Ready? It's a big one today.
On August 11, the CIA finally sent the long-requested personality profile of Daniel Ellsberg: a page and a half that concluded "[H]e seemed to be responding to what he deemed a higher order of patriotism." Hardly the stuff of smears suitable for destroying him in the press.
Plumbers Krogh and Young responded immediately with a memo to Ehrlichman with a recap of the situation, and:
In this connection we would recommend that a covert operation be undertaken to examine all the medical files still held by Ellsberg's psychoanalyst covering the two-year period in which he was undergoing analysis.
And Ehrlichman approved it, with his initial and the comment "if done under your assurance that it is not traceable."
(All quotations, as usual, from Emery).
The question with this, as with so many things, is what exactly Richard Nixon knew. As far as I can tell, we don't really know, and testimony was contradictory. Regardless: just about everyone, including Nixon in his memoirs (per Emory, again), agrees that it was consistent with the president's general orders to his staff about all of it. Or, to put it another way: the President of the United States had been urging his staff to commit felonies for some time. Now, they've agreed to do so.