Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, head of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, said yesterday McCord was employed to help install that committee’s own security system.
In a statement issued in Los Angeles, Mitchell said McCord and the other four men arrested at Democratic headquarters Saturday “were not operating either in our behalf or with our consent” in the alleged bugging attempt.
Dole issued a similar statement, adding that “we deplore action of this kind in or out of politics.” An aide to Dole said he was unsure at this time exactly what security services McCord was hired to perform by the National Committee.
Police sources said last night that they were seeking a sixth man in connection with the attempted bugging. The sources would give no other details.
Other sources close to the investigation said yesterday that there still was no explanation as to why the five suspects might have attempted to bug Democratic headquarters in the Watergate at 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, or if they were working for other individuals or organizations..
“We’re baffled at this point . . . the mystery deepens,” a high Democratic party source said.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Lawrence F. O’Brien said the “bugging incident . . . raised the ugliest questions about the integrity of the political process that I have encountered in a quarter century.
“No mere statement of innocence by Mr. Nixon’s campaign manager will dispel these questions.”
The Democratic presidential candidates were not available for comment yesterday.
O’Brien, in his statement, called on Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst to order an immediate, “searching professional investigation” of the entire matter by the FBI.
A spokesman for Kleindienst said yesterday. “The FBI is already investigating. . . . Their investigative report will be turned over to the criminal division for appropriate action.”
The White House did not comment.
McCord, 53, retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 1970 after 19 years of service and established his own “security consulting firm,” McCord Associates, at 414 Hungerford Drive, Rockville. He lives at 7 Winder Ct., Rockville.
McCord is an active Baptist and colonel in the Air Force Reserve, according to neighbors and friends.
In addition to McCord, the other four suspects, all Miami residents, have been identified as: Frank Sturgis (also known as Frank Florini), an American who served in Fidel Castro’s revolutionary army and later trained a guerrilla force of anti-Castro exiles; Eugenio R. Martinez, a real estate agent and notary public who is active in anti-Castro activities in Miami; Virgilio R. Gonzales, a locksmith; and Bernard L. Barker, a native of Havana said by exiles to have worked on and off for the CIA since the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.