friendship, Bill Clinton
After sleeping late on Sunday, I was back at my desk that afternoon. I had two prime considerations. First, I wanted to be certain that the tapes were not a trap for the committee or that there was a significant bit of missing information that we lacked; experience taught me that matters of this importance do not usually fall into your lap without more complications that are immediately apparent. Second, if our information was legitimate, I wanted to be sure the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action. Legalisms aside, it was inconceivable to me that the White House could withhold the tapes once their existence was made known. I believed it would be in everyone’s interest if the White House realized, before making any public statements, the probable position of both the majority and the minority of the Watergate committee. Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home. Buzhardt was the only White House staff member with whom I had had any substantial contact. He had been unassuming and straightforward in his dealings with me. He never tried to enlist me in any White House strategy, to suggest that I relay confidential information, or to so any of the things that were probably assumed by many of the so-called sophisticates in Washington.
Warning the White House about the Watergate tapes
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