Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 30, 1972

March 30, 1972 was an important day in more ways than one. In Vietnam, the North began its Easter offensive. And in Key Biscayne Florida, now-former Attorney General John Mitchell convened a meeting with Jeb Magruder and Fred LaRue to consider a large variety of campaign-related matters, including the third version of Gemstone, G. Gordon Liddy's plan for intelligence and security for the 1972 election.

The men later disagreed over what happened at the meeting, with Magruder saying that Mitchell approved it and Mitchell denying it. Either way, Magruder telephoned Gordan Strachan to tell him it was approved, and Strachan included it in a memo to Haldeman, who checked off, Strachan would recall, that he had read it. But as we shall soon see, whatever they said later when the jig was up, each of these men would now act as if a large operation that would include electronic surveillance was part of the Nixon re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, the President, Haldeman, and Colson were talking ITT and the difficult confirmation of the new Attorney General, Richard Kleindienst. That one, they eventually were able to wait out, unlike the effects of what was being arranged down in Florida.


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