THE HEARINGS: Mitchell: What Nixon Doesn't Know...

Caught by the piercing television cameras in the Senate Caucus Room, the two John Mitchells seemed too much of a contrast to be reconcilable:

The first Mitchell was the familiar figure of old, the nation's serenely confident chief lawman and the President's top political strategist. The voice was firm, the denials of personal wrongdoing scathing ("a palpable, damnable lie"), the humor bitingly heavy (on the Watergate conspirators: "It would have been simpler to have shot them all").

The second Mitchell, harshly questioned about his judgment and his truthfulness, seemed shrunken and subdued. His...

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