Committee to Reelect the President, 1972
 

 

Magruder and Colson

audioJeb Magruder in the office of Special Counsel to the President Charles Colson, Old Executive Office Building, June 1972. Colson was surprised to see Maroon arriving to photograph the meeting. Magruder reassured him before Maroon could begin. Photo Fred J. Maroon.

Maroon Quote 1

 

CRP electronics

audioMark Rosenker and assistant monitoring tapes and equipment at CRP headquarters, June 29, 1972. Photo Fred J. Maroon.

Maroon Quote 2
 

 

Following publication of Fred Maroon's book in 1971, Deputy Campaign Director Jeb Magruder invited Maroon to profile the Committee to Reelect the President (CRP). Maroon could not guess the significance of meetings he attended and persons he photographed — or why he was politely asked to leave so many "reelection strategy" meetings. He began shooting just days after the break-in at the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee. LIFE magazine published his photo essay, September 15, 1972.

The Committee to Reelect the President was organized to win a second term for Richard Nixon in 1972. Headed by former Atty. Gen. John Mitchell, CRP included many former Nixon White House staffers. As advertising and marketing plans for Nixon's campaign moved forward in the spring of 1972, so did covert plans — wiretaps and other forms of harassment directed against the president's opponents — that would eventually bring down the second Nixon administration.
 

 

Nixon inauguration

audioPresident Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew during Inaugural ceremonies, January 1973. Photo Fred J. Maroon.

 

 

Despite continuing investigation into the Watergate break-in and possible links to the administration and the president himself, Nixon had won reelection in a landslide victory over Democratic candidate George McGovern.
 

 

John Dean

audioWhite House attorney John Dean III in the office of Robert Finch, counselor to the president, September 17, 1970. Photo Fred J. Maroon.

 

In early April 1973, a TIME researcher called Maroon with an urgent request for a photograph of Dean. Maroon didn't even remember Dean. By the time he located the image in his files, the researcher had rung back several times.

The photograph was published in the April 16 issue of TIME, for which Maroon received many times his normal picture rate. When the Senate hearings began weeks later, Maroon realized he had the beginnings of an important historical record and decided to continue covering the Nixon administration and the Watergate proceedings.