John N. Mitchell

John Newton Mitchell (September 15, 1913 – November 9, 1988) was the 67th Attorney General of the United States (1969–1972) under President Richard Nixon. Prior to that, he had been a municipal bond lawyer, chairman of Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign, and one of Nixon's closest personal friends.

After his tenure as U.S. Attorney General, he served as chairman of Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign. Due to multiple crimes he committed in the Watergate affair, Mitchell was sentenced to prison in 1977 and served 19 months. As Attorney General, he was noted for personifying the "law-and-order" positions of the Nixon Administration, amid several high-profile anti-war demonstrations.

John Mitchell
Interview with Atty. Gen. John Mitchell (cropped)
67th United States Attorney General
In office
January 21, 1969 – March 1, 1972
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byRamsey Clark
Succeeded byRichard Kleindienst
Personal details
Born
John Newton Mitchell

September 15, 1913
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedNovember 9, 1988 (aged 75)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Martha Beall
EducationFordham University (BA, LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
RankUS-O2 insignia.svg Lieutenant Junior Grade
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsPurple Heart (2)
Silver Star

Early life

Mitchell was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Margaret (McMahon) and Joseph C. Mitchell. He grew up in the New York City borough of Queens.[1][2] He earned his law degree from Fordham University School of Law[3][4] and was admitted to the New York bar in 1938. He served for three years as a naval officer (Lieutenant, Junior Grade) during World War II where he was a PT boat commander.

Except for his period of military service, Mitchell practiced law in New York City from 1938 until 1969 and earned a reputation as a successful municipal bond lawyer.

Mitchell's second wife, Martha Beall Mitchell, became a controversial figure in her own right, gaining notoriety for her late-night phone calls to reporters in which she accused President Nixon of participating in the Watergate cover-up and alleged that Nixon and several of his aides were trying to make her husband the scapegoat for the whole affair.

New York government

Mitchell devised a type of revenue bond called a "moral obligation bond" while serving as bond counsel to New York's governor Nelson Rockefeller in the 1960s. In an effort to get around the voter approval process for increasing state and municipal borrower limits, Mitchell attached language to the offerings that was able to communicate the state's intent to meet the bond payments while not placing it under a legal obligation to do so.[5] Mitchell did not dispute when asked in an interview if the intent of such language was to create a "form of political elitism that bypasses the voter's right to a referendum or an initiative."[6]

Political career

John Mitchell swearing in
Mitchell is sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, January 22, 1969. Chief Justice Earl Warren administers the oath while President Richard Nixon looks on.

John Mitchell met Richard Nixon, former vice president to Dwight D. Eisenhower, when Nixon moved to New York after losing the 1962 California gubernatorial election. Nixon then joined the municipal bond law firm where Mitchell worked, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Ferndon, and the two men became friends. For the period during which Nixon was a senior partner, the firm was renamed to Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Mitchell.[7]

In 1968, with considerable trepidation, John Mitchell agreed to become Nixon's presidential campaign manager. During his successful 1968 campaign, Nixon turned over the details of the day-to-day operations to Mitchell.

Allegedly, Mitchell also played a central role in covert attempts to sabotage the 1968 Paris Peace Accords (see: Anna Chennault§Paris Peace Accords) which could have ended the Vietnam War.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

After he became president in January 1969, Nixon appointed Mitchell as Attorney General of the United States while making an unprecedented direct appeal to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that the usual background investigation not be conducted.[32] Mitchell remained in office from 1969 until he resigned in 1972 to manage President Nixon's reelection campaign.

Mitchell believed that the government's need for "law and order" justified restrictions on civil liberties. He advocated the use of wiretaps in national security cases without obtaining a court order (United States v. U.S. District Court) and the right of police to employ the preventive detention of criminal suspects. He brought conspiracy charges against critics of the Vietnam War, likening them to brown shirts of the Nazi era in Germany.

Mitchell expressed a reluctance to involve the Justice Department in some civil rights issues. "The Department of Justice is a law enforcement agency," he told reporters. "It is not the place to carry on a program aimed at curing the ills of society." However, he also told activists, "You will be better advised to watch what we do, not what we say."[33][34][35][36][37][38]

Near the beginning of his administration, Nixon had ordered Mitchell to go slow on desegregation of schools in the South as part of Nixon's "Southern Strategy," which focused on gaining support from Southern voters. After being instructed by the federal courts that segregation was unconstitutional and that the executive branch was required to enforce the rulings of the courts, Mitchell began to comply, threatening to withhold federal funds from those school systems that were still segregated and threatening legal action against them.

School segregation had been struck down as unconstitutional by a unanimous Supreme Court decision in 1954 (Brown v. Board of Education), but in 1955, the Court ruled that desegregation needed to be accomplished only with "all deliberate speed," [39] which many Southern states interpreted as an invitation to delay. It was not until 1969 that the Supreme Court renounced the "all deliberate speed" rule and declared that further delay in accomplishing desegregation was no longer permissible.[40] As a result, some 70% of black children were still attending segregated schools in 1968.[41] By 1972, this percentage had decreased to 8%. Enrollment of black children in desegregated schools rose from 186,000 in 1969 to 3 million in 1970.[42]

From the outset, Mitchell strove to suppress what many Americans saw as major threats to their safety: urban crime, black unrest, and war resistance. He called for the use of "no-knock" warrants for police to enter homes, frisking suspects without a warrant, wiretapping, preventive detention, the use of federal troops to repress crime in the capital, a restructured Supreme Court, and a slowdown in school desegregation. "This country is going so far to the right you won't recognize it," he told a reporter.[43]

There had been national outrage over the 1969 burning Cuyahoga River. President Nixon had signed the National Environmental Policy Act on New Year’s Day in 1970, establishing the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nixon appointed William Ruckelshaus to head the agency, which opened its doors December 2, 1970. Mitchell gave a Press Conference December 18, 1970: “I would like to call attention to an area of activity that we have not publicly emphasized lately, but which I feel, because of the changing events, deserves your attention. I refer to the pollution control litigation, with particular reference to our work with the new Environmental Protection Agency, now headed by William Ruckelshaus.  As in the case of other government departments and agencies, EPA refers civil and criminal suits to the Department of Justice, which determines whether there is a base for prosecution and of course, if we find it so, we proceed with court action.... And today, I would like to announce that we are filing suit this morning against the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation for discharging substantial quantities of cyanide into the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland. Mr. Ruckelshaus has said, when he asked the Department to file this suit, that the 180-day notice filed against the company had expired. We are filing a civil suit to seek immediate injunctive relief under the Refuse Act of 1899 and the Federal Water Pollution Act to halt the discharge of these deleterious materials into the river.”[44]

In an early sample of the "dirty tricks" that would later mark the 1971-72 campaign, Mr. Mitchell approved a $10,000 subsidy to employ an American Nazi Party faction in a bizarre effort to get Alabama Governor George Wallace off the ballot in California. The move failed.[43]

Committee to Re-elect the President scandal

John Mitchell preparing to testify
Former Attorney General Mitchell enters the Senate caucus room to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee, 1973

John Mitchell's name was mentioned in a deposition concerning Robert L. Vesco, an international financier who was a fugitive from a federal indictment. Mitchell and Nixon Finance Committee Chairman Maurice H. Stans were indicted in May 1973 on federal charges of obstructing an investigation of Vesco after he made a $200,000 contribution to the Nixon campaign.[45] In April 1974, both men were acquitted in a New York federal district court.[46]

Watergate scandal

In the days immediately after the Watergate break-in of June 17, 1972, Mitchell enlisted former FBI agent Steve King to prevent his wife Martha from learning about the break-in or contacting reporters. While she was on a phone call with Helen Thomas about the break-in, King pulled the phone cord from the wall. Mrs. Mitchell was held against her will in a California hotel room and forcefully sedated by a psychiatrist after a physical struggle with five men that left her needing stitches.[47][48] Nixon aides, in an effort to discredit her, told the press that she had a "drinking problem".[49] Nixon was later to tell interviewer David Frost in 1977 that Martha was a distraction to John Mitchell, such that no one was minding the store, and "If it hadn't been for Martha Mitchell, there'd have been no Watergate."

In 1972, when asked to comment about a forthcoming article[50] that reported that he controlled a political slush fund used for gathering intelligence on the Democrats, he famously uttered an implied threat to reporter Carl Bernstein: "Katie Graham's gonna get her tit[51] caught in a big fat wringer if that's published."[52][53][54]

1300 - 1302 30th Street, N.W.
One of Mitchell's former residences (left) in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

On February 21, 1975, Mitchell, who was represented by the criminal defense attorney William G. Hundley, was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and sentenced to two and a half to eight years in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up, which he dubbed the "White House horrors." As a result of the conviction, Mitchell was disbarred from the practice of law in New York.[55] The sentence was later reduced to one to four years by United States district court Judge John J. Sirica. Mitchell served only 19 months of his sentence at Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery (in Maxwell Air Force Base) in Montgomery, Alabama, a minimum-security prison, before being released on parole for medical reasons.[56]

Tape recordings made by President Nixon and the testimony of others involved confirmed that Mitchell had participated in meetings to plan the break-in of the Democratic Party's national headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. In addition, he had met, on at least three occasions, with the president in an effort to cover up White House involvement after the burglars were discovered and arrested.

Death

Around 5:00 pm on November 9, 1988, Mitchell collapsed from a heart attack on the sidewalk in front of 2812 N Street NW in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C., and died that evening at George Washington University Hospital. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, based on his World War II Naval service and his cabinet post of Attorney General.

Notes

  1. ^ "United States Census 1930", United States Census, 1930; Queens, New York; page 4b, line 51, enumeration district 41-325.
  2. ^ "United States Census 1940", United States Census, 1940; Queens, New York; page 5a, line 28, enumeration district 41-1147a.
  3. ^ "John N. Mitchell biography". Department of Justice. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "John N. Mitchell Dies at 75; Major Figure in Watergate". New York Times. November 10, 1988. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Joseph Mysak and George Marlin. (1991). Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for the Public Sector. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  6. ^ William P. Kittredge and David W. Kreutzer (2001). "We Only Pay the Bills: The Ongoing Effort to Disfranchise Virginia's Voters". Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
  7. ^ "Milton C. Rose, 97, Lawyer At Firm of Nixon and Mitchell". The New York Times. 21 March 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  8. ^ Robert "KC" Johnson. “Did Nixon Commit Treason in 1968? What The New LBJ Tapes Reveal”. History News Network, January 26, 2009. Transcript from audio recording on YouTube of President Johnson: "The next thing that we got our teeth in was one of his associates — a fellow named Mitchell, who is running his campaign, who's the real Sherman Adams (Eisenhower's chief of staff) of the operation, in effect said to a businessman that 'we're going to handle this like we handled the Fortas matter, unquote. We're going to frustrate the President by saying to the South Vietnamese, and the Koreans, and the Thailanders [sic], "Beware of Johnson."' 'At the same time, we're going to say to Hanoi, "I [Nixon] can make a better deal than he (Johnson) has, because I'm fresh and new, and I don't have to demand as much as he does in the light of past positions."'"
  9. ^ Seymour M. Hersh. “The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House”. Summit Books, 1983, p. 21. "A few days before the election, she wrote, Mitchell telephoned with an urgent message. 'Anna,' (Chennault) she quotes him as saying. 'I'm speaking on behalf of Mr. Nixon. It's very important that our Vietnamese friends understand our Republican position and I hope you have made that clear to them.'".
  10. ^ Jules Witcover. “The Making of an Ink-Stained Wretch: Half a Century Pounding the Political Beat”. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, p131. "I tracked down Anna Chennault (...) she insisted she had acted under instructions from the Nixon campaign in contacting the Saigon regime. 'The only people who knew about the whole operation,' she told me, 'were Nixon, John Mitchell and John Tower [senator from Texas and Nixon campaign figure], and they're all dead. But they knew what I was doing. Anyone who knows about these thing knows I was getting orders to do these thing. I couldn't do anything without instructions.'".
  11. ^ Clark M. Clifford with Richard C. Holbrooke. Counsel to the President: A Memoir Archived 2005-11-26 at the Wayback Machine. Random House, 1991. p. 582. "It was not difficult for Ambassador Diem to pass information to Anna Chennault, who was in contact with John Mitchell, she said later, 'at least once a day.'"
  12. ^ Diem Bui with David Chanoff. In the Jaws of History. Indiana University Press, 1999, p. 244."I began reviewing the cables I had written to (Nguyen Van) Thieu (...). Among them, I found a cable from October 23 (...) in which I had said, 'Many Republican friends have contacted me and encouraged us to stand firm. They were alarmed by press reports to the effect that you had already softened your position.' In another cable, from October 27, I wrote, 'I am regularly in touch with the Nixon entourage,' by which I meant Anna Chennault, John Mitchell, and Senator (John) Tower."
  13. ^ Diem Bui with David Chanoff. In the Jaws of History. Indiana University Press, 1999, p. 237. "Waiting for me in the lobby was Anna Chennault. A few minutes later I was being introduced to Nixon and john Mitchell, his law partner and adviser. (...) Nixon (...) added that his staff would be in touch with me through john Mitchell and Anna Chennault."
  14. ^ Forslund, Catherine (22 July 2017). "Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations". Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ Bundy, William P. (22 July 1998). "A Tangled Web: The Making of Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency". Macmillan. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Fulsom, Don (5 June 2015). "Treason: Nixon and the 1968 Election". Pelican Publishing Company. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ Rosen, James (20 May 2008). "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate". Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ McKean, David (22 July 2017). "Tommy the Cork: Washington's Ultimate Insider from Roosevelt to Reagan". Steerforth Press. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ McLendon, Winzola (12 May 1979). "Martha: the life of Martha Mitchell". Random House. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  20. ^ Dean, John W. (29 July 2014). "The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It". Penguin. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ An, Tai Sung (22 July 1998). "The Vietnam War". Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  22. ^ Small, Melvin (22 July 1999). "The Presidency of Richard Nixon". University Press of Kansas. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  23. ^ "I.F. Magazine". Media Consortium. 22 July 1997. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ "The New Yorker". F-R Publishing Corporation. 1 May 1991. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  25. ^ Freedman, Mitchell J. (22 July 2017). "A Disturbance of Fate". Seven Locks Press. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  26. ^ Fulsom, Don (31 January 2012). "Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President". Macmillan. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ Prados, John (22 July 2017). "Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975". University Press of Kansas. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ "The Washingtonian". Washington Magazine, Incorporated. 1 July 1983. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  29. ^ Berger, R. N. W. (22 July 1972). "The Washington Pay-off: An Insider's View of Corruption in Government". L. Stuart. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  30. ^ Locker, Ray (1 October 2015). "Nixon's Gamble: How a President's Own Secret Government Destroyed His Administration". Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  31. ^ Cohen, Michael A. (15 July 2015). "American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  32. ^ Gentry, Curt (1991). J. Edgar Hoover: The Man And The Secrets. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 616. ISBN 0-393-02404-0.
  33. ^ William Safire (14 November 1988). "Watch What We Do". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  34. ^ James H. Billington, Library of Congress (2010). "Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations". Courier Corporation. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  35. ^ Bartlett, Bruce (8 January 2008). "Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past". Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  36. ^ Smith, Robert Charles (22 July 1996). "We Have No Leaders: African Americans in the Post-Civil Rights Era". SUNY Press. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  37. ^ Rosen, James (20 May 2008). "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate". Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  38. ^ Rawson, Hugh; Miner, Margaret (2006). "The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations". Oxford University Press, USA. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  39. ^ Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294 (1955)
  40. ^ See, e.g., Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, 396 U.S. 19 (1969)
  41. ^ Karl, Jonathan (24 May 2008). "Reconsidering John Mitchell". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  42. ^ Marlin, George (May 9, 2008). "Reviewing The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate". Human Events. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  43. ^ a b "John N. Mitchell Dies at 75; Major Figure in Watergate". The New York Times. November 10, 1988.
  44. ^ "Press Conference Attorney John Mitchell 12-18-1970" (PDF).
  45. ^ Bernstein, Carl; Woodward, Bob (1974). All The President's Men. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 284n, 335.
  46. ^ Woodward, Bob; Carl Bernstein (1976). The Final Days. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 138. ISBN 0-671-22298-8.
  47. ^ Reeves, Richard (2002). President Nixon : alone in the White House (1st Touchstone ed. 2002. ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 511. ISBN 0-7432-2719-0.
  48. ^ McLendon, Winzola (1979). Martha: The Life of Martha Mitchell.
  49. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=G9LTjwEACAAJ&dq=Watergate:+the+presidential+scandal+that+shook+America&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9vNLH3cLdAhXsLcAKHS9ODXwQ6AEIKTAA
  50. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/092972-1.htm
  51. ^ The words "her tit" were not included in the newspaper article.
  52. ^ Graham, Katharine (22 July 1997). "Personal History". Alfred A. Knopf. Retrieved 22 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  53. ^ Graham, Katharine (January 28, 1997). "The Watergate Watershed -- A Turning Point for a Nation and a Newspaper". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  54. ^ Bernstein, Carl; Woodward, Bob (1974). All The President's Men. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 105.
  55. ^ See Mitchell v. Association of the Bar, 40 N.Y.2d 153, 351 N.E.2d 743, 386 N.Y.S.2d 95 (1976)
  56. ^ "John N. Mitchell, Principal in Watergate, Dies at 75". The Washington Post. December 4, 1997. Retrieved May 7, 2010.

Further reading

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ramsey Clark
United States Attorney General
1969–1972
Succeeded by
Richard Kleindienst
1975 in the United States

Events from the year 1975 in the United States.

All the President's Men

All the President's Men is a 1974 non-fiction book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two of the journalists who investigated the first Watergate break-in and ensuing scandal for The Washington Post. The book chronicles the investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from Woodward's initial report on the Watergate break-in through the resignations of H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and the revelation of the Nixon tapes by Alexander Butterfield in 1973. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward's secret meetings with his source Deep Throat, whose identity was kept hidden for over 30 years. Gene Roberts, the former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the work of Woodward and Bernstein "maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time."A film adaptation, produced by Robert Redford, starring Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, respectively, was released in 1976. That same year, a sequel to the book, The Final Days, was published, which chronicled the last months of Nixon's presidency, starting around the time their previous book ended.

All the President's Men (film)

All the President's Men is a 1976 American political thriller film about the Watergate scandal, which brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon. Directed by Alan J. Pakula with a screenplay by William Goldman, it is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post. The film stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, respectively; it was produced by Walter Coblenz for Redford's Wildwood Enterprises.

The film was nominated in multiple Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA categories, and in 2010 was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Committee for the Re-Election of the President

The Committee for the Re-Election of the President (also known as the Committee to Re-elect the President), abbreviated as CRP was a fundraising organization of United States President Richard Nixon in his 1972 re-election campaign.

Deep Throat (Watergate)

Deep Throat is the pseudonym given to the secret informant who provided information in 1972 to Bob Woodward, who shared it with Carl Bernstein. Woodward and Bernstein were reporters for The Washington Post, and Deep Throat provided key details about the involvement of U.S. President Richard Nixon's administration in what came to be known as the Watergate scandal. In 2005, 31 years after Nixon's resignation and 11 years after Nixon's death, a family attorney stated that former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Associate Director Mark Felt was Deep Throat. Felt was suffering from dementia at the time and had previously denied being Deep Throat, but Woodward and Bernstein confirmed the attorney's claim.

Fred LaRue

Frederick Cheney "Fred" LaRue, Sr. (October 11, 1928 – July 24, 2004), was an aide in the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon. He served a short prison sentence for his role in the Watergate break-in and the subsequent Watergate scandal and cover-up.

Oddly, LaRue had no rank, title, salary, or even listing in the White House directory. LaRue was present at an early meeting with his friend, United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell, at which the Watergate burglary was planned. Afterwards, LaRue assisted the cover-up, supervising the shredding of documents and the destruction of financial records.

James W. McCord Jr.

James Walter McCord Jr. (born June 26, 1924) is a former CIA officer, later involved, as an electronics expert, in the burglaries which precipitated the Watergate scandal.

Jeb Stuart Magruder

Jeb Stuart Magruder (November 5, 1934 – May 11, 2014) was an American businessman, entrepreneur and political operative in the Republican Party when he joined the administration of President Richard Nixon in 1969.

He served Nixon in various capacities, including helping manage the president's highly successful 1972 re-election campaign. During that time, Magruder became involved in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. As a Deputy Director of Richard Nixon's Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CReEP), Magruder pleaded guilty to conspiracy and served time in a federal prison for his actions. He was the second official in Nixon's administration to plead guilty to charges of burglarizing the Watergate complex. In 1974 he published an account of the Watergate affair.

In prison Magruder reconnected with his faith; afterward he attended divinity school and became ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1981. He was called to serve in several parishes, including as chief minister in a Lexington, Kentucky church. During these years, Magruder also spoke publicly about ethics and his role in the Watergate scandal. He published two books about his political career and faith journey. He served the church for the remainder of his life. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he gave interviews in which he changed his accounts of actions by various participants in the Watergate coverup; some of his assertions have been challenged.

John Dean

John Wesley Dean III (born October 14, 1938) is a former attorney who served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973, where he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover-up. He was referred to as the "master manipulator of the cover-up" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He pleaded guilty to a single felony count, in exchange for becoming a key witness for the prosecution. This ultimately resulted in a reduced prison sentence, which he served at Fort Holabird outside Baltimore, Maryland.

Shortly after the Watergate hearings, Dean wrote about his experiences in a series of books and traveled around the United States to lecture. Dean is currently a commentator on contemporary politics, authoring books, and writing a column for FindLaw's Writ online magazine. He is strongly critical of neoconservatism and the Republican Party, and is a registered Independent. He has been strongly critical of Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

John Ehrlichman

John Daniel Ehrlichman (; March 20, 1925 – February 14, 1999) was counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President Richard Nixon. Ehrlichman was an important influence on Nixon's domestic policy, coaching him on issues and enlisting his support for environmental initiatives.Ehrlichman was a key figure in events leading to the Watergate break-in and the ensuing Watergate scandal, for which he was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and served a year and a half in prison.

Martha Mitchell

Martha Elizabeth Beall Mitchell (September 2, 1918 – May 31, 1976) was the wife of John N. Mitchell, United States Attorney General under President Richard Nixon. She became a controversial figure with her outspoken comments about the government at the time of the Watergate scandal.

National Institute of Corrections

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is an agency of the United States government. It is part of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons.NIC provides support programs to assist federal, state, and local corrections agencies. Additionally the NIC provides funds to support programs that are in line with its key initiatives.The NIC was created by the United States Congress in 1974 on the recommendation of the National Conference on Corrections convened by John N. Mitchell in 1971. Mitchell called for the conference as a result of public pressure following the riot at New York's Attica Correctional Facility in 1971.

Operation Gemstone

In the context of the Watergate scandal, Operation Gemstone was a proposed series of clandestine or illegal acts, first outlined by G. Gordon Liddy in two separate meetings with three other individuals, the then-Attorney General of the United States, John N. Mitchell, the-then White House Counsel John Dean, and[ [Jeb Magruder]], an ally and former aide to H.R. Haldeman, as well as the temporary head of the Committee to Re-elect the President, pending Mitchell's resignation as Attorney General.

The first meeting occurred in the Attorney General's Washington, D.C., office at 11:00 a.m. on January 27, 1972. In great detail, Liddy both described his plans to disrupt the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, and to prevent any disruption of the upcoming Republican National Convention, then scheduled to take place in San Diego, California. Liddy's proposals would cost approximately $1 million to enact. Among the various elements of Gemstone were plans to kidnap particular "radical" leaders, and others who might cause trouble at the Republican Convention, and hold them in Mexico until after the Convention was over. According to all four participants of the January 27 meeting, Attorney General Mitchell declared, with some evident sarcasm, "Gordon, that's not quite what I had in mind."

John Dean described his recollections of this meeting to President Nixon on March 21, 1973, during the "Cancer on the Presidency" conversation: "So I came over and Liddy laid out a million dollar plan that was the most incredible thing I have ever laid my eyes on: all in codes, and involved black bag operations, kidnapping, providing prostitutes, uh, to weaken the opposition, bugging, uh, mugging teams. It was just an incredible thing." The second meeting occurred one week later, on February 4, 1972, again at Mitchell's office. The participants of this meeting were the same four men as the first, although John Dean was not present for the entire meeting. Dean himself later testified that he arrived "very late" to the meeting. Liddy, Magruder, and Mitchell all disputed this claim. At the February 4 meeting, Liddy proposed a scaled-down plan that would cost $500,000 to enact. While less ambitious than the January 27 agenda, "Operation Gemstone" still involved several proposed criminal acts, most notably including the use of wiretaps to eavesdrop on telephone conversations involving Democratic party leaders.Beginning in April 1973, as the Watergate scandal began to unravel, Magruder and Dean both gave public and private testimony that was very damaging to John Mitchell. For his part, Liddy remained silent until the publication of his memoir Will in April 1980. However, all four men have publicly stated that the February 4 meeting adjourned without Mitchell having expressed any approval for any of Liddy's plans. More specifically, all four participants have publicly agreed that the break-in of the Democratic National Committee's Watergate offices, generally considered the emblematic crime of the Watergate scandal, did not come up in the meeting.

Operation Sandwedge

Operation Sandwedge was a proposed clandestine intelligence-gathering operation against the political enemies of the Richard Nixon presidential administration. The proposals were put together by H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Jack Caulfield in 1971. Caulfield, a former police officer, created a plan to target the Democratic Party and the anti-Vietnam War movement, inspired by what he believed to be the Democratic Party's employment of a private investigation firm.

The operation was planned to help Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign. Operation Sandwedge included proposed surveillance of Nixon's enemies to gather information on their financial status and sexual activities, to be carried out through illegal black bag operations.

Control of Sandwedge was passed to G. Gordon Liddy, who abandoned it in favor of a strategy of his own devising, Operation Gemstone, which detailed a plan to break into Democratic Party offices in the Watergate complex. Liddy's plan eventually led to the downfall of Nixon's presidency, which Caulfield believed would have been avoided had Sandwedge been acted upon.

Rose Mary Woods

Rose Mary Woods (December 26, 1917 – January 22, 2005) was Richard Nixon's secretary from his days in Congress in 1951, through the end of his political career. Before H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman became the operators of Nixon's presidential campaign, Woods was Nixon's gatekeeper.

Timeline of the Watergate scandal

Timeline of the Watergate Scandal —Regarding the burglary and illegal wiretapping of the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex by members of President of the United States Richard Nixon's re-election committee and subsequent abuse of powers by the president and administration officials to halt or hinder the investigation into the same.

Watergate Seven

The Watergate Seven has come to refer to two different groups of people, but both fall in the context of the Watergate scandal. First, it can refer to the five men caught June 17, 1972, burglarizing the Democratic National Committee's headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, along with their two handlers, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, who were Nixon campaign aides. All seven were tried before Judge John Sirica in January 1973.The second use of Watergate Seven refers to seven advisors and aides of United States President Richard M. Nixon who were indicted by a grand jury on March 1, 1974, for their role in the Watergate scandal. The grand jury also named Nixon as an unindicted conspirator. The indictments marked the first time in U.S. history that a president was so named.

Watergate scandal

The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States during the early 1970s, following a break-in by five men at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972, and President Richard Nixon's administration's subsequent attempt to cover up its involvement. After the five burglars were caught and the conspiracy was discovered—chiefly through the work of a few journalists, Congressional staffers and an election-finance watchdog official—Watergate was investigated by the United States Congress. Meanwhile, Nixon's administration resisted its probes, which led to a constitutional crisis.The term Watergate, by metonymy, has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such dirty tricks as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides also ordered investigations of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as political weapons.The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by members of the Nixon administration, the commencement of an impeachment process against the president, and Nixon's resignation. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty, many of whom were top Nixon officials.The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on Saturday, June 17, 1972. The FBI investigated and discovered a connection between cash found on the burglars and a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon's campaign. In July 1973, evidence mounted against the president's staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee. The investigation revealed that Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.After a series of court battles, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that the president was obligated to release the tapes to government investigators (United States v. Nixon). The tapes revealed that Nixon had attempted to cover up activities that took place after the break-in, and to use federal officials to deflect the investigation.

Facing virtually certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974, preventing the House from impeaching him. On September 8, 1974, his successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him.

The name "Watergate" and the suffix "-gate" have since become synonymous with political and non-political scandals in the United States, and some other parts of the world.

White House horrors

The White House Horrors is a term attributed to Richard Nixon's former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell to describe the crimes and abuses committed by Nixon's staff during his presidency. The revelation of their existence and scope is among the many events of the Watergate scandal. More than 70 people were convicted of crimes related to Watergate (some pleaded guilty before trial).

Here is a listing of much of the criminality involved:

Breaking into Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office.

Mitchell gave approval to the break-in at the Watergate.

Charles Colson proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and seizing politically damaging documents the President wanted destroyed.

E. Howard Hunt fabricated documents implicating John F. Kennedy in the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem.

John Ehrlichman ordered FBI Director L. Patrick Gray to take possession of the files in Hunt's safe, keeping them secret from prosecutors.

Gray destroyed the evidence from Hunt's safe.

Watergate investigator Henry E. Petersen gave John Dean secret grand jury testimony.

Gray at the FBI gave Dean access to all FBI investigation files.

Creation of the White House Plumbers to plug leaks through the use of illegal wiretaps.

Operation Sandwedge: The Jack Caulfield operation designed to orchestrate a massive campaign to spy on the Democrats.

Ehrlichman falsely claimed he did not know in advance about the Ellsberg break-in.

Gemstone: The Liddy operation to kidnap students who might disrupt the Republican convention in 1972; use prostitutes to compromise Democratic politicians. Attorney General Mitchell objected to the plan on the grounds it cost too much; he later approved a scaled-down plan. Mitchell, Haldeman and Jeb Magruder approved of Gemstone.

Hush money paid to Watergate break-in defendants.

Nixon promised clemency to Watergate criminals.

Caulfield sent to Chappaquiddick Island to pose as a reporter to dig up dirt on Ted Kennedy before all the leaks.

Nixon is heard on the tapes telling Ehrlichman in April 1973 that he should hint to Dean to "stay on the reservation" because in the end the only man who can grant Dean clemency and save his ability to practice law is the president.

Charles Colson was guilty of offering clemency to Hunt at Nixon's orders.

Nixon told Petersen to stay out of the Ellsberg psychiatrist's break-in on the grounds that an investigation would compromise national security.

Nixon proposed to Alexander Haig and Fred Buzhardt that they fabricate evidence—a missing dictabelt tape—wanted by Judge John Sirica; both refused.

Nixon ordered the IRS to audit the tax returns of Larry O'Brien, head of the Democratic National Committee.

Nixon ordered the IRS to stop an investigation of Howard Hughes.

Huston Plan: In June 1970 Tom Huston persuaded the heads of the CIA, DIA, and NSA to approve a plan for black bag jobs against "enemies" of the Nixon administration. (J. Edgar Hoover opposed the Huston Plan; Nixon, fearful Hoover would blackmail him by leaking word of the plan, dropped it.)

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