Former Nixon White House aide Dwight L. Chapin, who was imprisoned because he lied about his connection to political dirty tricks during the Watergate scandal, is serving as an unpaid staff adviser to George Bush’s presidential campaign, it was reported Thursday.
Bush campaign spokesman Mark Goodin, asked whether it was appropriate for a Watergate felon to be working as a campaign adviser, told the San Jose Mercury News, “It’s not as if the guy has not paid his debt to society.
“We feel that he ought to be allowed to participate in the process at this point,” Goodin said.
One of ‘Senior Advisers’
A document distributed by Bush’s campaign headquarters last month to state Republican officials lists Chapin as one of four “senior advisers” to the scheduling and events unit of the national Bush campaign. A copy of the two-page document was obtained by the Mercury News.
Chapin was found to have lied about his dealings with Donald H. Segretti, a practitioner of campaign infiltration and sabotage whom Chapin hired for the 1972 Nixon reelection campaign.
“His background is advance work,” Goodin told the newspaper, referring to Chapin. “And that’s been his strong suit . . . . My understanding of his (Chapin’s) role is that from time to time he consults on some big events on advance techniques.”
Chapin, who was President Richard M. Nixon’s appointments secretary from 1969 to 1973, was convicted of two counts of perjury in April, 1973, and served six months in prison for lying to a federal grand jury that was investigating the Watergate scandal.