WATERGATE: COVER-UP {PART 2 OF 5} (TV)

Summary

The second of two programs on this tape. The second in this five-part series. Daniel Schorr narrates this examination of Richard M. Nixon and the Watergate scandal, which includes commentary from many of the former president's closest advisers as well as Nixon's own thoughts from an interview taped with David Frost in 1977. Shore begins by noting Nixon's comment that -- in light of the Alger Hiss spy case -- a cover-up is often worse than the crime itself. This part begins on June 1, 1972 as Nixon triumphantly returns from Moscow. Meanwhile, five of his men were being arrested, caught red-handed in the Watergate. Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman details how a cover-up was absolutely necessary. Gordon Liddy, Special Investigations Unit member, talks about how he had to go to the "situation room" to make a highly sensitive phone call to Jeb Magruder, deputy campaign director, to tell him about the arrested men, only one of whom -- James McCord -- could be linked to Nixon. Robert Mardian, a campaign political adviser, details how they would handle the "PR problem" of McCord's arrest. The program notes how Attorney General Richard Kleindienst refused to get McCord out of jail, despite Liddy's comments that the White House requested it. Angelo Lano, FBI agent, details how the FBI looked through the vandalized Democratic headquarters for evidence, finding a most curious letter on the premises, implicating E. Howard Hunt of the Special Investigations Unit. On June 18, 1972, Nixon, in Florida on a campaign stop, was angered after reading about the "most foolish, useless, political caper of all time." He appointed his counsel John Dean to obstruct the criminal investigation. Dean discusses debriefing Liddy, being shocked at all the crimes he would have to cover up. By day three of the cover-up, Magruder was wondering what to do with the Operation Gemstone tape recordings, which he was later told to burn. That night, Nixon finally returned to Washington, "pro-actively" spending hour after hour on Watergate. A never-before-played tape implicates Nixon in the cover-up as early as June 21, 1972. Nixon came up with an idea to help in the cover-up involving Hunt's earlier career in the CIA. Liddy alerted Fred Larue, political adviser to Attorney General John Mitchell, about "other things" that had been done, referencing previous crimes committed at "the behest of the White House." Liddy further details shooting the lights out of the office of George McGovern when trying to break into his headquarters. On June 22, 1972, the Watergate burglars were arraigned in court and released on bail as Nixon's men gathered "hush" money. The next day, as the Eastern states were experiencing massive flooding, Nixon issued an order that would ultimately lead to his resignation two years later. As heard on an Oval Office tape, Nixon orders that Haldeman stop FBI Director Patrick Gray's investigation. Nixon details how his goal was to stop the FBI investigation, "if possible." Vernon Walters, CIA deputy director at the time, details his meeting with Haldeman, who told him to quash Gray's investigation or else the Bay of Pigs investigation would be reopened. Lano talks about how the FBI's investigation continued to be hampered. Footage shows Gray's Senate testimony from 1973, detailing the "political dynamite" files which the FBI had on Watergate. Meanwhile, FBI agents were continuing to uncover harmful evidence. Dean discusses how the White House was tipped off to the FBI's further investigation into White House staffer Kathleen Chenow -- who had previously worked for Hunt and Liddy -- and tried to thwart their plans. Meanwhile, Walters and Gray couldn't impede the FBI's investigation any longer. Then, Nixon came up with a "more brazen scheme to scuttle" the Watergate case: arrest Democratic demonstrators, then pardon them along with the Republican burglars. Meanwhile, his election campaign looked unstoppable. Next, Hunt began distributing the hush money to the burglars -- and it did the trick. Liddy was now a prime suspect, as Earl Silbert, former federal prosecutor, notes how the conspiracy case was shaping up. Magruder details what he had to tell prosecutors to continue to cover up the story, fully implicating Liddy. Magruder was forced to testify -- intentionally perjuring himself to maintain the cover-up -- in front of a grand jury. Ultimately, McCord, Hunt, Liddy, and several others on the break-in team, were charged. Afterward, Nixon lauded Dean for his work in the cover-up, at which point Dean finally realized the kind of man Nixon was. On November 7, 1972, Nixon was re-elected by the biggest margin in history. The program ends with graphics detailing what happened to some major Watergate figures. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: Discovery Channel
  • DATE: August 7, 1994 Sunday 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:45:35
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:45539
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: She Made It Collection (Judith McHale)
  • SERIES RUN: Discovery Channel - TV, 1994
  • COMMERCIALS: N/A

CREDITS

  • Nancy LeBrun … Senior Producer
  • Paul Mitchell … Producer, Director
  • Anne Hubbell … Associate Producer
  • Norma Percy … Series Producer
  • Mick Gold … Direction (Misc), Series Director
  • Tim Souster … Music by
  • Daniel Schorr … Narrator
  • Kathleen Chenow
  • John Dean
  • David Frost
  • Patrick Gray
  • H.R. Haldeman
  • Alger Hiss
  • E. Howard Hunt
  • Richard Kleindienst
  • Angelo Lano
  • Fred Larue
  • Liddy, Gordon (See also: Liddy, G. Gordon)
  • Jeb Magruder
  • George McGovern
  • Robert Mardian
  • James McCord
  • George McGovern
  • John Mitchell
  • Richard M. Nixon
  • Earl Silbert
  • Vernon Walters