61 pages • 2 hours readBob Woodward, Carl Bernstein
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It is difficult to follow up rapidly with Sloan due to the birth of his first daughter. By the time the reporters return, Sloan has decided to reveal more information. The biggest revelation is that John Mitchell has direct control over the secret slush fund and regularly uses that money to pay those involved in “security” work. John Mitchell was attorney general until 1971, when he resigned his position to become chairman of CRP. He still meets regularly with President Nixon. Sloan’s revelation is a serious shock and raises major questions about both CRP and the President’s reelection more broadly. Even worse, Sloan reveals that Mitchell authorized payments as early as 1971, while he was still attorney general and publicly claimed he had no connection with CRP (60). Problematically, however, Sloan can prove very little of what he is saying. Starting the day of the Watergate break-in, CRP embarked on widescale document destruction.
Back in the newsroom, the editors go over every piece of information that Woodward and Bernstein propose publishing and ruthlessly prune any detail they feel the reporters cannot prove. When the story is finished, the reporters again reach out for comment, and again CRP directs them to talk to the subject of the story, this time Mitchell.