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But the more significant queries for Nixon raised by the Dean testimony are these: Did he discuss Executive clemency with Ehrlichman and Colson, as Dean claims? Did he congratulate Dean on helping to limit the Watergate indictments? Did he scoff at the $1,000,000 in payoff money, as the White House claims? Is there a tape, as Dean suspected, of the meeting in which Nixon claimed to have been joking about the $1,000,000 in silence money?
The two most accusatory summations were drawn by Lowell Weicker and Sam Ervin. Weicker, clearly outraged at what he considered continuing Nixon Administration connivance in trying to "grossly" subvert its political foes, including himself (see page 15), erupted in the week's most impassioned oratory. Scathingly, he launched into a litany of what he called "proven or admitted" crimes committed by the Executive Branch of the Government.
The list was long: conspiracy to obstruct justice, conspiracy to intercept wire or oral communications, subornation of perjury, conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation, conspiracy to destroy evidence, conspiracy to file false sworn statements, conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, conspiracy to commit burglary, misprision of a felony, filing of false sworn statements, perjury, breaking and entering, burglary, interception of wire and oral communications, obstruction of criminal investigation, attempted interference with administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and attempted unauthorized use of Internal Revenue information.
Chairman Ervin built a virtual case of impeachment against the President by leading Dean through a series of questions on Ervin's most revered topic, the U.S. Constitution. "And I will ask you as a lawyer if you do not think that surreptitious entry or burglary and the electronic surveillance and penetration constituted a violation of the Fourth Amendment?"
Dean: Yes sir, I do.
Ervin noted the name of Sam M.
Lambert, former executive secretary of the National Education Association, on a White House "enemy" list because he opposed federal aid to parochial schools. "Here is a man listed among the opponents whose only offense is that he believed in the First Amendment and shared Thomas Jefferson's conviction, as expressed in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, that to compel a man to make contributions of money for the dissemination of religious opinions he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical. Isn't that true?"
Dean: I cannot disagree with the chairman at all.
Ervin: Article II of the Constitution says in defining the power of the President, Section 3 of Article II—"He" —that is, the President—"shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Do you know anything that the President did or said at any time between June 17 and the present moment to perform his duty to see