H.R. Haldeman – Watergate Hearings – AM Session – August 1, 1973 – Past Daily Reference Room
H.R. Haldeman; one of the key figures in the Watergate scandal and the former White House Chief Of Staff, Haldeman was called to testify over the tapes in the Oval office as well as the actions of CREEP (Committee to Re-Elect the President) during the 1972 Presidential campaign.
From The Washington Post article, dated May 1,1973
At the White House he was the chief of staff, and from that position he wielded enormous power that flowed directly from his absolute control over both the people and the paper that reached the President’s inner office.
He was aided in the exercise of that power by a personal relationship with Mr. Nixon that had been fostered over years of working together, stretching back to the mid-1950s and the Nixon campaign for re-election as vice president. Said to be Mr. Nixon’s closest and most trusted aide, Haldeman is intensely loyal to the President and in Washington gathered around himself a group of tight-lipped young men who shared his devotion to the President and, in turn, were absolutely loyal to Haldeman.
Among them were former presidential appointments secretary Dwight L. Chapin, deputy Nixon campaign director Jeb Stuart Magruder and former presidential assistant Gordon Strachan — names that kept cropping up in the investigations of the Watergate bugging incident and related allegations of political espionage and sabotage during the Nixon re-election campaign in 1972. Chapin, Magruder and Strachan have left the administration.
Slowly, the links between these loyal Haldeman aides and the ever-growing Watergate scandal became public. As late as April 4, Sen. Sam J. Ervin (D-N.C.), the chairman of the Senate select committee investigating the Watergate incident, issued a formal statement saying that “as of this time ” there was “no evidence of any nature” to link Haldeman personally with any illegal activities during the 1972 campaign.
It’s interesting to note that, during his testimony, Haldeman talks about being Loyal to President Nixon, a loyalty Nixon demanded of all his aides and associates. Something that bears an echo of more recent days. Testimony that has more than a familiar ring to it at times – despite opinions to the contrary; that Watergate and the current Russian Election meddling scandal have little in common with each other. There is more commonality than meets the eye.
Here is the second day of testimony, the complete morning session as it was broadcast on August 1, 1973