• Short Summary

    In the United States, the Senate Select Committee investigating the Watergate affair is to begin its public hearing on Thursday (May 17).

  • Description

    SCU Journalist asks question (SILENT)

    SCU Senator answering question (KEEP SOUND DOWN)

    CU Senator Baker interviewed (SOUND)

    SENATOR BAKERS: "There is a real difference between what the Senate will undertake and what the Courts will undertake. The Courts are going to try, presumably, to name defendants charged with the violation of particular criminal statues. The Senate is not so constrained. We're trying to find the facts, whether the fact's an illegality, impropriety, or an unfortunate political activity. On the question of whether the President himself might be requested to comment on the testimony of witnesses -- to comment on his own point of view or position -- or whether in fact he might be subpoenaed -- you're running into two or three different grades of legal quandary.

    QUESTION: "Could he legally be legally be subpoenaed?"

    SENATOR BAKER: "Well on the first two, I would not exclude the possibility that the President might be offered an opportunity of state his side t the case -- that is to state his side of the case through counsel, by statement or otherwise. And I fully expect that he may -- publicly, or to the committee, or otherwise."

    QUESTION: "Could the Grand Jury subpoena the President?"

    SENATOR BAKER: "On the question of subpoena, you run into the most delicate of all separation-of-powers questions. And at this moment, I very much doubt that you could subpoena a President to do anything., I'll try to answer you on the basis of a technical reply to your question. If in fact the President is guilty as the Constitution prescribes of high crimes and misdemeanours as determined on the charge of the House and the conviction of the Senate, clearly he would be impeached. The question at hand is what are the facts? Was the President involved? Did he have knowledged of the situation before it occurred or after it occurred. Was he involved in any alleged cover-up and the like. I guess the technical answer, the lawyer's answer, is that presumably facts could lead you finally to sustain a charge of high crimes and misdemeanours. So the technical answer is yes. But once again, as I told Mr. Stern, I don't profess to be a judge in this matter, nor a juror but I do believe that it is my responsibility as a member of this committee to refrain from stating what I believe the facts will support or what they will not support.

    Initials BB/0010 CG/PN/BB/0034


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In the United States, the Senate Select Committee investigating the Watergate affair is to begin its public hearing on Thursday (May 17). Three Republicans are sitting on the seven member Committee, including senator Baker of Tennessee, the Vice-Chairman.

    Answering newsmen's questions on the affair in a televised programme on Sunday (17 May), he said president Nixon might be invited to "state his said of the case" to the Committee.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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