According to a sworn testimony made public in Washington on Tuesday (May 15), former top White House aides H.
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SENATOR SYMINGTON: "General Walters said he was told by Mr. Haldeman that the Watergate incident might be exploited by the opposition, and that it had been decided that he, Walters, should go to the acting FBI director, Mr. Patrick Gray, and to tell Mr. Gray that if the FBI pursued investigation of certain funds in Mexico connected with the Watergate case, this enquiry would compromise certain CIA activities and resources in Mexico.
"General Walters further testified that an appointment was made with Mr. Gray immediately and that he went to see Mr. Gray an hour later. On June 27, Mr. Dean reportedly called General Walters again and went to see him in his office. Mr. dean is reported to have asked if there was some way whereby the CIA could go bail or pay the salaries of the individuals accused int he Watergate case while they were in gaol. General Walters states he told Mr. Dean there was no way this could be done. General Walters further testified that he told Mr. Dean that he would have no part in attempting to compromise the CIA in something in which, in fact, it was not compromised. He said that if ordered to do so he would have to see the President and explain to him how dangerous he thought such an action could be. On July 5th, General Walters received, according to his testimony, a call from Mr. Patrick Gray, the acting director of the FBI. Mr. Gray, referring to his previous conversation with General Walters, reportedly said that he could not stop the investigation of the Mexican financing unless he received a letter from the Director or from General Walters, stating that the investigation would damage the Agency's assets in Mexico. General Walters then testified that he went to see Mr. Gray the next day - July 6th - and told him that he had checked this matter and discovered that such an investigation would not damage any CIA assets, that the CIA was totally unconnected with the matter, and that the CIA had no interest in stopping any investigation.
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Background: According to a sworn testimony made public in Washington on Tuesday (May 15), former top White House aides H.R. Heldeman and John Dean tried to persuade the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) to help cover up the Watergate bugging scandal. The testimony said that they also tried to blame the C.I.A. for the bugging.
These allegations were made when Senator Stuart Symington read out a paraphrased version of a statement made to the Senate Investigating Committee by Lieutenant General Vernon Walters, deputy director of the CIA.
In his statement, General Walters said that he was told by Haldeman that he should tell the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Patrick Gray, that FBI enquiries into Watergate would harm the CIA. General Walters later found this to be untrue.
General Walters also alleges that Dean asked him to give financial support to the Watergate conspirators while they were in gaol.
Senator Symington, who made the statement public, said he saw this as an attempt to implicate the CIA and thus pass the blame. He congratulated General Walters on resisting such pressures.
This film includes a sound-on-film coverage of Senator Symington reading a paraphrased version of General Walters' sworn testimony. A transcript appears below.