O'Brien Sues GOP Campaign
Wednesday, June 21, 1972
Democratic National Chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien, apparently seizing on the break-in and attempted bugging of party headquarters here as a major campaign issue, attempted yesterday to lay responsibility for the incident at the door of the White House.
He said there is "a developing clear line to the white House," and cited what he called the "potential involvement" of special counsel to the President, Charles Colson.
O'Brien made his remarks as the Democratic National Committee filed a $l million suit in U.S. District Court here against the Committee for the re-election of the President, whose chief security agent was one of five men arrested at the break-in at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.
President Nixon's campaign chairman, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, again deplored the bugging incident, denied any party responsibility for it and called the law suit "another example of sheer demagoguery on the part of Mr. O'Brien."
In other developments yesterday:
• White House consultant and former CIA employee Howard E. Hunt, whose name was found in two of the suspects' address books, was reported to be a "good friend" of the suspects' first attorney, Douglas Caddy.
• Federal sources close to the investigation said that a diagram that could have been used in a past or future bugging attempt on Miami Beach headquarters on Sen. George S. McGovern was found among the suspects' belongings.
• Sources in the FBI said that agents were ordered to question Hunt yesterday, but the sources were unable to indicate if Hunt had been reached. This was the first indication that the government thought Hunt might have some information about the bugging.
Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that the Federal Reserve Board "ducked, misled, hid out, avoided calls" and gave him "the idiot treatment" in connection with his request that the board produce the name of the bank involved in issuing 58 $l00 bills seized from the five suspects.
Proxmire, ranking Democratic member of the Senate Banking Committee, said that the board's failure to act "suggests they have something to hide."
Banks are required to record details of any transaction involving sums over 5,000 or large federal reserve notes.
O'Brien charged that Mitchell attempted to make it appear that former CIA employee James W. McCord Jr., the security agent who was arrested Saturday, had ended his employment with the Nixon committee some months ago.