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This is a chronological compilation of Presidential statements on
the Watergate break-in excerpted from Volumes 8, 9 and 10 of The Weekly
Compilation of Presidential Documents.
Statements which were made as part of Presidential News Conferences
or other question and answer sessions are reproduced in their entirety,
along with the questions responded to.
The remaining questions and answers
are not included.
Letters, Statements and Addresses to the Nation are in
cluded in their entirety, with the single exception of the President's State
of the Union Address of January 30, 1974.
last portion of that
address, the part dealing with Watergate, has been included.
At the end of each document is a citation showing the volume and page
numbers of The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents from which the
document was reproduced.
The impeachment inquiry staff library has available for reference a
complete set of The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents from 1969
to the present.
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Q. Mr. O'Brien has said that the people who bugged his headquarters had a direct link to the White House Have you had any sort of investigation made to determine whether this is true?
Tue PRESIDENT. Mr. Ziegler and also Mr. Mitchell, speaking for the campaign committee, have responded to questions on this in grcat detail. They have stated my position and have also scared the facts accurately.
This kind of activity, as Mr. Ziegler has indicated, has no place whatever in our clectoral process, or in our governmental process. And, as Mr. Ziegler has stated, the White House has had no involvcnicnt whatever in this particular incident.
As far as the matter now is concerned, it is under investigation, as it should be, by the proper legal authoriva by the District of Columbia police, and by the FBI. I will not comment on those matters, particularly since possible criminal charges are involved.
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8 Presidential Documents, 1078-79
THE PRESIDENT. We will go right ahead with your questions, because I know you want to cover perhaps some international as well as domestic matters, including, I understand, for the first time, political matters.
Q. Mr. President, are you personally investigating the mishandling of some of your campaign funds, and do you agree with former Secretary Connally that these charges are harmful to
reelection? THE PRESIDENT. Well, I commented upon this on other occasions, and I will repeat my position now.
With regard to the matter of the handling of campaign funds, we have a new law here in which technical violations have occurred and are occurring, apparently, on both sides. As far as we are concerned, we have in charge, in Secretary Stans, a man who is an honest man and one who is very meticulous, as I have learned from having him as my treasurer and finance chairman in two previous campaigns, in the handling of matters of this sort.
Whatever technical violations have occurred, certainly he will correct them and will thoroughly comply with the law. He is conducting any investigation on this matter, and coducting it very, very thoroughly, because he doesn't want any evidence at all to be outstanding, indicating that we have not complied with the law.
The other point that I should make is that these inves tigations, the investigation by the GAO, the investigation by the FBI, by the Department of Justice, have, at my direction had the total cooperation of the--not only the White House--but also of all agencies of the Goverment. In addition to that, within our own stafi, under my direction, Counsel to the President, Mr. Dean, has cono ducted a complete investigation of all leads which might involve any present members of the White House Staff or anybody in the Government. I can say categorically that his investigation indicates that no one in the White House Staff, no one in this Administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.
At the same time, the committee itself is conducting its own investigation, independent of the rest, because the committee desires to clear the air and to be sure that as far as any people who have responsibility for this campaign are concerned, that there is nothing that hangs over them. Before Mr. Mitchell left as campaign chairman he had employed a very good law firm with investigatory experience to look into the matter. Mr. MacGregor has continued that investigation and is continuing it now. I will say in that respect that anyone on the campaign committee, Mr. MacGregor has assured me, who does not cooperate with the investigation or anyone against whom charges are leveled where there is a prima facie case that those charges might indicate involvement will be disa charged immediately. That, of course, will be true also of anybody in the Government. I think under these circumstances we are doing everything we can to take this incident and to investigate it and not to cover it up.
What really hurts in matters of this sort is not the fact that they occur, because overzealous people in campaigns do things that are wrong. What really hurts is if you try to cover it up. I would say that here we are, with control of the agencies of the Government and presumably with control of the investigatory agencies of the Government with the exception of the G.40, which is independent. We have cooperated completely. We have indicated that we want all the facts brought out and that as far as any people who are guilty are concerned, they should be prosecuted.
This kind of activity, as I have often indicated, has no place whatever in our political proces. We want the air cleared. We want it cleared as soon as possibl
Q. Mr. President, wouldn't it be a good idea for a special prosecutor, even from your standpoint, to be appointed to investigate the contribution situation and also the Watergate case?
THE PRESIDENT. With regard to who is investigating it now, I think it would be well to notice that the FBI is conducting a full field investigation. The Department of Justice, of course, is in charge of the prosecution and presenting the matter to the grand jury. The Senate Banking and Currency Committee is conducting an investigation. The Government Accounting Office, an independent agency, is conducting an investigation of those aspects which involve the campaign spending law. Now, with all of these investigations that are being conducted, I don't believe that adding another special prosecutor would serve any
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8 Presidential Documents, 1306-07