Bob Woodward was present for the preliminary hearing for the men arrested at the Watergate complex. “One of the five men arrested early Saturday in the attempt to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters is the salaried security coordinator for President Nixon’s reelection committee,” Woodward and his partner Carl Bernstein wrote for the Washington Post.


Woodward noted the men had given false names during their arrest and were charged with attempted wiretapping and burglary. As the judge questioned them, Woodward recorded that one of the men, James W. McCord, stated he was a security consultant, retired from the CIA.


Answer the questions below based on Woodward’s notes on his conversation with Ken Dahlberg, a fundraiser for Nixon’s reelection campaign who unwittingly signed a check for twenty-five thousand dollars that had been deposited into one of the Watergate burglars’ bank accounts.

Optional: Watch CSPAN's interview with Bob Woodward about how to treat sensitive sources and documents. Keep these questions in mind: Why do facts matter? How do facts shape our understanding of the truth?


Notes by Woodward after an interview with Ken Dahlberg. Permission has been granted for educational purposes only courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin


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Directions: Take a look at another set of Woodward’s notes based on a conversation with his confidential source, Deep Throat, revealed in 2005 to be FBI associate director Mark Felt.

Use the annotation tool to respond to the following questions:

  1. What parts of Woodward’s notes with Deep Throat strike you as important?
  2. What might the phrase “that Mitchell involved and knew” mean? (John Mitchell was US attorney general under Nixon.)
  3. What might the details of the conversation tell you about Woodward and Deep Throat’s relationship?

Download the notes to share with your class.

Source: Bob Woodward's notes after meeting with his confidential source Deep Throat. Permission has been granted for educational purposes only courtesy of Bob Woodward via the Ransom Center Magazine, The University of Texas at Austin

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