JOHN H. MEIER
Perhaps the only photo ever taken of the Watergate Committee investigators shows Meier swapping a joke with Terry Lenzner, Scott Armstrong, Robert Muse and Martin Lackritz. Washington’s Mayflower Hotel was the scene of this secret meeting between John Meier (far left) and the Senate committee’s staff investigators in Oct. 1973. The picture was taken by Meier’s lawyer.
Meier has been referred to as the man who brought down Richard Nixon for which he paid a very high political and personal price for, drawing the wrath of the CIA and being framed for murder in 1981, which he fought for years and which was resolved in 1986 as the charges where dropped. A CIA agent, Virgino Gonzalez, on May 2nd, 1975, made public an affidavit deciding to expose to the world what the CIA had been doing, an excerpt of which is “I love the United States and am grateful for all that it has done for me... It is not my intention to place the security of the country at risk and to involve any of my colleagues in this statement. My intention is simply to show that the agency [CIA] is a tool of the President and those close to him in power and is used in a wrongful way to harass people for personal political purposes”. Much of the affidavit included information on illegal activities the CIA was doing against John Meier and further shockingly illicit activities they where still planning against him. In the Afterword of the book Age of Secrets, Meier summed up his politically motivated battle by saying “My story is one of a man devastated by a corrupt system. Our governments are increasingly disrespectful of basic human rights such that we can no longer legitimately call our nations democracies. I hope that this story will contribute to changing this course”.
With the upcoming Presidential election, Meier, working with former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and others, wanted to feed misinformation to Richard Nixon. In late 1971, the President’s brother Donald Nixon, was collecting intelligence for his brother at the time and was asking Meier about the Democratic National Chairman, Larry O’Brien, who had worked with Meier and the Hughes Organization.
Meier told Donald that he was sure the Democrats would win the election since they had a lot of information on Richard Nixon’s illicit dealings with Howard Hughes that had never been released, and that Larry O’Brien had the information (O’Brien didn’t actually have any documents but Meier wanted Nixon to think he did). Donald then called his brother and told him that Meier gave the Democrats all the Hughes information that could destroy him (Richard Nixon) and that O’Brien has it. This provided the President with the real motivation to break into O’Brien’s office, as he wanted to see if anything was going to break before the election, and which led to the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon being forced to resign as President of the United States.
Playboy Magazine spent a year researching Watergate and John Meier, including spending hundreds of hours interviewing people, including extensive interviews with Meier, as well as going through hundreds of documents obtained by Playboy. On September 1976 they released the award winning article Hughes, Nixon and the CIA: The Watergate Conspiracy Woodward and Bernstein Missed which revealed Meier’s role in Watergate and other information Meier revealed about Richard Nixon, which Nixon would not have wanted to be made public. It was this article that consequently sealed Meier’s fate with the CIA as it was then made public about his involvement with being responsible with Richard Nixon’s downfall as well as him exposing illegal activities of the CIA.
Although he had problems with the CIA in the past, Meier also had several CIA agents trying to help him during that time as well as he had maintained a good relationship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and always remained on good terms with the FBI.
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