"You need a team"
Richard Nixon's plumbers didn't deal with leaks in the usual way
In this conversation, President Nixon called for “a team” to take on the conspiracy that he believed stood poised to leak his most damaging secrets. Based on this conspiracy theory, the President would soon create his own counter-conspiracy: the Special Investigations Unit. Later called "the Plumbers," since its members worked on leaks, the unit was a small secret police organization that the President placed above the law to gather damaging information that the White House could leak to the press.
The unit was a small secret police organization that the President placed above the law to gather damaging information that the White House could leak to the press.
The Plumbers never were able to prove Nixon’s conspiracy theory and would close shop after a few frustrating months. But two of the group's members, ex-FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy and ex-CIA agent E. Howard Hunt, would team up again for Nixon reelection campaign dirty tricks—including the fateful break-in at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate complex. Once the President knew they were involved in Watergate, he had a powerful incentive to launch a cover-up: The full FBI investigation of their illegal activities would lead to the uncovering of his own.
Participants: Richard M. Nixon, H. R. "Bob" Haldeman
Location: Oval Office
Tape: 534-012 A