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Conversation: 915-004

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Start Date: 10-May-1973 8:35 AM

End Date: 10-May-1973 9:09 AM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Scott, HughGriffin, Robert P.Ford, Gerald R.Arends, Leslie C.Timmons, William E.Haig, Alexander M., Jr.White House photographer

Recording Device: Oval Office

915-004a.mp3

915-004b.mp3

NARA Description:

On May 10, 1973, President Richard M. Nixon, Hugh Scott, Robert P. Griffin, Gerald R. Ford, Leslie C. Arends, William E. Timmons, Alexander M. Haig, Jr., and White House photographer met in the Oval Office of the White House from 8:35 am to 9:09 am. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 915-004 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 915-4

Date: May 10, 1973
Time: 8:35 am - 9:09 am
Location: Oval Office

The President met with Hugh Scott, Robert P. Griffin, Gerald R. Ford, Leslie C. Arends, William
E. Timmons and Alexander M. Haig, Jr. The White House photographer was present at the
beginning of the meeting.

     Watergate       

          -President’s speech, May 9 

          -Elliot L. Richardson        

                -Special Prosecutor          

                       -Duties and line of authority  

                       -Nomination         

                             -Timing
                       -Possible effects
                             -Justice Department
                       -Philip A. Hart         

          -Congressional liaison         

          -Haig, Scott, Roman L. Hruska, and James O. Eastland 

                                 -6-

       NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                         Tape Subject Log
                          (rev. May-2012)

                                                 Conversation No. 915-4 (cont’d)

-Ervin Committee hearings
-Richardson’s confirmation
      -Special Prosecutor
-Senate investigations
      -Timing during grand jury investigation
      -Alger Hiss case
      -Grand jury activities
            -John C. Stennis          

      -Witnesses        

            -Potential indictment         

                  -Effect of Senate hearings              

      -Ervin Committee hearings            

            -Samuel J. Ervin, Jr’s actions              

            -Indictments          

                  -Attorney General          

            -Use immunity           

            -Witness list         

                  -John W. Dean, III
                  -Robert C. Odle, Jr.          

            -Possible public statement by the President 

            -Purview         

                  -Campaign financing              

                  -Donald H. Segretti           

                  -Campaign violence             

                          -Alleged Democratic campaign practices
                          -Bombing of Republican National Committee [RNC]
                           headquarters
                  -Grand jury
            -Effects of television [TV]           

                  -Howard H. Baker, Jr.              

                  -Edward J. Gurney, Jr.              

            -Possible Senate action
                  -Ervin        

                          -Stennis      

                          -Eastland       

                          -Media image         

            -Executive session
                                        -7-

             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                                Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. May-2012)

                                                          Conversation No. 915-4 (cont’d)

                 -Ervin     

                       -Prosecutors      

                             -Richardson
                       -John J. Sirica
                       -Background
                       -Nicholas B. Katzenbach’s statements

Appointments
     -Richardson
           -Dr. James R. Schlesinger as replacement at Defense Department
                  -Stennis and F. Edward Hebert
     -William Colby at Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]

           -Vietnam War         

           -Compared with Richard M. Helms 

     -Haig      

           -Role in White House         

                  -Congressional relations     


White House staff
     -Haig
           -Chief of Staff
                 -Access to President      

                       -Congress        

                       -H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman        

           -Objections        

                 -Military experience      

                       -Robert H. Michel [?]      

           -Civilian experience      

                 -Henry A. Kissinger      

     -Congressional relations      

           -Timmons         

           -Access to President       

                 -Exaggeration       

           -Frank Sanders       

                 -Previous experience       

                       -Melvin R. Laird       

                 -North Carolina Democrat       

                                      -8-

            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                               Tape Subject Log
                                (rev. May-2012)

                                                      Conversation No. 915-4 (cont’d)

                      -Republican leanings

Watergate
     -Schlesinger       

           -Confirmation hearings     

           -CIA activities      

     -Colby       

     -CIA involvement       

           -Compared to Pentagon Papers      

                -Schlesinger      

                -Colby        

                       -Vulnerability

Dwight D. Eisenhower
    -James Duff
           -Request for meetings

President’s speech, May 9
      -Possible press actions
      -Reaction in House, Senate
            -House Democrats        

      -William Proxmire and Scott 

      -Support by Republican congressmen 

            -Scott, Griffin

Campaign finance reform
    -Spending and practices
    -Congressional interest
          -William E. Brock, III    

          -John W. Gardner       

                -Common Cause        

          -Possible recommendation by the President 

                -Blue ribbon commission
                      -Composition
                      -George H. W. Bush
                      -Democratic National Committee [DNC] chairman
                            -Compared to Federal Electoral Commission
                                        -9-

             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                                  Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. May-2012)

                                                         Conversation No. 915-4 (cont’d)

                                   -Purpose
                       -Carl B. Albert, Scott, and Michael J. (“Mike”) Mansfield
           -Mansfield
                 -Ray C. Bliss and Marlow W. Cook
           -Possible recommendation by the President on commission
                 -Purview
                 -Leonard Garment and Raymond K. Price, Jr.
                 -Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
                 -Ford
                 -Appointments
                        -Milton S. Eisenhower
                        -Formula       

     -Need to seize initiative on issue 

     -Possible recommendation by the President on blue ribbon commission 

           -Robert C. Byrd’s pending bill 

                 -Rules Committee         

                 -Change of national election date     

                 -Possible action on Senate floor    

           -Richardson’s role
           -Congressional leadership         

                 -Statutory authority       

                 -Appointments          

           -Composition         

                 -RNC and DNC chairmen            

           Timing        


Watergate
     -Ervin Committee hearing
     -Effects on administration

President’s schedule

Chinese tradition

John B. Connally
     -Absence
     -Role in government
                                               -10-


                   NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 


                                         Tape Subject Log 

                                          (rev. May-2012)

                                                              Conversation No. 915-4 (cont’d)

                 -Compensations
                 -Cabinet meeting

     Appointments        

          -Colby       

                -Role in Watergate      

                      -CIA
          -President’s statement
          -Schlesinger
                -Colby
                      -Record in Vietnam
          -Connally
                -Role in White House
                      -Special advisor
                      -Compensation

     Housing in Detroit 

          -Garment        

          -Foreclosures       

          -Detroit News

          -Legislation      

          -Administration       


Scott et al. left at 9:04 am. Timmons remained.

     President’s speech, May 9
           -Response
           -Distribution of transcripts to Congress

     President’s schedule      

           -Republican leaders       


     Congressional relations
          -Hearings
                -Vote count
                -Hart
                      -Report
                                             -11-


                  NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 


                                       Tape Subject Log 

                                        (rev. May-2012)

                                                              Conversation No. 915-4 (cont’d)

           -Forthcoming House vote
                 -Bipartisan support
                 -Democratic Caucus
                 -Margin
                 -Importance

The President and Timmons left at 9:09 am.