Did Nixon Approve the Watergate Break-In?





Mr. Olson is professor of history at the University of Maryland and the author of Watergate: The Presidential Scandal that Shook America (University Press of Kansas, 2003).

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STATEMENT BY THE RICHARD NIXON LIBRARY AND BIRTHPLACE FOUNDATION

[Released July 30, 2003]

In recent days, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Scripps Howard New Service, and others have published statements by Jeb Magruder in which he accused President Nixon of authorizing the Watergate break-in during a telephone conversation with John Mitchell on March 30, 1972. According to these press reports, Mr. Magruder makes the charge during a PBS documentary being broadcast tonight.

Mr. Magruder's reported statements are directly contradicted by his own memoir, An American Life (Atheneum, 1974), and by Nixon White House records which are maintained by the National Archives and available to reporters, television producers, and the general public.

In the detailed description in his book of his March 30, 1972 meeting in Key Biscayne with John Mitchell and Fred LaRue, Mr. Magruder does not mention a telephone call to Mr. Haldeman nor any interaction with the President or Mr. Ehrlichman. He also writes, "I know nothing to indicate that

Nixon was aware in advance of the plan to break into the Democratic headquarters."
Documents and tapes available at the National Archives also contradict Mr. Magruder's reported statements.

In the Scripps Howard report by Bill Straub, Mr. Magruder says that during the meeting, Mr. Mitchell asked him to call Bob Haldeman to discuss the proposed break-in plan. Mr. Straub quotes Mr. Magruder as saying that in the same conversation Mr. Mitchell spoke first to Mr. Haldeman and then to John Ehrlichman and finally to President Nixon, whose voice Mr. Magruder says he could hear through the receiver being held by Mr. Mitchell.

The White House Daily Diary, which details all the President's meetings and telephone calls, shows that Mr. Ehrlichman did not meet or talk with President Nixon at any time on March 30, 1972. According to a review of the day's White House tape recordings, which are available to the public at the Nixon Project in College Station, Maryland, as well as detailed logs of the tapes as prepared by U.S. archivists, none of the participants in any of the President's meetings placed or took a telephone call from Key Biscayne or from Messrs. Mitchell or Magruder. If the President had spoken by telephone with Mr. Mitchell as described by Mr. Magruder, it would have been captured by microphones on his telephone and in his office.


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Warren F. Kelley - 11/13/2003

Anybody out there want to listen to what I have to say about the "Watergate Break-in"?


Len Colodny - 10/1/2003


Go to this site to hear the Magruder Tapes on this subject.


www.watergate.com - 10/1/2003

This is the reality.


aj mahon - 8/9/2003

of course he knew.alexander butterfield said the same thing and made no headlines.and ford fired butterfield,butterfield paid the price. Nixon is watergate


Ralph E. Luker - 8/1/2003

Kriz:
Clean up your language for HNN. Your posts elsewhere have been removed because of it and they will be removed again if you don't change your ways.


Byron Boyd - 7/31/2003

If Magruder is lying, it's a shrewd lie. The time frame is perfect -- precisely at the time when the reelection committee was awash with funds, just in advance of the campaign funding limitation deadline. It also helps to explain why Nixon, in the aftermath of the breakin, with McGovern assured as his dream opponent, undertook the coverup. The explanation for his long silence -- the wish not to jeopardize his ministerial career - is shaky, but plausible. However, let's not lose sight of the big picture here. Nixon tried to establish a presidency that was above the law!


Sniffin Snoop - 7/31/2003

There's one way to find out, and that's to check them. Maybe it is there, but rendered in monosyllables or too cryptic for anybody to realize...up until now.


Stephen Kriz - 7/31/2003



Does the name Rose Mary Woods mean anything to you?


Gary Ostrower - 7/31/2003

Can anyone explain why the taping system at the White House did not pick up the phone conversation described by Magruder?

Was Nixon in the Oval Office when he made the call? If neither Nixon nor Mitchell were in the White House, then it stands to reason that the call would not have been recorded.


Stephen Kriz - 7/29/2003


If Nixon didn't, who did? Did the "plumbers" decide to do it on their own? Ask G. Gordon Liddy, right-wing schlockmiester on the conservatively insane talk radio circuit. He might know - but he is crazier than a shit house rat and so anything he says should be completely disregarded......

No, Tricky Dixon ordered the burglary bigger than hell and set the stage for forty plus years of dirty tricks and underhanded politics from the Republican Party!


Sniffin Snoop - 7/29/2003

Give me a break. How prissy. "Historians require two sources to document an event as critical..." Applying that rule strictly would put some major breaches in what we think we know about our past. Some of us knew from the beginning that Nixon was lying. How much truth does it take to balance dozens of liars, obfuscators, opportunists and ass coverers? No, all that really happens is that we have to wait for the next "historian" to grasp the mega-narrative, and in this case that larger picture has always been clear. The real question remains WHY?


Sniffin Snoop - 7/29/2003

Give me a break. How prissy. "Historians require two sources to document an event as critical..." Applying that rule strictly would put some major breaches in what we think we know about our past. Some of us knew from the beginning that Nixon was lying. How much truth does it take to balance dozens of liars, obfuscators, opportunists and ass coverers? No, all that really happens is that we have to wait for the next "historian" to grasp the mega-narrative, and in this case that larger picture has always been clear. The real question remains WHY?

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