the Committee to Re-Elect the President. 221After the March 12 announcement
Chotiner used his White House contacts to lobby extensively for an upward
adjustment in the price support level. Chotiner has stated under oath
that he spoke to White House officials John Ehrlichman, John Whittaker,
Charles Colson and Colson's aide Henry Cashin about the "plight of the dairy
farmer." 222 All of these contacts were made between March 9 and March 25;
according to Chotiner, probably after March 12. 223 Chotiner has indicated
that when he spoke to the White House people, he had political "support"
in mind, but he has denied that anything was said about campaign contributions.224
They also sought the help of Jake Jacobsen, a former aide to President
Lyndon Johnson, a Texan and close to the new Secretary of the Treasury,
John Connally. Jacobsen spoke twice to Connally, likewise mentioned political
considerations and "may have" discussed campaign contributions with Connally.
Connally promised to talk to "some people" and later told Jacobsen he had
done so. 225
On March 22, the milk industry made its first recorded contribution to
the Nixon reelection effort. On that day, TAPE gave $10,000 to several "dinner
committees." The money passed through the Chotiner-Hillings-Harrison
law firm. Twenty-four hours later President Nixon met with more than a
dozen dairy farmers and dairy executives from AMPI, Mid Am and DI (including
221 C.R.P. Report, September 28, 1973.
222 Deposition of Murray Chotiner, Dec. 28, 1972, at 6-7. Colson, at that point Special
Counsel to the President, was reportedly in charge of White House relations with the dairy
industry. He had had this assignment since 1970. Chotiner spoke in person to all of the
above, except Whittaker. Id. at 8. During this period, Marion Harrison, Chotiner's law
partner, was also meeting with White House aides, among them Whittaker, Harry Dent, Colson
and Cashin. The subject of these talks was the 1971 milk price support level. Harrison
deposition at 15-18.
223 Id. at 9.
224 Id. at 22.
225 Jacobsen Deposition, November 7, 1973, at 29, 57.
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