ABC Evening News for Tuesday, Jul 24, 1973
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(Studio) Former White House aide John Ehrlichman appears before Senate Watergate committee
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith
(Capitol Hill) Ehrlichman denies John Dean's testimony. Questions turn to Ellsberg break-in. [EHRLICHMAN - states Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy authorized to break-in Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office for national security. Says President has const. power to prevent leakage of national security. Break-in should be viewed in that perspective.] [Majority cnsl. Sam DASH - asks if President would react to Ellsberg episode with horror as Mitchell suggested he would or with agreement.] [EHRLICHMAN - says he talked with President in March, and President agreed with Ehrlichman. National security at stake. President felt actions were justified and within President' power and function with regard to break-in of Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office.] Later, Ervin disputes Ehrlichman and his lawyer John Wilson re: interpretation of statute which gives power to President on national security matters. [ERVIN - asks if Ehrlichman thinks Ellsberg's psychiatrist's files on patients could contain information on attack by foreign powers.] [Ehrlichman's attorney WILSON - reads disputed statue.] [ERVIN - states for. intelligence activities described in statute wouldn't be found in Ellsberg's psychiatrist's files on Ellsberg's emotional, intellectual or psychological state.] [EHRLICHMAN - questions how Ervin knows previous statement is true.] [ERVIN - lashes back that he understands English language.] Ehrlichman insists he didn't order Ellsberg break-in, but admits authorizing operation to get Ellsberg's medical records. Senator Dash hints that another witness could pinpoint Ellsberg break-in orders to Ehrlichman. Questions move toward fund set up for Watergate defendants. [EHRLICHMAN - states fund was for defense, not hush money. Considers fund like Daniel Ellsberg, Angela Davis and Berrigan defense fund.] Ehrlichman asked if Herbert Kalmbach questioned Ehrlichman on legality of activity with regard to Watergate defendant fund. [EHRLICHMAN - states he doesn't remember occasion. Says he wouldn't ask Kalmbach to do anything shady or illegal.] [ERVIN - restates same question allegedly asked by Kalmbach to Ehrlichman with regard to legality of collecting and distributing funds.] [EHRLICHMAN - testifies he wouldn't have encouraged Kalmbach to undertake any questionable action.] Other testimony incls, story that Ehrlichman stopped burglary and firebombing of Brookings Institution in DC. Ehrlichman states he called someone to stop it, but couldn't remember who.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson