03847A_14214: Watergate: Final Reports of the Select Committee

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SELECT COMMITTEE

on

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES

Final Report

draft, May 6, 1974

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CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ... I-1

CHAPTER I: WATERGATE BREAKIN AND COVERUP... 1

WATERGATE BREAKIN... 1

The Pre-Watergate Atmosphere at the White House .. 5

The Huston Plan ... 5

The Plumbers ... 15

Project Sandwedge ... 19

The Hiring of G. Gordon Liddy by the Campaign Committee ... 20

The Committee for the Re-election of the President as a Political Campaign Front for the White House ... 22

The Planning of "Gemstone" ... 27

The Break-in ... 44

Prelude to the June 17 Break-in ... 47

THE COVER-UP ... 53

White House and CRP Activity---- First Three Days After Break-in ... 54

The Disposition of the Contents of Hunt's Safe ... 61

Tracing the Mexican and Dahlberg Checks ... 64

White House use of CIA to restrict FBI Watergate Investigation ... 65

Action of CRP Officials ... 72

Obstruction of the Grand Jury Investigation ... 79

Payoff to Watergate Defendents ... 96

Executive Clemency ... 115

Obstruction of On-Going Trials, Hearings and Investigations ... 131

The Beginning of the Unraveling of the Coverup .150

PRESIDENTIAL INVOLVEMENT (to be supplied in a few days) ... 170

RECOMMENDATIONS I 1

II 13

III 15

IV 16

V 18

VI 22

VII (to be supplied in a few days) 23

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INTRODUCTION

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities concerning the events now known throughout this country and the world as the Watergate scandal. Once termed by a principal Committee witness as a "cancer upon the Presidency", Watergate is one of America's most tragic happenings. It is a particularly stinging national wound coming, as it did, only four years prior to the country's celebration of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of its birth as a free and independent Republic.

This admittedly strong characterization of Watergate is not based on the mere fact that the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate was burglarized in the early morning hours of June 17, 1972. Rather, it is an appraisal of all the incredible events that led to that burglary and its sordid aftermath, characterized by corruption and fraud in the administration of justice and a betrayal of the public's trust.

The Select Committee is acutely conscious that, at the time it presents this report, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives is deliberating whether the President should be impeached on Watergate-related charges. The Select Committee also recognizes that there are pending indictments against numerous defendants, most of whom were witnesses before the Committee, which

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charge crimes that, directly or indirectly, relate to the Committee's inquiry. In this regard, it must be stressed that the Committee's hearings were not conducted, and its report not prepared, with the purpose of determining the guilt or innocence of any person or establishing a basis to impeach the President. Rather, the Committee'd activities were carried out to fulfill Congress' constitutional and traditional legislative and public-informing functions.

This report, therefore, should not be interpreted as a final judgement that certain persons have committed crimes. The Committee, however, must be responsive to its mandate under Senate Resolution 60 and report relevent facts that are necessary to arrive at recommendations for remedial legislation. The reader of this report must keep in mind that, during the short period allotted to its investigative and hearing functions, the Committee did not receive all the evidence it desired before writing its final report. Therefore, its findings in a number of areas are tentative and must be reevaluated when all of the facts are in. Also, the Committee has not sought to employ the standard of proof applied in a criminal trial--proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, the Committee applied a weight of the evidence test and its findings with regard to any individual must not be viewed as indicating a Committee position on his guilt or innocence under the stricter standards of the criminal law. The findings of the Committee are significant

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only for the support they may give to the legislative recommendations made by the Committee.

The responsibility of the Committee is perhaps better understood when one recognized the vital and historic task given it in S. Res. 60 by a unanimous Senate vote--to make a "complete" investigation of the Watergate affair for the purpose of recommending legislation to safeguard the integrity of our electoral process not only for presentday citizens but for future generations of Americans, It should also be viewed in terms of Congress' historic "informing function" that was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 200 (1957).

"/_There is a_/ power of the Congress to inquire into and publicize corruption, maladministration or inefficiency in agencies of the Government. That was the only kind of activity described by Woodrow Wilson in Congressional Government when he wrote: 'The informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.' Id., at 303. From the earliest times in its history, the Congress has assiduously performed an 'informing function' of this nature." (emphasis added).

On the basis of the Committee's investigation and hearings, some general observations can be made. The patterns of behavior of the individuals involved in the Watergate affair, including highly placed public officials, depicts an alarming absence or indifference to concepts of morality, public trust and responsibility. Indeed, the motives of many of the Watergate participants seem to have been based on the belief that the ends justify the means, that the laws could be flaunted to maintain the present Administration in office. Unfortunately, that attitude that the law can be bent was

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