Ehrlichman, Clancy Team for TV Show
CHELSEA J. CARTER
Jan. 13, 1998
ATLANTA (AP) _ John Ehrlichman, who went to prison over Watergate, said he told writer Tom Clancy all he knows about the scandal for a new documentary.
The made-for-television documentary will include White House tapes that have never been heard before, Ehrlichman said Monday at a Rotary Club meeting.
``I was urging John Dean to go to the grand jury and make a clean breast of what he knew and he was resisting it. The tape makes it pretty clear who was on which side and who was opposed to it,'' said Ehrlichman, a former aide to President Nixon.
Clancy interviewed 25 key figures and reviewed documents in ``John Ehrlichman: In the Eye of the Storm.'' Ehrlichman, who co-wrote the film, said he and the producers are in negotiations with a TV network to air it later this year. He wouldn't name the network.
Ehrlichman was Nixon's domestic adviser from 1969 to 1973. He served 18 months for perjury and obstruction of justice in the cover-up of the 1972 break-in at National Democratic Headquarters.
Ehrlichman said the documentary will provide evidence that shows special prosecutor Archibald Cox knew that Dean had lied about some details surrounding Watergate and decided to use his testimony anyway.
``He had caught him in about a dozen falsehoods and decided to go forward with him as a key witness anyway and gloss over the problem areas. It tarnishes Cox's image and also puts in context the Dean testimony,'' he said.
Although hundreds of hours of tapes have been released and transcribed, Nixon's heirs are fighting to keep the remaining White House tapes secret.
The unreleased tapes will show the president's enlistment of Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy _ who later became key Watergate figures _ to get a copy of the Pentagon Papers, even if Nixon didn't know all the details about the plans, Ehrlichman said.
He said he stumbled onto Hunt and Liddy's plot to break in and set fire to the Brookings Institute to get the papers and asked the president about it.
``When you called Richard Nixon on a thing of that kind, most usually he would say `I had nothing to do with it,''' he said. ``But there were all kinds of episodes of that sort.''
Although Ehrlichman admitted he knew about the break-in shortly after it happened, he has maintained that he was doing what he was told and now regrets not asking Nixon about his involvement.
Shortly after the break-in, Nixon ``asked me to stay out of it and concentrate on domestic policy. So that's what I did until the following April.''
That was when Nixon asked Ehrlichman to find out what was going on with the Watergate investigation, Ehrlichman said.
``Everywhere that I went was a Richard Nixon footprint,'' he said.
The scandal cost Nixon his presidency. He died in 1994.