THE ADMINISTRATION: Ripping Open an Incredible Scandal

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Certainly he contradicted his own sworn testimony in a deposition taken last fall in a civil suit filed by the Democratic National Committee against the Nixon committee. Mitchell was asked then: "Was there any discussion at which you were present or about which you heard when you were campaign director concerning having any form of surveillance of the Democratic National Committee headquarters?" Mitchell's reply: "No, I can't imagine a less productive activity than that." And if the Nixon committee, as Mitchell also claimed last June, had played no part in the wiretapping operation, then why did he approve payments to support the arrested men? Why not abandon them?

Scapegoat. Even as Mitchell was trying to pin responsibility on the White House, Counsel Dean was similarly threatening to take other Nixon aides down with him. He has passed word through friends that he intends to hold nothing back before the grand jury and that he will testify that there was, indeed, a cover-up by White House aides. That threat was made directly by Dean in a statement issued through a secretary, who telephoned it in a trembling voice to newsmen. The key passage: "Some may hope or think that I will become a scapegoat in the Watergate case. Anyone who believes this does not know me, know the true facts nor understand our system of justice."

That statement, released without going through the usual channels of approval by the President or Ziegler's press office, drew a rebuke from Ziegler. He protested that Nixon's statement last week had "made it quite clear that the process now under way is not one to find scapegoats but one to get at the truth." But, newsmen asked, was Dean still on the job as counsel if he is in such disfavor? Replied Ziegler sarcastically: "He's in his office. I don't know what he's doing. Attending to business, I assume—business of some sort."

As White House aides began telephoning and meeting secretly with newsmen to leak their own self-serving versions of who was at fault, Dean's friends implied that his original report to the President on his investigation of the Watergate break-in had not been nearly as sweeping in its denial of White House involvement as the Nixon statement had claimed at that time (see box page 14). It thus seemed likely that Dean would tell the grand jury that somebody in the White House had overruled or altered his findings before they reached Nixon. The man most often cited as in a position to do that is Haldeman, who supervises Dean's office. Whether Nixon himself was aware of such an alteration in Dean's report is a question with grave implications.

The grand jury, meanwhile, was also probing another line of inquiry: the alleged use of campaign funds to promote a general attempt to disrupt the campaigns of the Democratic presidential candidates and use spying techniques to gather intelligence on their plans. Thus the jury was hearing from Herbert Kalmbach, Nixon's longtime personal attorney, who has admitted to FBI agents that he paid California Lawyer Donald Segretti some $40,000 in cash, although Kalmbach apparently has denied knowing that the money was for the purpose of disrupting and subverting the campaigns of Democratic candidates. The money came from that well-stuffed Stans safe, which at one time was reported to hold some

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