CHIEF COUNSEL: Inside the Ervin Committee--the Untold Story of Watergate by Samuel Dash

CHIEF COUNSEL: Inside the Ervin Committee--the Untold Story of Watergate

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After all the Watergate post-mortems, Dash opens up with the maneuverings and arm-twisting within the Ervin committee. It is a story both of integrity--Sam Ervin's--and of duplicity which belies the nonpartisan facade presented to the public. The most unsavory allegations concern Sen. Howard Baker, vice-chairman of the committee, who, according to Dash, consistently attempted to derail Dash's meticulously developed strategy for rooting out the nastiest facts and closing in on the President. In the early stages Baker even met with Nixon and asked for ""guidance"" on how best to serve the White House. Dash reports on his secret and startling talks with John Dean--and on Baker and Gurney's attempts to foil further investigation by stopping the buck at this glorified errand boy. He explains his rejection of a ""bombshell"" opening to the public hearings and the imperative of preparing for the big fish by extensive preliminary groundwork. He makes no attempt to mask his annoyance with mysterious ""press leaks"" and with the senators' tendency to hog the limelight. The account of a telephone conversation between the President and Ervin (""the President was shouting at me. . . that all we wanted to do is get him,"" said an appalled Ervin) is, at this late date, not much of a shocker. A frank, workmanlike book, which details how the chief counsel labored to protect the public hearings from friends and foes alike. It was, says Dash, ""a trial lawyer's dream""--but also something of a nightmare.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Random House