wife in Italy. So, I called Robert Scott who knew Hunt.

     Scott’s first reaction on the phone was “they must have been setup, they must have been setup.” He then said that he would telephone a criminal defense attorney who would assist me in representing the defendants and would call his nephew. He called back twenty minutes later and told me that defense attorney Joseph Raferty would assist me and where I would meet him a few hours later, and that he had also talked to his nephew. I did not learn until a few weeks later, on June 30, 1972, two days after I Had been served a subpoena to appear forthwith before the grand jury, that Scott’s nephew was an Assistant U.S. Attorney! Scott was a Democrat and the counsel to the United Mine Worker Union. He knew that Hunt was a client of the firm as he had attended the three meetings with Hunt at the firm when Hunt sought legal advice on personal matters before he was asked to join the Nixon White House staff as a consultant. It never occurred to me that Scott would betray Hunt, the law firm and me by throwing legal ethics aside to use the case to advance the Democratic Party’s interest in driving Nixon from office. So, while Hunt was in my apartment Scott had informed his nephew of Hunt’s visit to me and what happened at the DNC at Watergate. His nephew wasted no time contacting the U.S Attorney. In short, before Hunt left my apartment to go home at 5 a.m. the prosecutors knew the full story of what had happened at the DNC at Watergate based on the information provided by Scott to his nephew.  Upon learning of Scott’s role as double agent, I and the two attorneys Jerome Powell had secured for me, Urban Lester and Joseph Contrucci, cut Scott out from any learning any more information about the case. To Scott I was merely collateral damage in his zealous quest to destroy Noxon. He continued to provide embroidered information to the prosecutors through his nephew even after being cut off. If you want to see a photo of Scott, go to the Senate Committee hearing at which Howard Hunt testified on September 24, 1973. In its opening three minutes you will hear the following, which appears in the Committee’s printed hearings, of questions posed by Samual Dash, chief counsel and staff director of the Committee:

Mr. Dash: Mr. Hunt, are you accompanied by counsel?

Mr. Hunt: I am.

Mr. Dash: Will counsel please identify yourself for the record?

Mr. Sachs: My name is Sidney S. Sachs. I am a lawyer, a member of the District of Columbia Bar and I am accompanied by my partner, Mr. Robert M. Scott, and by my law clerk who has been helping in the case, Mr. Henry Goldman

     Soctt is sitting behind Mr. Sachs at the hearing.

     In short, Scott betrayed Hunt, a client of the firm, on June 17, 1972, by providing client information to the prosecutors and to the Democratic Party about Watergate. This continued throughout the case culminating at the Senate Committee hearings.

     The controversy about me at the beginning of the case stemmed in large part by the embroidered information Scott was providing to these entities. I, too, was a victim of Scott’s betrayal of his ethics as an attorney and member of the bar.

     For Scott his role was a complete success. He achieved his goal of being a hidden person behind the scenes in driving President Nixon out of office.  The personal payoff for him later was to be appointed Judge on the District of Columbia Superior Court.


     The issue of timeline is all important here. Another “fake fact” in the Appeals Court opinion Is that the five burglars “were apprehended in the DNC offices in the Watergate complex on June 17, at 2 a.m.” However, here in the testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee in September 1973:


Fred D, Thompson, Committee Minority Counsel: Officer Shoffler, do you recall when you received the word from headquarters to answer this call at Watergate? Were you in the car with Sergeant Leeper?


Officer Shoffler: Yes, sir. 

Mr. Thompson: What time in the morning was this?

Officer Shoffler: Approximately 1:52 a.m. 

Samuel Dash, Committee Chief Counsel and Staff Director: Where were you located when you received that call?

Sergeant Leeper: We were in the area of about K and 30th, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Dash: How close was it to the Watergate complex?

Sergeant Leeper: Approximately a minute and a half. 2 minutes away.

     So, the police officers arrived at 1:54 a.m. There is no way they could have arrested the five burglars six minutes later at 2:00 a.m. after arriving, as the Appeals Court decision maintains. What happened next is described in the final report of the Senate Watergate Committee:


The plainclothes unit under the direction of Sergeant Paul Leeper entered the Office Building stairwell through the garage door and ascended to the eighth floor. The policemen worked their way down to the sixth-floor level and entered the floor through the stairway door which they found unlocked by the same masking tape technique employed on the garage.


Baldwin did not become alarmed until he noticed the lights go on in the building – first on the eighth floor and then on the sixth – and saw two individuals emerge on the sixth floor terrace of the DNC headquarters, one holding a pistol. He then radioed Hunt and Liddy and asked, “Are our people on the sixth floor in suits or are they dressed casually?” When the answer came back, “Our people are dressed in suits, why?” Baldwin replied, “You have some trouble because these are some individuals around here who are dressed casually and have their guns out.” Within minutes, Sergeant Leeper and his unit discovered the five burglars and arrested them. Hunt and Liddy escaped unnoticed from the Watergate Hotel. Baldwin was told to leave the Motor Lodge, which he promptly did.


     Hunt, who pleaded guilty at the start of the trial and did not testify at the trial. in his book, American Spy, puts the arrests at 2:13 a.m.


     The Appeals Court decision states, “At about 3 a.m. Hunt arrived at room 723 with a walkie talkie and used the telephone to call an attorney, Michael Douglas Caddy.” This is a “fake fact.”


     Hunt in his Senate Committee testimony stated that he arrived at room 723 around 2:30 a.m. He and Liddy had fled their hotel room minutes after they heard over the walkie-talkie of the burglars’ arrest.   Here is Hunt’s account from American Spy:

“The monitor came to life in Liddy’s hand. Barker was finally able to reply in a whisper, ‘They’ve got us!’

Baldwin again: ‘Now I see our people. They’ve got their hands up. Must be cops.’

That was all I needed to hear. I strode out onto the balcony to get a firsthand look. Lights were on across the top floors of the office building. I jumped back inside, where Liddy was receiving play-by-play action. ‘…..filing out with them now, guns drawn. Police wagon pulling up at the entrance below, also some marked police cars….’

I told him to keep talking. I threw the suitcases on the bed, spread them open, and began packing the operational litter from the room. McCord had left behind his electronics gear, which I now crammed back into his black attaché case.

Liddy was glued to the radio and looked at me with a bit of confusion. “Let’s go.” I told him. “The police will be here any moment.”

‘Why?’ he asked.

“Barker has our room key,” I answered bluntly. Liddy Looked alarmed.

Baldwin’s plaintive voice emanated from the radio. ‘What should I do?’

Liddy jumped into action and now had his hands full, so I picked up the radio. “Keep your lights out and stay out of sight,” I ordered. “I’ll come over as soon as I can. We’re signing off.”


     The Appeals Court decision would have history to believe that Hunt and Liddy stayed in their hotel room atter the burglars arrest at the 2 a.m. time as determined by the court until as the court found, “At about 3 a.m. Hunt arrived at room 723 with a walkie talkie and used the telephone to call an attorney, Michael Douglas Caddy.”

     Hunt was inside his White House office about 3 a.m., which is where he telephoned me at 3:05 a.m.   

Timeline in Appeals Court Opinion:

2 a.m. Police Officers arrest five burglars inside DNC

3 a.m. Hunt arrived in Room 723 of the Howard Johnson where Baldwin is

3:40 a.m. Hunt arrived at my residence.


Actual Timeline of events

1:52 a.m. Police officers alerted to crime being committed at Watergate

1:54 a.m. Police arrived at Watergate

2:15 a.m. Police arrest the five burglars inside the DNC

2:20 a.m. Hunt and Liddy exited their room in Hotel Washington in the Watergate complex

2: 30 a.m. Hunt arrived in Room 723 in Howard Johnson Motor Lodge

2:40 a.m. Hunt called an unnamed lawyer

2:45 a.m. Hunt departed Howard Johnson Motor Lodge

3:00 a.m. Hunt arrived in his White House Office

3:05 a.m. Hunt called Caddy at his home

3:20 a.m. Hunt departed his White House Office

3: 25 a.m. Hunt arrived at the Mullen Company office one block away and called Mrs. Barker in Miami

3:40 Hunt arrived at my residence one mile from the Mullen Company and the White House


(4)    On direct examination, attorney Michael Douglas Caddy testified as follows: At approximately 3:40 a.m. Saturday morning, June 17, 1972, Howard Hunt arrived at his apartment and arranged with him to secure counsel for the five men arrested in the Democratic National Committee's offices an hour and a half earlier. At about 4:45 a.m. Hunt called Liddy and both Hunt and Caddy explained to Liddy the steps that had been taken to retain an attorney for those men. During this conversation, Liddy indicated that he desired to have Caddy represent him in this matter.


This is a fact.



     The evidence is clear that Hunt called me from his White House Office at 3:05 a.m. on June 17, 1972. The statement in the Appeals Court opinion that Hunt called me from Room 723 at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge at 3:00 a.m. on June 17, 1972, is just that, a statement without any supporting evidence. It is a “fake fact.”


     Whoever Hunt called, based on what Baldwin testified that he overheard Hunt speaking on the phone. had knowledge of the conspiracy to burglarize the DNC.


    At the trial of Liddy and McCord Prosecutor Silbert on direct examination asked me whether I possessed any prior knowledge of the break-in of the DNC. I responded, “No, I did not.” I was under oath when I testified. Had subsequently any of the investigations into Watergate following the exposure of the coverup produced evidence that I had lied at the trial, I would have been charged with perjury. I was never indicted, or named an unindicted co-conspirator, or disciplined by the bar or named in the DNC civil lawsuit.


     I went from being a “principal” in the criminal conspiracy as charged by Chief Judge Sirica who  held me in contempt of court and jailed me to later being a semi-non-person the case. Sirica acted as prosecutor, jury, and judge.


    I testified six times before the grand jury starting June 28, 1972, until June 1, 1973. The prosecutors subpoenaed my bank account records.


     At no time was any effort made by the original prosecutors, the Special Prosecutor, or the Senate Watergate Committee to determine who Hunt actually called from the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge on June 17, 1972, if it was not me.


    The role of the CIA in Watergate was never exposed…until now, although Senator Howard Baker did his best to do that in his minority report in the Senate Watergate Committee Report.


     I was “used” by various parties in the case.


     By the CIA that took over my life without my knowing it in moving me like a piece of chess on a chessboard from early April to June 17, 1972.


     By Robert M Scott, the partner who made the determination that the law firm would take on the case of defending the arrested five burglars and Hunt and Liddy. Scott put me on the front line in defending them while behind the scenes he worked with his nephew, the Assistant U.S. Attorney, to send the defendants to jail in his quest to destroy President Nixon.


     By the three prosecutors – Silbert, Glanzer and Campbell – in calling me, the defense counsel, as the first witness in the case before the grand jury in trying to frame me, and then by covering up the coverup by limiting the case to solely the arrest of the seven burglars of the DNC at Watergate.


     By John Dean, White House counsel and the Mastermind of the Coverup, who never told John Ehrlichman that I had refused to accept the “hush” money and by later ordering the prosecutors via Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Henry Petersen, to prevent me from disclosing before the federal grand jury of my refusal to accept the “hush” money.


     By Chief Judge John Sirica who tried to frame as being a “principal” in the crime.


     There are more revelations to come in my book. Here is a sample:


From a posting on Facebook on December 6, 2016, by Lyn Colodny, founder of Watergate.com of his interview with H.R. Haldeman:




HALDEMAN: There is a whole bunch of people that had a, had a, had a

vested interest in Nixon's unsuccess and they all coalesced.

COLODNY: Well, what we say is -- we say that A Silent Coup is the

story of a President at war with his own government upon

assuming the Presidency in January. This is the frame we

built. "In '69, Nixon was a President with a radically new

view of the war of order but totally distrustful of the

established bureaucracy in Congress." I assume you don't disagree with that.

HALDEMAN: I don't disagree with that.

COLODNY: "He (Nixon) saw the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA as

obstacles to his plans, road blocks that had to be

circumvented if he would succeed in implementing his own

foreign policy. He appointed a weak Secretary of State as

well as a man he did not trust as Secretary of Defense, and

finally retained as his head of the CIA, Richard Helms, a

Kennedy appointee and another individual in which he had

little or no confidence." How about--, is that paragraph


HALDEMAN: It's okay.

COLODNY: "Based on his years as Vice President, he knew the real

value of the National Security Council and it would be the

perfect vehicle to go around the Congress and the

Bureaucracy. Immediately with Kissinger and a very few

trusted aides and advisers, he took his government "Secret".

Over the next three and a half years, one by one he changed

American foreign policy. Detente with the Soviet Union,

with the Soviet's, a secret opening to China and, finally,

Salt I and the ABM Treaty and more. He wound" --, I'm I

going to quick?


COLODNY: "He wound down the War in Vietnam instead of winning it, and

conducted secret peace talks with the North Vietnamese. All

this time the established bureaucracy was quietly reacting

to Nixon. Nixon had the power and the one thing he did

control was the White House. The Chairman of the Joint

Chief's set up an espionage operation inside the White House

to learn Nixon's secrets and undermine his policies and

weaken the President. The CIA infiltrated the White House,

using the Plumbers to run domestic CIA operations that would

later be blamed on the President and his men. In addition,

they also moved individuals into the Nixon re-election

committee for similar domestic cover. So, while, for the

first three years, Nixon appears to be totally in control of

the White House, but in reality that control already began

to crumble. Slowly piece by piece culminating after his

landslide re-election into a full fledged war against the

President and his policies. Is he aware that he is in a

war? Does he understand its dimensions? A war he is

surely in, and in the end, his enemies at State, the

Pentagon, the CIA using the press, the Congress and the

courts, will bring Richard Nixon down." That's the frame

that we've put around the book.

HALDEMAN: Well, you come pretty well in the line with Haldeman's

theory of the whole thing.

COLODNY: I thought I told you a long time ago, I thought you were on

the right tract.

HALDEMAN: [Laughs]


The common elements that the assassination of President Kendy in 1963 had with the conspiracy to drive President Nixon from office in 1972:


Karen Croft and David Talbot interviewed Peter Dale Scott in the January 23, 2024, issue of The Kennedy Beacon. Here is an excerpt:

The JFK Records Act leads us to another big question, because you’ve been doing research on the Kennedy assassination for so long. As another researcher once said, “Peter Dale Scott has forgotten more about the Kennedy assassination than we’ll ever know.” So, the big question is why was JFK killed?

We don’t live in a system like a monarchy. We live in a state of chaos — a kind of Hobbesian state of nature, with different, powerful oligarchs — and they’ve been battling each other in the U.S. ever since they met to draft the Articles of Confederation. And at least one of the states — South Carolina — was there to guarantee the protection of slavery, because in their state at least 60 percent of the people were black. So, this racist system was baked into America at the beginning. It was a kind of built-in conflict at the top level, which is what I think is now running this country, rather than a “deep state.” I was never happy about that term, even though I helped import it to the United States from Turkey and said so when I wrote about it. It sounds like it’s a “thing.” What we actually live in is a kind of Hobbesian condition of chaos, a new Gilded Age, with greater and greater accumulations of private power.

Yes, but you sidestepped the question – why was President Kennedy eliminated? What made him a target?

Well, he was threatening an end to the Cold War, which was the basis of the military economy that had made America prosperous since 1953. He was threatening to ease us off the war economy, and to deal with problems at home like poverty and racism.

The Cold Warriors who ran the country maintained a constant state of alarm, constant preparedness. The sociologist C. Wright Mills, author of The Power Elite, recognized how they created a national security emergency “without foreseeable end.” He called these men “crackpot realists…In the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own.”

A “paranoid reality” that was – and still is – very profitable for the military-industrial complex.

People forget President Kennedy’s 1963 Atomic Test Ban Treaty, which ended all nuclear arms testing above ground. It sounds petty now, but it wasn’t petty then. There had been no treaty with the Soviet Union since 1955 when Washington and Moscow agreed by treaty to respect the neutrality of Austria.

During the debate about the atomic test ban, the Cold War lobby and the media were saying you cannot conclude a deal with the Russians because they are Communists — but JFK did it. And worse than that, Kennedy — rightly — didn’t trust his CIA. So, the president was privately talking to his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and Bobby was privately talking to Georgi Bolshakov, the Soviet representative in Washington, as a back-channel to Khrushchev in the Kremlin. Well, the CIA and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) knew about the back-channel. And a document that purports to be a DIA document — I think it’s authentic — comes out 12 years later, an analysis that Kennedy is doing something treasonous, illegal. That agency, the DIA, might have helped do him in. Ironically, the DIA was created by Kennedy, who distrusted naval intelligence and army intelligence.

Kennedy gave two important speeches, one day apart in June 1963. In the first one, the so-called Peace Speech, he said we should empathize with our enemy, the Russians. At the height of the Cold War, he said, “In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.”

And the very next day, he gave his swiftly composed civil rights speech on national TV, responding to the turmoil in the South, including Governor George Wallace, how he stood in the doorway at the University of Alabama to try to prevent two black students from integrating the university. The president told the nation that racial justice was “a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.”

I can see, and I believe I’m right in seeing, that there was a kind of retro Southern presence in the military. The Army slow-marched to the University of Mississippi in 1962 and to the University of Alabama the following year, after President Kennedy ordered Army troops to restore order on those campuses.

I could go on, but I won’t go on. There were probably five or six reasons Kennedy was killed —- it was a coalition that killed Kennedy. And it was a coalition that killed Kennedy in a way that they knew the media would have to come in and make it look like it had been a lone nut who had killed Kennedy.

 So, was the media part of the coalition?

Not in the actual assassination, but to cover it up, absolutely. It was planned that they were to play that role.

And who was organizing the whole thing, in your mind?

I’ve always said I’m here to analyze what was happening, the forces behind it, not to have a point of view about who did it. David, I know that in your book (The Devil’s Chessboard), you wrote that essentially it was the CIA — Allen Dulles, who was fired as agency director by JFK, and the network around him. I do think they were in it. But I have a whole chapter in my book Deep Politics about military intelligence — more importantly, the Military Intelligence Reserve, which interfaces with oil corporations, and had a conspiratorial unit in Dallas exploring petroleum deposits in the Soviet Union. I believe they were at least as involved in the murder as the CIA.

But the JFK plot was a coalition. The anti-civil rights people in the South were also part of it. I refer people to the Joseph Milteer story I talk about in my book Dallas 1963. There’s a white Southern factor that helped to kill Kennedy.

To paraphrase Jim Douglass (author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters), why does the JFK assassination still haunt us? 

I could go on and on and on about this, all this fuss now about truth and propaganda, about “fake facts” and so on. The truth is, we’ve been living with “fake facts” ever since the Warren Report. The Warren Report is so phony that even some of the men who drafted it, and signed it, didn’t believe it! Some were quite vocal about it. They were signing a fake document. To believe the Warren Report you have to believe that one bullet was able to cause seven wounds in two different people, hit a bone, and then fall unscathed onto a stretcher. It’s all in the report. And if you believe that, you’re nuts.

(Editorial note: The Warren Report’s “magic bullet theory” was finally “buried in concrete,” according to forensics expert Cyril Wecht, following former Secret Service agent Paul Landis’s recent account that he found the pristine bullet in the presidential limousine.)


Edited by Douglas Caddy
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On 2/21/2024 at 3:42 PM, Lawrence Schnapf said:

Good stuff. You must like Geoff Shepard's work !  I've read all his books. provocative stuff.

Yes, Geoff Shepard's efforts have been relentless to tell the truth about Nixon and Watergate. His works are much appreciated.

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Chapter 9:  How the CIA Setup the Arrest of the Burglars

Chapter 10: Profiles of Key Persons  

Chapter 11: In Their Own Words

Chapter 12: Physical Threats Towards Me in the Early Weeks of the case

Chapter 13: The Huston Plan

Chapter 14: Senator Howard Baker’s Minority Report on the Involvement of the CIA

Chapter 15: The Church Committee Investigation

Chapter 16: The World Changing Disclosure that the CIA Feared Would Be Revealed


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