Alfred Baldwin (born June 23, 1936) was the "shadow man" in the Watergate first break-in and the ensuing Watergate scandal, but he played an important role. A former FBI agent, Baldwin had been hired by James McCord for a variety of purposes, one of which became to monitor electronic bugs purportedly planted by McCord in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the Watergate. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut.
Baldwin testified during congressional investigations that he had typed "almost verbatim" transcripts of phone conversations coming from the DNC headquarters, but G. Gordon Liddy testified in deposition that what he had been getting from Baldwin had only been logs that were "useless." Liddy says that he then dictated logs, "editing" as he went, and that he had his secretary, Sally Harmony, type up his dictations on stationery with "GEMSTONE" printed across the top.
Liddy said in his autobiography and in sworn deposition that he only met Alfred Baldwin once, and then only briefly, on May 31, 1972 in the dark "listening post" that had been set up by James McCord in room 723 of the Howard Johnson's motel across the street from the Watergate.
Alfred Baldwin said under oath in his congressional testimony that five days earlier than that, on the afternoon of May 26, 1972, he had been introduced by McCord to both Liddy and E. Howard Hunt in the first room McCord had rented, room 419 of the Howard Johnson's. Baldwin also testified that later on that same night of May 26, about 1:00 or 2:00 a.m., he rode around in a car with McCord and Liddy for "over half an hour" near McGovern headquarters, discussing prospects for breaking in there, but that Liddy had finally said: "We'll abort the mission."
Liddy's co-commander of the Watergate ops, CIA agent E. Howard Hunt, only refers in his autobiography to Alfred Baldwin as an anonymous "monitor" hired by McCord who Hunt purportedly never was introduced to. Yet Hunt relied heavily on the unknown "monitor" for walkie-talkie reports during the Watergate activities. On June 17, 1972, after McCord and the other burglars had been apprehended in the Watergate, Hunt says he went up to room 723 in the Howard Johnson's and knocked on the door, which was "opened a crack" where he saw an unknown "man with a crew cut indistinctly against the dark background." According to Hunt, he had a brief, terse exchange with this unknown man—Baldwin—and entrusted him with the crucial task of disposing of all the electronic receiving equipment McCord and Baldwin purportedly had installed in room 723, telling Baldwin, "I don't care if you drive the van into the river; just get the stuff out of here."
Baldwin was never charged or convicted in relation to the Watergate scandal.
References[edit | edit source]
- Hunt, E. Howard Undercover, Memoirs of an American Secret Agent Berkely
- Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearings, 93rd Congress Book I, Events Prior to the Watergate Break-in U.S. Government Printing Office 1974
- Alfred Baldwin testimony, May 24, 1973; 1 SSC 399–401, 410–11
- Sally Harmony testimony, June 5, 1973; 2 SSC 461, 467
- Liddy, G. Gordon Will, the Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy St. Martin's ISBN 0-312-92412-7
- Liddy, G. Gordon Deposition in Dean v. Liddy et al., U.S. District Court D.C. 92-1807