THE HEARINGS: Dean's Case Against the President

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House could leak a news story on why the leaking of Government secrets is bad. Dean seemed to falter only under the persistent and skillful grilling of Senator Gurney.

Gurney bore into Dean's admitted personal use of $4,850 in campaign money that was being kept in his office safe. Dean insisted he had deposited a check for that amount to cover it. Gurney produced a Dean bank-account statement showing that the check was not good at the time it was placed in the safe and said Dean could be guilty of embezzlement. Dean's lawyer sharply objected to that interpretation of law, and Dean said he had never had any intention not to repay the money. He was later partly rescued by Senator Sam Ervin, who introduced a brokerage-account statement showing that Dean had more than $26,000 available at the time. Yet Dean's explanation that he took the cash for honeymoon and other expenses rather than use credit cards seemed lame.

Gurney also surprised Dean on a minor confusion about the hotel in which he had discussed hush funds with Nixon's attorney Kalmbach. Was it Washington's Mayflower Hotel, as he had testified, even though Kalmbach had been registered on that date at the Statler Hilton? After some sparring, Dean, prompted by his lawyer, said that he often confused the two and could have been mistaken, since the Statler Hilton's coffee shop is called the Mayflower.

QUESTIONS FOR DEAN. The main thrust of the critical questioning of Dean was along several lines:

Had not Dean and his lawyers waged a campaign to gain him immunity from criminal prosecution, in part by using news leaks that exaggerate the importance of what he might know? Dean was not entirely convincing in saying that he had no idea how some of his testimony had got into news reports before his appearance, but his testimony last week was a sure demonstration that he did indeed have vast and impressive knowledge of the whole conspiracy.

If Dean was so concerned about the cover-up activity, why, as the President's counsel, did he not warn Nixon long before he did? Dean claimed that his reporting channels were through Haldeman or Ehrlichman and that, despite his title, he could not barge into the President's office. Moreover he assumed that his superiors would keep the President fully informed of his reports on a matter as vital as Watergate.

If he considered his meetings with the President so significant, why did he not keep precise written records on the conversations? Dean's answer was reasonable: "I thought they were very in criminating to the President of the United States."

QUESTIONS FOR NIXON. A bewildering array of specific questions for the President is suggested in each of Dean's charges and interpretations of conversations between them. So far, the President's press spokesmen have responded only by saying thai Nixon will stand behind his May 22 statement. That consisted of making blanket denials rather than dealing with specific meetings and events. Nixon, for example, claimed that he had had no knowledge of the White House-ordered burglary of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office until he made an investigation late in March of 1973. Yet Dean testified that one of the plumber team's leaders, Egil Krogh, told him that orders for the break-in had come "right out of the Oval Office." Even a White

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