ABC Evening News for Thursday, Jun 14, 1973
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(Studio) Dep. director Nixon's reelection committee Jeb Magruder testifies former Attorney General John Mitchell approved bugging plans and Watergate cover-up afterwards.
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith
(Capitol Hill) Under limited immunity from Senate Watergate committee Magruder admits planning and covering up Watergate break-in. [MAGRUDER - insists President had no knowledge of break-in. President had confidence in aides.] Magruder identifies persons attending meeting in Key Biscayne, Florida,to approve Gordon Liddy's burglary plan. Included Liddy, convicted Watergate burglar, Fred. LaRue, John Mitchell and Magruder. Says Mitchell approved money and plan for Watergate break-in. [Senator Howard BAKER - asks if Mitchell's decision made passively or was there doubt.] [MAGRUDER - states Mitchell approved plan but says doubts were in all their minds.] [MAGRUDER - reports cover-up began when break-in discovered. Began cover-up because President had no knowledge and any leak could hurt reelection.] Magruder names Mitchell's aides, LaRue, Robert Mardian; H.R. Haldeman, Mitchell, John Dean and Gordon Strachan as participating in Watergate cover-up. [MAGRUDER - recalls talking to Dean and Haldeman about cover-up.] Haldeman says never met with Magruder. [MAGRUDER - gives reason for break-in and cover-up. Saw people very close to him breaking law for beliefs against government Ex: William Sloan Coffin indicted for mass demonstrating, burning draft cards. Magruder aware of own illegal activities but thought ok because means to legal ends.] Haldeman's assistant Gordon Strachan given limited immunity. To testify next week John Dean to appear also naming President in Watergate cover-up.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson