Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 1972

A late-morning meeting at Nixon's EOB office. Remember, this is the President of the United States of America and the White House Chief of Staff.


Haldeman: Also, they have no case on Hunt.
President Nixon: Why?
Haldeman: Because there is no case on Hunt. They have not been able to make him. They can't put him into the scene at all.
President Nixon: We know where he was, though.
>Haldeman: But they don't. The FBI doesn't.
President Nixon: That's right.
Haldeman: They've pursued him and been unable to tie him in at all to the case.
President Nixon: What about the disappearance? He'll come back?
Haldeman: Well, they've got no warrant for him, so they don't care whether he disappeared.
President Nixon: He has disappeared?
Haldeman: He has disappeared.
Haldeman: Another good break is they can't trace the currency.
President Nixon: They traced it to a Miami bank.
Haldeman: They traced it to a Miami bank, But the bank cannot trace the thing beyond that. They're not required to and they don't maintain any record of where, who takes it when it's $100 bills.[...]
President Nixon: Because hundred dollar bills are so common these days?...
Haldeman: I guess. Whatever it is, they don't maintain a record. So there's no way to trace the source of the funds. Even if there were, it wouldn't be a very great problem, unless it can go two more steps, because the funds came from a money order from a South American country.
President Nixon: Well, that's good.
Haldeman: Well, but if they got to that stuff then they might be able to get to the South American country and find out where the money order came from, and that isn't good. But up to that point we're all right, and they can't even go to the next place.
President Nixon: So we're okay on that one...
Haldeman: Well, the investigation is beginning to loo into other Cubans and that kind of thing. These guys are allied in some other enterprises that we don't care about, and there's a lot of -- that's a pretty big story, a pretty good story, as long as they don't get to -- see the thing we forget is that we know too much and therefore read too much into what we see that other people can't read into. I mean, what seems obvious to us because of what we know is not obvious to other people.


I'll stop the transcript there because it's such a great, and greatly incriminating, line. What's missing is that Haldeman goes on to tell Nixon about the possibility that they'll get Liddy out of the country, so that he won't be available if the investigation does lead to him.

Meanwhile...well, lots of stuff going on, but in particular: Gray continues to keep Dean informed about the FBI's investigation. For one thing, the money trail that seemed cold when Haldeman was briefing Nixon was, now, starting to warm up, which as Haldeman had told Nixon meant trouble. But Gray also told Dean of continuing FBI fascination and suspicion about all the CIA connections among the Watergate burglars, to the point that they were theorizing that perhaps the whole thing was a CIA operation -- and Grey had even called CIA Director Richard Helms, who denied it. Still, Gray told Dean (according to Dean's account), perhaps the CIA was denying it because it would get them in big trouble (which even in those pre-reform days would certainly be true). Dean says that he immediately went to tell Mitchell about it (although Mitchell denied they discussed it): was this a way to get the whole investigation behind them?

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