Following is the statement of facts filed by the Justice Department in connection with the court hearing on Richard M. Helms' no-contest plea:
On Feb. 17, 1973, Richard M. Helms appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in connection with his nomination to be ambassador to Iran. During that hearing, he was asked questions about the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in efforts to prevent Salvador Allende Gossens from becoming president of Chile. Helms failed to answer those questions fully, completely and accurately as required by law.
On March 6, 1973, Richard M. Helms again appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On this occasion, his appearance was in connection with that committee's inquiry into allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency and/or the International Telephone and Telegragp Corp. had attempted to influence the presidential campaign and elections in Chile in 1970. During that hearing, Helms was asked questions about his knowledge of United States government policy with respect to the 1970 Chilean presidential elections. Again, Helms failed to answer those questions fully and completely as required by law.
Between March and September, 1970, the Central Intelligence Agency carried out a covert operation approved by the Forty Committee of the National Security Council which operation was intended to prevent the election of Salvador Allende as president of Chile on Sept. 4, 1970.
As part of the covert operation, the Central Intelligence Agency funded and engaged in propaganda activities designed to reduce the number of votes for Allenda in the Sept. 4 election. The Central Intelligence Agency also funded directly or indirectly various individuals and groups in Chile opposed to the election of Allende.
From July through September, 1970, Central Intelligence Agency officers met on several occasions with officers and employees of ITT and discussed the Chilean presidential campaign. These meetings occurred in the United States and in South America, and in the discussions the CIA officers learned that ITT was interested in supporting certain political opponents of Allende, and the CIA officers provided information relating to this funding to the ITT officers and employees.
Following the Sept. 4, 1970, election in which Allende won a plurality of the votes, the Central Intelligence Agency undertook a progaganda effort aimed at preventing an Allende government, and on Sept. 15, 1970, Richard Helms was directed by the President to prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him, and to carry out that mission without coordinating with the Departments of State or Defense.
In the period leading up to the Oct. 24, 1970, runoff election in the Chilean Congress to select the Chilean president, the CIA conducted an extensive propaganda campaign and political action program to prevent Allende's election by the Congress. During this same period the CIA expanded and intensified its other covert operations.
Richard Helms knew at the time he testified that in 1970 the CIA carried out a covert operation approved by the Forty Committee to prevent Allende from winning the Sept. 4, 1970, Chilean presidential election.
Mr. Helms also knew at the time he testified that the Forty Committee had approved actions and money to prevent Allende's selection in the Oct. 24, 1970, runoff election and to encourage by economic pressure and other means action by the Chilean military to prevent Allende's accession to the presidency.
The Department of Justice has determined that the disposition of this matter by means of a nolo contenderee plea to the Two Count Information filed herein and agreement as to the suspension of the minimum sentence and the imposition of a fine is fair and just for the following principal reasons:
The trial of this case would involve tremendous costs to the United States and might jeopardize national secrets.
Mr. Helms has had a most distinguished career and has performed outstanding services to the United States government during the course of that career.
The department has considered the policy and law expressed in federal cases and statutes that where testifying before a legally constituted governmental proceeding, a witness must testifying forthrightly as to material matters, and neither false nor inaccurate nor evasive estimony is available as a lawful alternative under any circumstances.
It is Helms' position that he was bound by the statutory responsibility imposed on the Director of Central Intelligence by the National Security Act of 1947 to protect intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure. Helms also felt bound by the oath that he signed on his departure from the CIA not to divulge, publish or reveal any classified information or any information concerning CIA operations to any unauthorized person. At the time of his testimony, Helms had not been authorized to reveal confidential information concerning American policy in Chile.