And it now occurs to me that we’re going to need a sort of “Dramatis Personae” for the first year of this thing. So many names and such. So here goes:
Nixon’s inner circle
John Mitchell: Attorney General of the US from 1969 until January of 1972. Resigned that position to focus on running the 1972 re-election campaign. Prior to Watergate, Nixon’s closest friend and confidante. Between running the Committee and having to babysit his wife, Martha, he kind of let things get away from him.
HR Haldeman: Chief of Staff and Nixon’s true right-hand man. In many ways, he ran the presidency for Nixon. One of three senior aides nicknamed “The Berlin Wall” – as in, they stood between Nixon and anyone else. Before his White House days, Haldeman had been a PR guy in California and had helped resuscitate Nixon’s political career.
John Ehrlichman: Chief domestic advisor to the president, and one of the inner circle and closest advisors to the president. One of The Berlin Wall guys.
Henry Kissinger: National Security Advisor, largely out of the loop on Watergate (but not other wrongdoings). Also sometimes considered one of the Berlin Wall guys. Simultaneously part of the inner circle, and also inherently mistrusted by Nixon because Kissinger was Jewish and Nixon was a raging anti-semite.
The not-quite-as-inner-circle, but still fairly close
Chuck Colson: special counsel and advisor to Nixon. Not typically considered in the innermost ring of Nixon’s inner circle, but close to it. Amoral, driven, and responsible for the atmosphere of “Ends justifies the means” dirty tricks that came to be part of CRP. Remarkably: had nothing to do with Watergate. Initially. As in, not his idea.
John Dean: Originally the senior legal counsel for CRP, became Nixon’s White House counsel for a time. Managed to simultaneously participate in the cover-up, while also issuing dire warnings about legal repercussions of cover-up activities.
Jeb Stuart Magruder: An amoral empty vessel of a human who served directly under John Mitchell as the Deputy committee chair of the Committee to Re-elect. Possibly one of the lyingest liars to ever serve in the White House (which is saying something) motivated solely out of self-interest and self-promotion.
Maurice Stans: CRP Finance chairman. Vehemently denied being a criminal, even as he was being sentenced to jail. My dude, there’s a taping system, so do shut up.
Herb Kalmbach: Nixon’s personal attorney, deputy director of finance at CRP.
Hugh Sloan: CRP Treasurer. Constant buzzkill for the rest of these jokers for insisting on legal bookkeeping practices, and constantly warning about various initiatives being potentially illegal. Resigned from CRP when it became clear to him what campaign funds were being used for.
Alexander Butterfield: Deputy Assistant to the President. Kind of like a mix between the modern gig of “body man” and appointments and administrative aide.
The Justice department and federal investigators
Richard Kleindienst: Attorney General of the US, replacing John Mitchell.
Henry Peterson: Deputy AG to Kleindienst and head of the DC US Attorney’s criminal investigations.
L. Patrick Gray: Nixon’s eventual choice to replace J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI
Mark Felt: Deputy director of the FBI under Hoover and Gray. Also: Deep Throat
Angelo Lano: FBI agent assigned to investigate Watergate
Earl Silbert, Don Campbell, Seymour Glanzer: the three attorneys assigned by the US Attorney for DC to prosecute Watergate. All were hilariously incompetent.
The burglary team
G. Gordon Liddy: Officially “Finance Aide” on the Committee to Re-elect. Unofficially, the guy who was charged with putting together an intel operation for the President’s campaign to try to spy on the opposition and what they might know, as well as initiating a series of dirty tricks.
E. Howard Hunt: Officially “Consultant to the White House”. Unofficially, Chuck Colson’s right-hand man. Part of Liddy’s hand-picked intel team. Ex-CIA.
Al Baldwin: the comically inept lookout
James McCord: “Security consultant” for CRP, ex-CIA. Served briefly as Martha Mitchell’s personal bodyguard.
Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez: Watergate break-in team