You could get a million dollars

Date: 
Wednesday, March 21, 1973 - 10:12am - 11:55am
Participants: 
Richard Nixon, John Dean
Listen: 


This is another excerpt from the conversation often referred to as the "Cancer on the Presidency" conversation; another excerpt is available here. An earlier version of this transcript appeared in Stanley Kutler, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes, pp.247-57.

John Dean: Where are the soft spots on this? Well, first of all, there’s the problem of the continued blackmail—

President Nixon: Right.

Dean: --which will not only go on now, it’ll go on when these people are in prison, and it will compound the obstruction-of-justice situation. It’ll cost money. It’s dangerous. Nobody, nothing--people around here are not pros at this sort of thing. This is the sort of thing Mafia people can do: washing money, getting clean money, and things like that. We just don’t know about those things, because we’re not used to, you know, we’re not criminals. We're not used to dealing in that business. It's a--

President Nixon: That's right.

Dean: It’s a tough thing to know how to do.

President Nixon: Maybe we can’t even do that.

Dean: That’s right. It’s a real problem as to whether we could even do it. Plus, there’s a real problem in raising money. [John] Mitchell has been working on raising some money, feeling he’s got, you know, he’s got—he’s one of the ones with the most to lose. But there’s no denying the fact that the White House and [John] Ehrlichman, [Bob] Haldeman, and Dean are involved in some of the early money decisions. 

President Nixon: How much money do you need?

Dean: I would say these people are going to cost a million dollars over the next two years.

Short pause.

President Nixon: We could get that.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

President Nixon: If you—on the money, if you need the money, I mean, you could get the money fairly easily.

Dean: Well, I think that we’re--

President Nixon: What I meant is, you could get a million dollars. And you could get it in cash. I know where it could be gotten.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

President Nixon: I mean, it’s not easy, but it could be done.
 

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.