Status: Complete


These memoranda also tend to negate Ehrlichman's testimony
that the Ellsberg breakin was a national security operation.
(6 Hearings 2542-43) It is clear from these memoranda and Hunt's
later testimony before the Committee (9 Hearings 3666) that the
primary purpose of the breakin was to provide basis for damaging
Ellsberg's image before the country. Because of the unpopularity
of the Vietnamese War, Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers
presented a politically embarrassing problem for the Administration.
The political motivation is highlighted in Young's August 26
memorandum to Ehrlichman by a bracketed note connecting Democratic
Party leadership with the Ellsberg matter. This interesting
note states:
"I am sending you a separate Hunt to Colson memorandum
which attempts to select the politically damaging material
involving the Democratic hierarchy, I personally believe a
good deal more material could be developed along these
lines. To begin with we have Conein, Lansdale, Harkins,
and Nolting who could possibly be called upon to testify.
(Exhibit 91, 6 Hearings 2649.)

The Committee can find no legal justification for the
Ellsberg breakin based on any national security grounds. */

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