FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Felt Was Asked Under Oath in 1975 If He Was "Deep Throat"

by LEN COLODNY

On April 17, 1990, as I was interviewing John Ehrlichman for my book SILENT COUP (1991, St Martin’s Press), the former top White House aide to President Richard M. Nixon told me an incredible story — which current headlines now verify. He said that he had dinner the previous night with a former Justice Department Official who had worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington, D.C. in the mid-1970s. This friend told Ehrlichman of an event that he had witnessed, and of a relationship between Mark Felt, formerly of the FBI, and reporter Bob Woodward.

According to Ehrlichman’s friend, in the aftermath of the Church hearings, a senatorial inquiry into earlier activities of the FBI and the CIA involving illegal entries — black bag jobs — Mark Felt had been called to testify on this subject to a Grand Jury. (Felt would later be convicted of a crime related to such illegal entries, and in April of 1981 was pardoned by President Reagan.)

As the transcript (see below) of my Ehrlichman interview relates, his friend told the former presidential counselor:

“They had, had Felt for, I guess, an hour and a half, two hours [before the Grand Jury] and he was testifying rather evasively but somewhat responsively; and they turned to his contacts in the White House and said, ‘Did you have much contact with the White House?’ Well, he had some, and he was a little bit sort of bobbing and weaving about who he had contacts with, and so forth; and they asked him a question and he said, well, he didn’t have intimate contact, and then, and smiled rather grandly and said, ‘Well, the next thing I know you’re gonna be accusing me of being Deep Throat.’ And at that point the Grand Juror raisedhis hand and said, ‘Are you?'” My friend said “Felt’s face just collapsed, and he was obviously struggling with the quandary of how to answer that question under oath.” The U.S. Attorney — stopped the proceedings, and advised Felt that he didn’t need to answer that, that the question was not germane to their inquiry, and then they took a recess. And Felt made a bee-line for a telephone booth.Ehrlichman continued “Later on, my friend ran into Bob Woodward at aparty, and Woodward said, ‘I understand you’ve been giving my friend Felt a hard time,’ and the U.S. Attorney’s guy said, ‘Well, those are secret proceedings. How do you know about that?’ ‘Well,” he (Woodward) said, ‘there’s nothing in the law that prevents a witness from telling what went on.’ And they talked a little more and it came out that the one that Felt had telephoned from the booth was Woodward.”

Ehrlichman related that in his friend’s conversation with Woodward at that party, Woodward had confirmed that Felt had been “a source” for him.

My conversations with John Ehrlichman took place over many years, from the late 1980s until near the time of his death in 1999. John had long been involved in trying to figure out the identity of Deep Throat. He suspected it was Mark Felt, but could not reconcile that idea with the one, put forth in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, that Deep Throat had been Woodward’s source for information about the infamous “Deliberate Tape Erasure” that Throat told Woodward about in early November of 1973, since Ehrlichman knew that Felt had resigned from the FBI in April of 1973.

Moreover, Ehrlichman knew that only a small handful of people within the White House had known about that tape gap at the time it was discovered. Ehrlichman later came to believe, therefore, that Deep Throat was a name used to cover several different sources tapped by Woodward, Felt among them.

CONFIDENTIAL

EHRLICHMAN/COLODNY INTERVIEW EXCERPT 4/17/90

EHRLICHMAN: I’ve got a Bob Woodward anecdote for you.

COLODNY: Yeah?

EHRLICHMAN: Yes. I had dinner with a guy last night who used to work for the Justice Department. At some time, I guess in ’74, maybe ’75, they had Mark Felt from the FBI in the Grand Jury room and they were investigating as a result of Frank Church’s hearings about the CIA and so forth. They were investigating illegal entries by the FBI and they had, had

Felt for, I guess an hour and a half, two hours, and he was testifying rather evasively but, uh, somewhat responsively and, um, [papers being shuffled in the background] they turned to his contacts in the White House and said, “Did you have much contact in the White House?” Well, he had some and, uh, he was a little bit sort of bobbing and weaving a little bit about who he had contacts with and so forth and they asked him a question and he said, well, he didn’t have, uh, intimate contact and then and smiled rather grandly and said, “After all, next thing I know you’re gonna be accusing me of being Deep Throat.” And a grand juror raised his hand and asked a question and said, “Are you?” My friend said Felt’s face just collapsed and he was obviously struggling with the quandary of how to answer that question under oath. Uh, they — the — the U.S. Attorney stopped the proceedings and advised Felt that he didn’t need to answer that, that the question was not germane to their inquiry and then they took a recess. And Felt made a B-line for a telephone booth. Later on, my friend ran into Bob Woodward at a party and Woodward said, “I understand you’ve been giving my friend Felt a hard time,” and the U.S. Attorney’s guy said, “Well, those are secret proceedings. How do you know about that?” Well, he says, “There’s nothing in the law that prevents a witness from telling what went on.” And they talked a little more and it came out that the one that Felt had phoned from the phone booth was Woodward.

COLODNY: Great! Felt must have been worried, I guess.

EHRLICHMAN: Evidently.

COLODNY: I don’t — I can’t imagine why except that he was feeding Woodward some information during that period.

EHRLICHMAN: Yeah, Woodward said he was a source.

LEN COLODNY wrote Silent Coup: the Removal of a President and is a regular contributor to watergate.com. He can be reached at: len@colodny.com

More articles by:
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail