Woodward’s Notes from ‘Deep Throat’ Interviews Emerge

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By: Greg Mitchell

If you have ever been fascinated with Watergate — or merely enjoyed the movie “All the President’s Men” — you’ve probably tried to imagine what Bob Woodward’s notes from his parking ramp meetings with “Deep Throat” in the famous parking garage looked like. Now you have the chance.

Papers belonging to Washington Post reporters Woodward and Carl Bernstein concerning Mark Felt, the source known as Deep Throat, went on public display Friday at the University of Texas at Austin. Some can be viewed online. The first set of notes includes a direct quote from Felt: “this could ruin the admin, I mean ruin.”

Later Felt cites FBI director L. Patrick Gray: “The White House wants to eat the Wash. Post., according to gray’s report of meeting.”

The university acquired the Watergate papers of Woodward and Bernstein for $5 million in 2003, and most of the documents were made available at the Ransom Center two years later. Papers on Deep Throat, however, were held back because his identity was a well-guarded secret.

E&P has perused some of the material and can report on three copies of Woodward’s notes from 1972 and 1973, which include introductory explanations from the library. They show that Woodward typed them back at his home or office after the meetings, with the occasional typo and strike-through.

The first comes from October 9, 1972. The intro explains: “Woodward’s notes from an early morning parking garage meeting with Felt were used for the October 10, 1974 Washington Post story that exposed the Watergate burglary as part of a larger program.”

These notes, which are headed by Woodward “interview with x,” include the following, with the material in quotes presumably word for word from Deep Throat:


“there is a way to untie the watergate knot” —can’t give you any new names and “I won’t” but everything points in direction of what called “offensive security.”…

“these are not brilliant guys” and much of Rep. intelligence-gathering activities was routine stuff —check out everyone working for candidates —some of that reports directly to Stans or someone in “treat” shop —very concerned w. fund raising?.

Some of this was “offensive” believe to check people out and sort of “semi-black mail” to get money?

Keeps saying to check every lead “could write stories to next xmas” or well beyond that?

“this could ruin the admin, I mean ruin.”

(rat fucking means double cross—so be careful)



The next document comes from January 24, 1973. The library’s intro states, “At an early morning parking garage meeting Felt told Woodward that Attorney General John Mitchell and Special Counsel to the President Charles Colson were behind the Watergate break-ins. After heated arguments, Woodward and Bernstein could not agree whether they had enough corroborating evidence to write a story based on Felt’s information. No story was published.

This time Woodward headed it with “interview with my friend.” It opens:


“says that there is not anything he would even consider circumstantial evidence to show that Colson and Mitchell involved. However, it the feeling of FBI heads and Gray that Colson and Mitchell were behind the operation —espesically Colson whose role was active. Mitchell’s position was more “amoral” —giving the nod but not conceiving the scheme….

Maintains that “what makes this obviously a Haldeman-Colson operation is the hiring of Liddy and Hunt because if you check you’ll find the two had reputations that are the lowest….Liddy did want to tap the New York Times (during pentagon papers) and everybody knew it….and not everyone was laughing about it.”

Emphasizes that “insulation” is the key phrase to understand why no evidence can be developed. This type of thing can “only be broken from the inside. …”



The final document represents Woodward’s notes, dated March 5, recounting a meeting described in “All the President’s Men” as occurring in February. At the meeting, Felt relayed Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray’s account of a recent meeting between Gray and Nixon and also discussed Nixon’s “rage” over leaks to the media. Included are carbon copies of the notes with Carl Bernstein’s notations. Again headed, “interview with X” it opens:


Gray went to White House and said that “I’m taking the rap on the Watergate” and said he was mad and upset and implied that all hell could break loose if he didn’t keep the lid on?Nixon agreed?

Nix. voiced “rage” at leaks not from FBI or Justice but from White House. Gray relayed thought that Haldeman suspects Ehrolichman or leaking or someone on Ehrlichman’s staff…

Debated at some length whether to go civil or criminal avenue with media on leaks…At meeting Nixon said that the money left over from campaign might as well be used to “take the Post and other down a notch”…Said the plan is to start a grand jury investigation into news leaks in this Watergate case, callng all sorts of reporters and officials. “nix. said that we can’t have it and we’re going to stop it, no matter what the costs” apparently in money and loss of liberal support. Gray came back from meeting shaken….

“The White House wants to eat the Wash. Post., according to gray’s report of meeting.”

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