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Watergate Audio

These Presidential recordings from the Nixon White House all relate to the Watergate crisis. For each, an audio file for listening is provided, along with a transcript for reading. By opening a second browser window or tab, you may read along while listening - this can be useful as the audio quality is poor.

The transcripts are also available without audio on the Watergate Recording Transcripts page.

23 Mar 1971

President Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman, John B. Connally, Jr., Clifford Hardin, John C. Whitaker, Donald B. Rice.  - transcript

A discussion of the Associated Milk Producers political action committee and the advisability of maintaining milk price supports as the 1972 general election campaign approaches.

23 Jun 1972

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Haldeman and Nixon discuss the progress of the FBI's investigation especially the tracing of the source of money found on the burglars. They propose having the CIA ask the FBI to halt their investigation of the Watergate break-in by claiming that the break-in was a national security operation.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

A discussion of how Hunt's involvement in the Watergate break-in would point the investigators to the CIA, and potentially, Hunt's role in the Bay of Pigs debacle.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Haldeman discusses his meeting with Vernon Walters, Deputy Director of the CIA and an earlier phone call from L. Patrick Gray, the Acting FBI Director to Walters regarding the Watergate break-in investigation.

15 Sep 1972

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John W. Dean III  - transcript

A discussion of press treatment of the break-in and lawsuits; discovery of another bug in the DNC; bugs in other political campaigns; DNC lawsuits; Edward Bennett Williams; RNC countersuits; election law violations; Congress; the burglars' civil rights; the Washington Post's TV & Radio licenses; depositions on sex-lives of DNC members.

Nov 1972

Charles W. Colson, E. Howard Hunt, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Topics include: Colson's need to avoid specific knowledge of details of Hunt's activities; Hunt's insistence that commitments made to defendants are not being kept; Colson's contacts with Dean.

8 Jan 1973

President Nixon, Charles W. Colson  - transcript

The President and Colson discuss the possible reasons why McGovern was bugged, with some apparent confusion on the part of the President. This conversation also sheds some light on the CIA connection between Liddy and Hunt, along with Colson's attitude towards both men.

17 Mar 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John W. Dean III  - transcript

A discussion between the President, Dean, and Haldeman in which the President counsels Dean on possible testimony. Also discussed: using the FBI for non-political purposes; a rationale for the Watergate break-in; President compares the Watergate hearings with the Alger Hiss case.

20 Mar 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

This conversation between the President and Haldeman reveals the President's growing frustration with the Watergate affair. Haldeman pleads with the President to protect their "friends" on the Watergate side; Haldeman tries to convince the President he will survive this crisis; concern over Mitchell's knowledge of Liddy's intelligence operation. Haldeman is fatalistic about his own fate; he believes he will be a fall guy to protect others.

21 Mar 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman,
John W. Dean III
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3  - transcript

The Cancer on the Presidency conversation: Dean recaps the history of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up for the President. They guess at who was responsible for setting the break-in in motion. Dean tells the President that the cover-up is "a cancer on the Presidency" that must be excised or his Presidency would be in danger. Also discussed: references to blackmail, perjury; discussion of paying the burglars off with one million dollars.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman,
John W. Dean III, John Ehrlichman
  - transcript

Dean advises the President about Hunt's involvement; attempt to shield the President from any wrong-doing; payment of money to Hunt. Also discussed: the President's relationship with Dean, and how the President was dependent on Dean's advice.
President Nixon, Charles W. Colson  - transcript

Topics discussed: Colson's insistence that Watergate was still strictly a Washington story; Dean's liability for obstruction of justice; Dean's "double privilege"; Colson recommends a special counsel to deal with the President's mounting problems.

22 Mar 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Subjects covered include: the possible use of $350,000 in campaign contributions to pay the Watergate defendants; appearance as obstruction of justice; a plan to distance the President and his closest associates from John Mitchell and the Watergate; President fears that Mitchell will be convicted, then conceives a legal strategy to save him.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John N. Mitchell  - transcript

Topics discussed include Executive Privilege; testimony of White House staff in open hearings; conduct of Senate Watergate hearings; Dean asked to report on White House staff involvement in Watergate, Segretti dirty tricks; PR aspects of release of report; Senate Committee use of executive session for staff testimony; Chapin testimony as a test of Executive Privilege; PR problem of invoking Executive Privilege; Dean's role as counsel; Grand Jury subpoenas; "modified limited hangout": everything short of public session testimony; the issue of ex-employees; Executive Privilege equated to invoking the Fifth Amendment; President: "stonewall it" if necessary for containment; White House contacts with the Committee.

27 Mar 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, Ronald L. Ziegler  - transcript

Subjects covered include: public relations aspects of Watergate; Mitchell's role in the break-in; White House staff implicating itself in cover-up to protect Mitchell; Magruder's history of the "super-intelligence operation" at the White House and Committee to Re-Elect the President; Dean's response to Magruder's views; Mitchell's role in approving the break-in; Hunt's testimony before the Grand Jury; possible immunity deal for Liddy; Dean's lack of prior knowledge of break-in; Mitchell's dilemma; possible meetings with Magruder and Mitchell; McCord's testimony; Magruder's perjury and reaction to prospect of jail time; possible immunity deal.

14 Apr 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3  - transcript

Discussions of press coverage and the issue of campaign funding; Hunt's testimony; President insisting, publicly, to Mitchell, Magruder, Liddy not to withhold testimony thinking they to protect the President; reports of promises of pardons, clemency; implications of hush money to defendants; possible Ehrlichman meetings with Mitchell, Magruders and their lawyers; possible grand jury appearance by the President; legal exposure of Dean, Haldeman, Chapin in the cover-up.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman  - transcript

This conversation recounts Ehrlichman's meeting with Mitchell and his attorneys earlier that day. Topics discussed include: dissuading suspects from remaining quiet thinking they were protecting the President; origins of the break-in; Operation Sandwedge (intelligence-gathering operation at the Committee to Re-Elect the President; Dean influencing Magruder's testimony; Mitchell and Magruder's prior knowledge of break-in; conflict between Liddy and Magruder; payments to defendants; disposition of $328,000; pressure from Kleindeinst to appoint a Special Prosecutor; White House role in break-in; an upcoming meeting with Magruder and his attorneys; involvement of Strachan and Colson; Dean's views; Hunt's attorney; clemency discussions; Mitchell's legal prospects.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Ehrlichman discusses his conversation with Magruder and his two lawyers; history of Operation Sandwedge (intelligence-gathering operation at the Committee to Re-Elect the President); quality of intelligence gathered from DNC; the cover-up; Gordon Strachan's perjury; Magruder's upcoming testimony; money for Watergate defendants; legal exposure of Dean, Haldeman and Colson; Mitchell's prospects in court.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Mitchell's problems; President insists that money raised for expenses of burglary defendants was not hush money; Colson potential testimony of white House staffers before Senate Watergate Committee.
President Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman  - transcript

Ehrlichman discusses the legal position of Haldeman and Dean after recent disclosures; money for Watergate defendants; prosecution of Mitchell.

15 Apr 1973

President Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman  - transcript

Ehrlichman and the President discuss conversations with Gordon Strachan and Richard Kleindeinst; Kleindeinst's request for a special prosecutor; risks of special prosecutor; Colson and money for Hunt; Strachan's upcoming testimony; obstruction of justice exposure of White House Staff; Bittman's role; Colson's exposure; Liddy's testimony and sentencing prospects; Dean's role in money for defendants; Magruder's knowledge.

16 Apr 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman  - transcript

Topics include: a request for Dean's resignation letter; other bugging operations; national security justifications; plumbers operation covered by Executive Privilege; NSC leaks; Liddy's knowledge; questioning Dean; PR efforts and staying ahead of the press; Liddy's testimony; possibility of Ehrlichman completing Dean's report; Kleindeinst's request for a special prosecutor; content of Dean's resignation letter and his plea; possible immunity deal; money for Hunt; the possibility that Dean has information implicating Ehrlichman; stonewalling the investigation; motivation for cover-up the election.
President Nixon, John W. Dean III  - transcript

"Dean Resignation": President discusses the need to have resignations of Dean (and Haldeman and Ehrlichman) "at the ready" and offers two options, "indefinite leave of absence" or "resignation", depending on plea; Magruder questioned about Haldeman and Ehrlichman's role in cover-up; contrast between involvement of White House staff in break-in and cover-up; Hunt's blackmail; review of March 21st conversation; Executive Privilege; plumbers operation; Senate hearings; Segretti's dirty tricks operation; the need for open testimony; Ehrlichman's instructions to Colson regarding clemency for Hunt; Petersen's reports to President; form resignation letter.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Topics include: possible claims of Executive Privilege in testimony; claim of national security; conversation with Dean about a resignation letter; previous knowledge of break-in by White House staff; Dean's failure to write down his Report; possibility of announcing that Ehrlichman will continue the investigation.

17 Apr 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Topics discussed include: previous Dean conversations; money for Watergate defendants; Kalmbach and LaRue's role; Colson's testimony.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, Ronald L. Ziegler  - transcript

Subjects discussed include: $350,000 for defendants; White House Staff knowledge of payments; Dean's testimony on conversations with the President; blackmail by defendants.

19 Apr 1973

President Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman  - transcript

Subjects include: blackmail by Watergate defendants; legal exposure of Haldeman, others; Dean's Report; Dean's breach of confidentiality; Mitchell's culpability.
John D. Ehrlichman, Herbert W. Kalmbach, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Topics discussed include Kalmbach's upcoming testimony; his conversations with U.S. Attorney Earl Silbert; Dean cooperating in hopes of immunity; Ehrlichman's legal exposure; need to reiterate that money to defendants was a legal defense fund; need to make the point that both Kalmbach and Ehrlichman were following Dean's lead.

25 Apr 1973

President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman  - transcript

Topics discussed include: implications of Dean's potential testimony; possibility of impeachment; need for someone to listen to the White House Tapes to review conversations with Dean; Richard Moore's fear of legal exposure; President's words regarding money for defendants.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Topics discussed include: listening to the Tapes; "The Cancer on the Presidency" conversation; President's knowledge; containing the FBI investigation; Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean involvement in obstruction of justice; defendants demands for money; Fielding break-in in California; planned break-in of the Brookings Institution; discussion of one-million dollars for defendants; LaRue and Pappas's role; possible use of campaign funds; clemency for Hunt; $120,000 demand from Hunt; Strachan, Haldeman receipt of bugging information; immunity for Dean.
President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman  - transcript

Subjects covered include: discussion of the possibility that Dean recorded conversations in the Oval Office; Dean's word against the President's; the Dean Report; Dean's prospects for immunity; potential for loss of support for the Administration; White House taping system.

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