Skip to comments.(Howard) Hughes bribe of Nixon alleged
Posted on 03/02/2005 3:28:59 PM PST by nickcarraway
February 28, 2005 at 11:05:37 PST Watergate link claimed by investigator
A chief Senate Watergate investigator told "60 Minutes" that Howard Hughes gave a $100,000 bribe to President Nixon and that may have led to the break-in that started the chain of events that culminated with Nixon's resignation in 1974, according to a report aired Sunday.
Terry Lenzner, who was assistant chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, said Hughes, then owner of the Desert Inn and several other Las Vegas properties, funneled $100,000 to Nixon through Nixon friend Charles "Bebe" Rebozo.
The money, Lenzner said, was for favorable treatment for Hughes' airline and casino holdings.
Nixon's senior advisers treated Hughes "as if the law did not apply to him," Lenzner said.
"They had given Rebozo $100,000 in cash for the president," Lenzner told "60 Minutes." "for Nixon personally."
The money went through Las Vegas resident Robert Maheu, who for 17 years was Hughes' right-hand man. Maheu said there was nothing nefarious -- it was a campaign donation.
He told "60 Minutes" that he went to Rebozo's home and gave him $50,000 cash in an envelope -- a "big envelope."
Maheu, who never saw Hughes in the 17 years he worked for him, told the Sun that the money "was not a bribe. In those days, cash contributions were legal."
Maheu told the Sun that Hughes contributed to both Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic candidate.
Each candidate received a $50,000 check from Hughes through the election committees, Maheu said. Each also received $50,000 in cash.
Once Nixon took office, Hughes ordered Maheu through phone calls and memos to give a sizeable sum of money to Rebozo, Maheu told the Sun.
Half of the money was for Nixon's campaign, Maheu said. The other half "was to help congressional campaigns in which Nixon might be interested in," he said. Lenzner, now chairman of Investigative Group International, a high-powered Washington investigations firm, said that if the money had gone to a "legitimate" political campaign, it would have been appropriate. "This, however, was a bribe, in effect, through Mr. Rebozo to the president."
CBS showed a chart prepared by Senate investigators showing that the money went through a maze of bank accounts and concluded that $46,000 of it was spent in Nixon's Key Biscayne house on a putting green, a pool table and a fireplace.
"The money was not used for what it was intended," Maheu said.
Lenzner said that he believes the Watergate burglary could have been because the Democratic National Committee elected as chairman Larry O'Brien. O'Brien had previously been hired by Maheu to lobby for Hughes.
Lenzner said "Nixon assumed he (O'Brien) knew about" the $100,000 and thinks the break-in was to find out how much the DNC chairman knew.
"So he (Nixon) could be thinking, 'Gosh, I bet, you know, if O'Brien was tied into the Hughes organization, maybe he knows about the things we did for Hughes on the casinos, on the airlines,' " said Lenzner, who said he is certain it was a "significant" part of the reason for the June 1972 break-in at the Watergate building.
Although Lenzner said he wrote a report of his theory about the contribution, it was never included in the congressional Watergate report. "60 Minutes" said there was speculation that was done to obscure Hughes' donations to other Republicans and Democrats.
While there's no evidence that Nixon and Hughes met each other, there is a tie.
In 1956 while Nixon was Dwight Eisenhower's vice president, Hughes made a $205,000 loan to Nixon's businessman brother, Donald.
Details of that loan emerged during the 1960 presidential campaign. Nixon himself believed that the Hughes loan cost him the election narrowly won by John F. Kennedy.
"60 Minutes" reported that Nixon had ordered various aides, including John Dean, H.F. Haldeman and Charles Colson, to check out the link between O'Brien and Hughes for more than a year before the Watergate break-in.
"Let's face it," Maheu said. "If I were the recipient of $100,000 in cash, the possibility that that may surface, it would bother me. I think it would bother any human being."
And Maheu told "60 Minutes" that his boss repeatedly told him, "Bob, remember that there is no person in the world that I can't either buy or destroy."
Hughes died in 1976, never quite understanding what Watergate was all about, his aides have said. Nixon died in 1994, carrying his knowledge of the scandal to his grave.
"They both thought they were above the law," Lenzner said.
Lenzner noted another similarity:
"They're both obsessive. Both paranoid, both thinking everybody's out to get them."
I think Nixon covered this in one of his books. I guess CBS is really hard up. Pajama-people to the rescue!
Knowing what I know about the media now, I wonder how much of "Watergate" was factual and how much was fabricated by the liberal news media.
Is there any Republican out there who is still Defending Nixon?
No, no there isn't. Someone tell the Democratic party to stop dwelling on their moment of glory.
Well Watergate, was really about the coverup. Too bad the same standard wasn't held for Clinton.
This was all hashed out publicly at the time of Watergate.
Nixon was playing T-ball compared to the cover-ups and PROVEN illegalities by the Clinton's.
Well that's good enough for me
Can they produce any memos to back up this claim?
Why don't they mention the $50,000.00 he gave to Hubert Humphrey in a paper bag before the 1968 dem. convention?
Oh, they did.
CLINTON'S SECRET POLICE
Terry Lenzner's CIA connection
Watergate attorney shielded agency's 'Dr. Strangelove'
By Sarah Foster
© 1998 WorldNetDaily.com
President Clinton relies so much on private investigators to dig up dirt on political enemies, it's said he has his own private CIA. But an offhand remark by Terry Lenzner -- the super-sleuth most often hired by Clinton's attorneys to do the dirt-digging -- reveals there's more than a little truth to that quip.
In a sworn deposition, the former Senate Watergate Committee attorney turned gumshoe admitted at least one significant connection to the Central Intelligence Agency. Lenzner is apparently so well-connected to the CIA that, in an hour of need, the agency turned to him for help in shielding one of its most notorious employees from public scrutiny.
On March 13, Lenzner was deposed by Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch in connection with Filegate: the White House confiscation of over 900 FBI files on Bush and Reagan administration employees.
Lenzner is the founder and president of Investigative Group International, a blue-chip detective firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. He's reputed to have done so much work for the White House he's been dubbed the "president's private eye," a sobriquet he disavows.
Through most of the deposition Lenzner dodged questions that might come back to haunt him later in court if he answered yes or no. On his attorney's advice he neither admitted nor denied if his firm carried out the highly intrusive investigations of Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas after they had been nominated to a place on the Supreme Court. Lenzner also refused to say whether or not he had ordered his gang of snoops to dig up dirt on Linda Tripp, Paula Jones, Pat Robertson, Kenneth Starr and members of his independent counsel team. Nor would he admit to having investigated reporters at Newsweek, the American Spectator and other publications.
But when asked if he were currently doing any work for the CIA, he volunteered information beyond the question.
"No," said Lenzner. "I think the only work I've ever done with the CIA was, I represented two or three former CIA employees during the Church Senate hearings (in 1975), including the former head of the Technical Services Division, Sidney Gottlieb. And, indeed, I sued the Senate committee to keep his name out of the assassination report on the grounds that it might endanger his life and his family's life." Sidney Gottlieb. There's a name from the past. The fact that Terry Lenzner represented him and actually sued a Senate committee on his behalf speaks volumes.
Gottlieb was the CIA's real-life Dr. Strangelove -- a brilliant chemist who headed MK-ULTRA, the agency's most far-reaching drug and mind-control program at the height of the Cold War.
MK-ULTRA was the brainchild of Richard Helms, then assistant deputy director for plans within the CIA's Clandestine Services ("dirty tricks") section. Helms later became CIA director.
There is a book by James Ellroy - who writes sordid cop stories about LA (LA Confidential) - that mentions the relationship between Hughes and Nixon
Killed any cats lately??
So is anyone investigating to figure out what Hubert Humphrey did with his money?
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