FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

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:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Justin Anderson
Don’t Count the Left Out Just Yet
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail