TRIALS: Mitchell Takes the Stand

As the witness raised his right hand to take the oath in a Manhattan courtroom last week, his left hand flexed tensely three times, then relaxed. It was the only instance in the 27 days of testimony that tough John Mitchell, 60, former U.S. Attorney General, betrayed any signs of nervousness. Along with former Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans, 66, Mitchell is charged with perjury, conspiracy and obstructing justice as an outgrowth of a secret $200,000 cash donation to President Nixon's re-election campaign from Financier Robert Vesco on April 10,1971. That gift was allegedly made in exchange for easing Vesco's...

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