The Watergate Hearings in Washington on Thursday (14 June) heard from the first of the so-called "star witnesses" -- Jeb Magruder, former Deputy Directory of the Committee to Re-elect the President.
GV & SV INTERIOR Magruder being questioned by Watergate Committee (5 shots)
CU Magruder speaks
CUs Magruder being questioned and Ervin listening (3 shots)
CU Magruder speaking
SV Ervin and investigating Senator speaking
CU Magruder continues speaking
Mr. Magruder said:
"We discussed the pros and cons with Mr. La Rue, Mr. Mitchell and I, and there was not any great feeling of acceptance to this plan, with the exception that supposedly these individuals were very professional and the information could be valuable. And after starting at this grandiose sum of a million dollars that probably 250,000 dollars would be an acceptable figure, I think we all had questions about Mr. Liddy, but he had come with the recommendation and Mr. Mitchell made some notes on his copies, indicating the target we had discussed previously, and Mr. Mitchell simply signed off on it, in the sense of saying "OK lets give him the quarter of a million dollars and lets see what he can come up with."
Plans for the cover-up, he said, were formulated as soon as the illegal break-in was discovered. He told the committee:
"Oh, I think there was no question that the cover-up began that Saturday, when we realised there was a break-in. I don't think there was ever any discussion that there wouldn't be a cover-up. At least I didn't participate in any discussion that indicated anything else, except at one point where we possibly thought that I might volunteer to become the key figure in the case."
"I though probably that this maybe was becoming scapegoat time and that maybe I was going to be the scapegoat. And so I went to Mr. Hadleman. I said: "I just want you to know that this whole Watergate situation and other activities was a concerted effort by a number of people." So I went through literally a monologue on what had occurred. That was my first discussion with Mr. Haldeman where I laid out the true facts....."
QUESTIONER: "Was this conversation with Mr. Haldeman before or after the trial?"
"It was before the trial before the inauguration. Sometime early in January after the first of the year."
QUESTIONER: "Then your meeting with Mr. Haldeman was before the trial was over?"
QUESTIONER: "Then the story you told him was before the trial was over?"
QUESTIONER: "Then Mr. Haldeman knew that perjury was going to be..."
"Going to be committed and of curse didn't know that it Had been committed until after the trial."
QUESTIONER: "But he did know that perjury was going to be committed?"
"Yes, I think, I think that would be correct."
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Background: The Watergate Hearings in Washington on Thursday (14 June) heard from the first of the so-called "star witnesses" -- Jeb Magruder, former Deputy Directory of the Committee to Re-elect the President.
Mr. Magruder told the committee that the plant to burglarise the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Building were personally approved by, among others, John Mitchell, a former US Attorney-General.
However, Mr. Magruder insisted that as far as he was aware President Nixon knew nothing of the break-in plan or of the subsequent cover-up.
It also emerged, from Mr. Magruder's evidence, that Mr. Haldeman, former White House Chief of Staff, had known about the attempted cover-up operation since last January, when Mr. Magruder had passed the full information on himself.