White House Pressure
At a sentencing hearing, Judge Sirica reveals a letter sent to him by James McCord. The letter states that the defendants were all pressured by the administration to plead guilty and that the burglary had not been an independent operation — other people knew of the plan:
“I will state the following to you at this time, which I hope may be of help to you in meting out justice in this case:
1. There was political pressure applied to the defendants to plead guilty and remain silent.
2. Perjury occurred during the trial in matters highly material to the very structure, orientation, and impact of the government’s case, and to the motivation and intent of the defendants.
3. Others involved in the Watergate operation were not identified during the trial, when they could have been by those testifying.
4. The Watergate operation was not a CIA operation. The Cubans may have been misled by others into believing that it was a CIA operation. I know for a fact that it was not.”18