Washington D.C. June 22, 2005 - The senior FBI official
now revealed as "Deep Throat" - the Watergate source
for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward - ordered his
subordinates to "forcibly remind all agents of the need to
be most circumspect in talking about this case with anyone outside
the Bureau" according to declassified FBI documents posted
today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
Many of these documents - which were declassified in 1980 - have
been cited in recent articles in The
Nation magazine and the Washington
The documents show that Mark Felt, as the FBI's number two man
in 1972, had intimate access to files pertaining to the FBI's
Watergate investigation, putting him in a position where he was
both leaking crucial information to Woodward and overseeing an
FBI probe into the source of these leaks.
The FBI cables and memoranda posted here today complement a set
of Nixon White House tape recordings relating
to Watergate, Mark Felt and the Deep Throat investigation compiled
by the National Security Archive staff in previous weeks.
Note: The following documents are
in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe
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1: Memorandum, W. M.
Felt to the Acting Director, "Subject: James Walter McCord,
Jr., and Others, Burglary of Democratic Party National Headquarters,
June 17, 1972, Interception of Communications," June 19,
1972 - File # 139-4089-1891
days after the Watergate break-in, Felt calls on FBI Acting Director
L. Patrick Gray to conduct a "sweep of Democratic National
2: FBI, Memorandum, W. Mark Felt to the Director, "Re:
James Walter McCord, Jr. and Others, Burglary of Democratic Party
National Headquarters, 6-17-72 Interception of Communications,"
June 21, 1972 - File # 139-4089-301
again requests permission from Gray to "sweep" the headquarters
of the Democratic National Committee headquarters "before
someone else gets the idea."
3: FBI, Memorandum, C. W. Bates to Mr. Felt, "Subject:
James W. McCord, Jr., and Others, Burglary of Democratic Party
National Headquarters, 6/17/72, Interception of Communications,"
June 22, 1972 - File # 139-4089-302
memo transmits approval from Gray to offer to make an "electronic
sweep" of Democratic National Committee headquarters.
4: Memorandum, C. W. Bates to Mr. Bolz, "Subject: James
W. McCord, Jr., and Others, Burglary of Democratic Party National
Headquarters, 6/17/72, Interception of Communications," June
22, 1972 - File # 139-4089-756x
minute-by-minute account of FBI activities in the immediate wake
of the Watergate break-in notes a June 21, 1972, meeting between
Felt, Gray and others in which all agreed that "the FBI's
reputation was at stake, and that the investigation should be
completely impartial, thorough and complete."
5: Memorandum, W. M. Felt to Mr. Bates, "Subject: James
Walter McCord, Jr.; et al., Burglary of Democratic Party National
Headquarters, 6-17-72, Interception of Communications," September
11, 1972 - File # 139-4089-1153
FBI information disclosed in a Washington Post story,
Felt says in this memo that he told Robert Kunkel, agent-in-charge
of the FBI's Washington field office, to "forcibly remind
all agents of the need to be most circumspect in talking about
this case with anyone outside the Bureau."
6: Memorandum, C. Bolz to Mr. Bates, "Subject:
James Walter McCord, Jr.; et al., Burglary of Democratic Party
National Headquarters, 6/17/72, Interception of Communications,"
October 12, 1972 - File # 139-4089-1383
memo comments on Washington Post reports that the FBI
had tied the Watergate break-in to a political sabotage campaign
directed by the White House and the Committee to Reelect the President.
The document cites a meeting between Post reporter Carl
Bernstein and Special Agent Angelo Lano of the FBI's Washington
Field Office. Lano deflected Bernstein's attempts to interview
him about the case, telling the reported that "his only purpose
in meeting with Bernstein was he had promised to give a clue as
to his source of his information." Bernstein replied that
he had "a very high source" but would not identify the
agency to which the source belonged. Upset about alleged bad information
received from Lano, Bernstein later reported the meeting to an
7: Cable, Washington Field Office to Acting Director, "James
Walter McCord, Jr., etal; Burglary, Democratic National Committee
Headquarters, Washington, D.C. June Seventeen Seventy Two,"
October 25, 1972 - File # 139-4089-1414
two documents provide more details about the Bernstein-Lano meeting
discussed in Document 5.
8: Memorandum, W. M. Felt to Mr. Miller, "Subject:
Watergate," February 14, 1973 - File # 139-4089-1939
this memo Felt forwards an order from Gray requesting an investigation
into a Washington Post article alleging that figures
involved in the Watergate break-in "regularly reviewed information
obtained from national security wiretaps while they worked at
the White House."
9: Memorandum, W. M. Felt to Mr. Gebhardt, "Subject:
Watergate," February 21, 1973 - File # 139-4089-1935
and Bernstein's Watergate coverage in the Washington Post
have "contained much fiction and half truths,"
according to this memo from Felt, but "have frequently set
forth information which they attribute to Federal investigators,
Department of Justice sources, and FBI sources." The reporters
have been "playing games with the case agent in the Washington
Field Office trying to trick him into giving bits of information,"
but "there is no question but that they have access to sources
either in the FBI or in the Department of Justice."
the request of Gray, Felt calls on agents to "expedite"
an analysis of the Post article "to determine those
portions which could have come from FBI sources and in such instances
to set forth the persons having access to that particular bit
10: Memorandum, R. E. Long to Mr. Gebhardt, "Subject:
Watergate," February 21, 1973 - File # 139-4089-1934
document provides responses to the points raised in Felt's memo
11: Memorandum, John J. McDermott to W. Mark Felt, "Subject:
White House Sentry Duty," May 2, 1973 - File # 139-4089-2078
McDermott of the FBI's Washington Field Office requests that custodial
responsibility for White House documents sequestered as part of
the investigation into the Watergate break-in be transferred from
the FBI to the White House. "The Bureau," says McDermott,
"has been placed in this untenable position for the purpose
of 'putting on a show' and lending an aura of custodial integrity,
which we in no way can assure."
12: Memorandum, L. M. Walters to Mr. Felt, "Subject:
Watergate," May 23, 1973 - File # 139-4089-2261x
document, and the June 7, 1973, memo that follows, provides a
detailed reconstruction of FBI activities in response to the Watergate