Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017) Script

REPORTER 1: (ON RADIO) You got a cloudy Monday ahead today here in the nation's capital.

Chance of rain showers and a likely chance of some drizzle that continues...

REPORTER 2: With President Nixon facing an uncertain re-election, candidates for the Democratic Party are accusing him of failing to end American involvement in Vietnam.

REPORTER 3: Members of the Committee to re-elect the President were in Jacksonville today on their campaign trip through Florida.

And for a report on that, here's Georgia Wilson.

GEORGIA WILSON: Wife of the Attorney General, Mrs. Richard Kleindienst.

MAN: (ON RADIO) This is the final weekend of our month-long extravaganza sale.

All sizes all on sale!

REPORTER 2: In Washington, yet another public demonstration by some citizens opposed to the Vietnam War.

Reporter Alan Witten.

ALAN WITTEN: It was festive as the crowd turned to Capitol Hill.

In an hour's time, several thousand people had joined hands to form a complete circle of war protest around the US Capitol.

(INDISTINCT ADVERTISEMENT OVER RADIO)

WOMAN: (ON RADIO) Clean and Shine to the rescue! Cleans up stains, only the shine remains. No rubbing. No trimming, no foul smells.

REPORTER 2: A sharp recession has shaken economic confidence.

As a result, a large field of Democratic challengers has emerged and would beat Nixon if the election were held today.

MAN: (ON RADIO) Five different flavors! WOMAN (ON RADIO): Five different meals!

TOGETHER: One happy family!


(CROWD CHANTING)

One, two, three, four! We don't want your fucking war!

One, two, three, four! We don't want your fucking war!

(INTERCOM BUZZES) SECRETARY: (OVER INTERCOM) Mark Fell'.

Gentlemen. Mr. Dean.

Goddamn Russian revolution out there.

Why aren't we arresting anybody?

Because that isn't a crime.

Right now the president needs your advice.

Yeah, Hoover's run the FBI, what, 40 years?

Fifty. Fifty goddamn years.

You know, Johnson and Kennedy wanted to fire him, don't you?

But they didn't have the balls.

If the president were to ask Mr. Hoover to step aside, how would you suggest he do it?

We know you to be a friend to this administration.

We like to see our friends get what they deserve.

You're next in line. There is no line, Mr. Mitchell.

The president is asking.

Mr. Hoover would want to keep his bullet-proof car.

(LAUGHS)

You're a real politician, Felt.

Then thanks for popping by.

If I may.

There is one thing Mr. Hoover knows that's been on all your minds.

Whenever the FBI hears a piece of gossip or information, such as "I saw so-and-so out with another woman, not his wife," or a man, not his wife, we're supposed to write everything down, and we do.

We write it all down in memos.

These memos come to me, and I decide what information Mr. Hoover needs to know, and send that up to Mr. Hoover.

And Mr. Hoover puts it all away in his private files, to be kept safe, out of the hands of people without discretion, people who could do harm should that information be leaked, for instance, and put before the court of public opinion.

And then sometimes Mr. Hoover will go, for instance, to the president's closest aides and say, Mr. Ehrlichman or Mr. Mitchell, "I want you to know that we received that report

"about you and that other woman, "and I want to tell you that there is absolutely no reason

"for us to take any further action.

"There is no violation.

"You're safe.

"We, the FBI...

"All your secrets are safe with us."

How long have you been in the FBI, Felt?

Thirty years.

JOHN DEAN: Thirty years.

That's a lot of information, a lot of files.

Thank you, Mr. Felt.

Thank you, gentlemen. Mr. Dean.

(LAUGHING) Choke on your Manhattan.

ED MILLER: Have a little something.

AUDREY: Hello, darling. MARK: Hey, sweetie.

I give you the chief dragon slayer and guardian of the American dream.

Oh, come on, Mark. Crack a smile, at least!

Eddie, let me go.

Eddie, leave her alone. She's the best. Come here, you.

PAT MILLER: Did you hear that? I need a drink.

I am the best. I heard that.

PAT: Hi, hon. MARK: Hi, sweetie.

Look what I've done. Look what you're doing.

What were you doing?

(PAT LAUGHING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

Yes, sir.

(TANGO MUSIC PLAYING)

PAT: Keep the hips down.

Look at your feet.

Come on, attitude.

Eddie, they're elegant!

(PAT LAUGHING)

(SALSA MUSIC PLAYING)


MARK: Good morning. Good morning.

Is the director in? Not yet.

Here's that Weather Underground file.

How many bombings now? Couple dozen.

Precise numbers, Mr. Miller.

Twenty-nine.

Nails and ball bearings.

These kids aren't messing around.

They're embarrassing the FBI.

Get the New York office.

He's dead.

Who?

Mr. Hoover's dead.

His housekeeper found him on the floor.

He wasn't breathing.

It looks like a stroke.

Put everything into motion.

No mistakes, gentlemen. Not one.


Good morning, Felt.

The assistant Attorney General.

Pat Gray.

Complicated morning for all of us.

Indeed. Mr. Miller, here, will be handling the funeral arrangements.

I have the Attorney General's instructions on seating and protocol.

The funeral will be handled by the FBI.

The Attorney General will sit beside the vice president.

Handled by the FBI in its own way, Mr. Gray.

I also have instructions on Mr. Hoover's files.

I am to take possession of them and bring them to the White House.

What files?

Mr. Hoover's secret files. The Personal and Confidentials.

(WHISPERS INAUDIBLY)

Official and Confidentials.

There are no secret files.


MAN: We thank thee this day with arms open for J. Edgar Hoover, for his lifelong trust in thee, his steadfast devotion to the nation, his elevated patriotism, his commitment to justice and peace in the nation.

We ask that we may be as strong, brave as he was brave... Excuse me.

MAN: Loyal as he was loyal... Pardon me.

Serve as he sewed, love the nation as he loved it.

MAN: Felt!

ED: Jesus. Bill Sullivan.

I'd like a word with you.

Bill Sullivan and Mark Felt, together again.

Who would have thought it?

I think I was the one who recommended you to the old man for your first big promotion.

MARK: You know you were. That's right. Mark Felt never forgets.

That's why everyone likes you.

Hell, I even like you.

And I don't like anybody.

What do you want?

I had 30 years in the bureau.

Same as you.

You were the director's bag man. Oh, yeah?

You taped Martin Luther King with other women and sent the pictures to his wife.

Do you need me to actually say it?

Those days were gone. You had to go.

You could be you, Mark, only because I was who I was.

You and I were an ecosystem.

That's how nature works.

Keeps everything in a balance.

Now, the king is dead.

Long live the king.

Are you the new king? You tell me.

You're the president's new best friend.

Mark Felt.

Integrity, bravery, fidelity.

Ladies and gentlemen, the G-man's G-man.

You want to know what everybody really thinks of you? Do you?

Competent, reliable, loyal.

What's wrong with that? Nothing.

If you're a golden retriever.

Hoover's gone.

You're alone now,

holding the end of your own leash.

(TELEPHONE RINGING)

SECRETARY: (OVER INTERCOM) Attorney General, line one-

Dick.

Yes.

Well, I have enjoyed every day of it.

The FBI has been home to me and my family for 30 years and...

Yes.

"A new day."

Yes, a fresh start.

It's what I would do.

Who do you have in mind?

I'm sorry. Could you repeat that? Who?

Welcome to the FBI. A friendly face.

Gentlemen.

Now, Mr. Gray.

I know the bureau has its closets and skeletons.

You can count on me to keep those doors shut.

I'll be candid with you.

I was a submarine commander in the navy.

I was father, confessor and friend to 18-year-olds.

Did you know that?

I'm not a suspicious man by nature.

That probably makes me a strange choice to run the FBI.

In fact, when the president called my wife she begged me to turn him down, but...

But the president wasn't asking, if you know what I mean.

Now, let me be candid with you, Mr. Gray.

The FBI is the most respected institution in the world.

It is one of the two cockpits that fly America, and it is what it is because no one from the outside ever got inside.

Mr. Hoover has been old, a long time.

We all know it's been you running the FBI, Felt.

Your reputation is stellar. Let me finish.

You have no law enforcement experience. You're an outsider.

That is your battle to fight, but I'm going to help you.

Well, I appreciate that. Don't.

It's not an act of generosity.

This is about this building and what goes on in here and what it means to the country.

That is all I care about.

As long as you keep the FBI first, you'll be able to count on me.

This is your office.

(DOOR OPENS)

I thought the job was yours.

What did I miss?

You and Mr. Hoover.

Don't you remember why he said he liked you so much?

He always said you and he had the same enemies.

That's why.

Thirty years.

Thirteen transfers.

Thirteen homes to leave.

Thirteen homes to make.

I left behind every friend I ever made.

And I kept my mouth shut, like the perfect little FBI wife.

Until one day you wake up and you're so different than you used to be you can't even remember what the point was in the first place.

Till there's just one thing left in my head.

The one idea left in my head is, at least Mark's going to get that job.

And that will make up for everything. Audrey.

They don't deserve you.

They don't deserve us.

You need to resign.


When the bureau is in better hands,

then, I'll go.

(TELEPHONE RINGS)

What is it? This is getting complicated.

You better get down here.

REPORTER: Five men wearing white gloves and carrying cameras were caught early today in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, in Washington.

They apparently were unarmed and nobody knows yet why they were even there.

MARK: Mr. Kunkel.

Straight into the Democrat offices in the Watergate.

Who's our spy?

ROBERT KUNKEL: Baldwin, Alfred C.

Checked in six weeks ago.

Says he was more than just the lookout.

He says he was supposed to listen for "girlie stuff."

Guess the Dems are having a lot of trouble with their wives.

He say where he got his instructions?

Baldwin is one of ours.

EX-FBI.

He worked under Bill Sullivan.

When he was in the bureau, was he in Mr. Sullivan's group?

KUNKEL: We think so.

MARK: What about CIA connections?

No idea. Why?

Because 30 minutes ago four of those burglars told a judge they are ex-CIA.

What the hell is this?

REPORTER: One of the most fascinating and exotic stories ever to come out of Washington, DC, was the talk of the capital today.

Robert Endicott covered the story.

Democratic officials today held a series of meetings to talk about tighter security at the national headquarters here in Washington.

REPORTER 2: The White House has so far offered no official comment, but a close adviser to the president, seen here visiting China last month, has said the president is most concerned about the break-in and will be keeping a very close eye on the investigation.

Now, turning to other news...

Mr. Lano is running street on this.

2:15, Sunday morning, Metro finds our perps inside the Democratic National Committee office.

We ID'd the lead. He's a pro.

Five years in the FBI, 19 in the CIA.

Then he left the CIA to run security for the Attorney General.

Then he ran security for the White House for the Committee to Re-elect the President.

CHARLIE BATES: The lead burglar ran security for the Committee to Re-elect the President?

Is that what you said? MARK: That's what he said. Keep going.

Yeah, it gets weirder.

The lookout in here, three years FBI.

Then the Attorney General recruits him to be his wife's personal bodyguard.

Just keep going.

ANGELO LANO: The lookout makes a Howard Hunt the ringleader.

Hunt's also ex-CIA.

But get this, a year ago we were asked to do a background check on Hunt for a government job.

Did we clear him? LANO: Yeah.

For a job at the White House as a "consultant on highly sensitive, confidential matters."

That's a job title?

White House, Justice and the CIA are gonna want to know everything we know.

But we aren't going to tell them. Anything.

The Attorney General already called.

Nobody talks to the Attorney General.

We answer to the Attorney General. You answer to me.

What about the director?

I'll take care of the director.

REPORTER: There is still no explanation why the Watergate suspects might have attempted to bug Democratic headquarters.

A spokesman for the Attorney General said yesterday that the FBI is already investigating.

Their report will be turned over to the criminal division for appropriate...

(ELEVATOR DINGS)


John Dean, the president's counsel, just went into the director's office.

Let me know when he comes out. Yes, Mr. Felt.

SECRETARY: (OVER INTERCOM) Mr. Dean has left.

The director's leaving in a bit to play golf.

(TELEPHONES RINGING)

What's John Dean doing here in this building?

This is a remarkable amount of information about the break-in.

We're still gathering string. This is just the beginning.

Okay.

First of all, there are no more interviews with White House or CIA people without permission.

What? Whose permission?

Give us a minute.

Get out.

The FBI is an independent body.

I'm aware of that.

Are you also aware that means we don't need permission to do anything from anybody?

You give that up just one time, you don't ever get it back. Ever.

Let's not get dramatic. We don't even know what this is.

That's right. We don't.

But we're going to find out. That's what we do.

You don't work for them.

You're the director of the FBI now.

Forty-eight hours.

We put the investigation to bed and get on with the rest of our lives in two days.

You've got 48 hours.

Thank you.


Nice to see you.

What brings you back?

Two words.

Re... Venge.


WAITRESS: Was everything all right, Daniel?

DANIEL: It's great as always.

WAITRESS: Your total's going to be $47.70.

DANIEL: Thanks, darlin'.

WAITRESS: There you go. I'll see you next time.

DANIEL: Say hi to your mama.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER ON RADIO)

You look like hell.

Have some food.

WAITRESS: How are you, sir? Just coffee, thanks.

So, what does this look like to you, Sandy, and your pals at Time magazine?

Oh, the Watergate thing?

Honestly, I...

No one at Time magazine or any newspaper I know can figure it out.

Ex-spooks get caught planting bugs?

Does have a particular odor to it though.

I bet your old pal Bill Sullivan sure misses the FBI.

Because I heard the White House gave him some bullshit job, waiting for Hoover to kick off.

Sullivan wants back in.

The president wants him back in to run the FBI their way.

Nixon and Sullivan.

Those two were made for each other.

WAITRESS: Here you go.

Could we have some pie, please?

WAITRESS: What kind? We have apple, blueberry...

You pick.

What are we doing out here, Mark?

I was given 48 hours.

To do what?

Wrap up the Watergate investigation.

BY Who?

Gray?

Pat Gray, the director of the FBI, ordered the FBI to stop its own investigation?

There are calls we are not allowed to make and phone and bank records we can't go near.

(WAITRESS APPROACHING)

MARK: Thank you.

In all the years I've known you, you've never given up a single, real secret.

Nothing but the company line.

These are uncharted waters for you.

So, one more time. What are we doing?

You looking for a little help?

Payback?

I want the FBI left alone to do its job.

That's all I want.

And you want me to light a fire around the edges with a story.

Well, I can see why they didn't give you the job.

They must be terrified of you.


(LINE RINGING)

- Come on, come on. WOMAN: Washington Post.


I miss you. I know I'm not supposed to say that.

MARK: It's okay to say that. No.

It's too touchy-feely.

I need you too much.

Where were you tonight?

The switchboard said they didn't know where you were.

Because I didn't tell them.

Well, what about Mrs. Tschudy?

She didn't know either.

But you taught her to always say that, didn't you?

MARK: Have you been making the calls about Joan?

AUDREY: I've called all her friends.

They haven't heard from her in nearly a year.

(SIGHS)

Are you looking for her?

Is the most powerful law enforcement agency in the world looking for her?

I can't do that.

Oh.

It's against the rules?

We don't know what they will find.

Do we?


(TELEPHONE RINGING)

Where the hell did they get that?


Mr. Bates.

This Washington Post story says we know who the Watergate ringleader is.

Then, this morning, our Time magazine pal, Sandy Smith, called the acting director to say that he is prepping a story that the FBI is plotting a whitewash.

He said the director has put a 48-hour cap on the investigation.

What's your point? Ls that true?

Someone in this office is talking to the press.

The point, Mr. Lano, is that leaks kill investigations.

Whoa, whoa. Okay. Take it down, Angie.

You want to conduct a leak investigation, be my guest.

But you got 200 field agents from here to LA all chasing down leads, so you're gonna have to ask them all, too.

Tone, in front of Mr. Felt.

I can guarantee it wasn't me or any of the guys in this room.

Donald H. Segretti.

You pulled that name from Howard Hunt's phone records.

He called Hunt a few dozen times, yeah.

This says Segretti used to be a lawyer in the Treasury Department, paid out of the account that funded the Watergate.

An account belonging to the Committee to Re-elect the President.

Who is the head of the committee? John Mitchell.

Former Attorney General, John Mitchell.

The best we can make out is Segretti's some kind of prankster.

You know, like he's spying on the Dems, sending their wives dirty pictures.

It's all bottom-feeder, frat boy stuff. Indictable under election laws.

Forget the plot of the story, Mr. Kunkel.

What's the theme? What's it saying? What does it mean?

Like Angie, like Mr. Lano said, we are still vetting the leads.

All the ugly politics, all the dirty money, all the sleaze.

(SHOUTING) It means the goddamn punks are running the country!

Keep going.

LANO: You might want to talk to the White House about those leaks.

Why? 'Cause whenever I'm lucky enough to get someone over there to actually talk to me, they know what I'm gonna ask before I ask it.

It's like they already know what I want to know.

Mr. Felt, I have the White House on the phone. Mr. John Dean.

MARK: Put him through.

Mr. Dean.

DEAN: The White House is concerned about these press leaks.

Of course.

We think the source must be someone in the FBI.

Why FBI?

DEAN: That's where the information is.

MARK: Those stories could have come from someone in the White House.

(EXHALES)

We want you to do something about it, Mr. Felt.

MARK: Okay. Now.

Fine.

But I don't understand.

Which part? The part about you calling me.

The White House has no authority over the FBI.

We can... At all, Mr. Dean.

But we can suggest...

I'm afraid the White House has nothing to suggest to the FBI.

Thank you, Mr. Felt. Thank you, Mr. Dean.

(CLEARS THROAT)

(FLUSHES TOILET)

I want you to disappear our investigation on these two names.

Get them off the interview list.

I don't get it. They're nobody.

Just do it.

(FLUSHES TOILET)

Then make sure you say you did it in Monday's memo for the director.

Thank you.

Your daily Watergate briefing.

Thanks, Charlie. May I call you Charlie?

How much of what we are getting on Watergate am I actually seeing?

Mr. Felt gives me the headlines. I type them up.

I give Mr. Felt the original and bring you a copy.

Mr. Felt doesn't want to waste your time with details.

Okay.

Okay, Mr. Gray.

(SIRENS WAILING IN DISTANCE)

Mr. Kunkel!

Director Gray wanted you to know he understands you and your boys are doing a hell of a job.

Well, thank Mr. Gray, and not to worry. We'll gather the whole ball of yarn.

Mr. Gray also wanted you to know that there was gonna be a small change in procedure in the information flow.

How and, more precisely, where it flows.

Not just the headlines, but the story itself.

The details, as it were.

Does Mr. Felt know?

Of course.


(TELEPHONE RINGING)


Angie Lano called me last night.

He told me that he called the White House to set up a round of interviews.

Half hour later the White House called back to tell me that we can't talk to two of the guys because their names were taken off the list.

The two names you told me.

How would the White House know?

I guess somebody told them.

The only people who knew were me and you.

And Mr. Gray.

And Mr. Gray.

BATES: We need to find out what Gray has, and how he's getting it.

Did I do something wrong?

Mr. Bates tells me you've been giving Mr. Gray everything we're collecting on Watergate.

All our interviews, all of our files.

Did Mr. Gray tell you to bypass me?

Well, he didn't say it was a secret or anything.

But he said that you knew.

How often did you give him our files?

Every day. Why?

We know why.

Did you give the Attorney General any information about our investigation?

I don't talk to the Attorney General. Did you, Mr. Bates?

Mr. Miller?

The Attorney General called me this morning about something he could only have heard from the FBI.

He's putting a box around Watergate.

We can't touch anything before the break-in.

We have to stay away from all the White House corruption.

In other words, the crimes that matter don't matter.

For the first time in its history, the FBI has been quarantined.

Crimes that it knows about will go uninvestigated.

Mr. Felt... Thank you, Mr. Kunkel.

So, with everything we have right now, if we could get indictments, in your opinion, who would we get?

How high?

Maybe Attorney General.

What about the president?

What about the president?

If the president's lying... ls the president lying?

They're all lying.

Then, yes.

Maybe the president.

RICHARD NIXON: As the investigations went forward, I repeatedly asked those conducting the investigation whether there was any reason to believe that members of my administration were in any way involved.

I received repeated assurances that there were none.

I discounted the stories in the press.

DICK CAVETT: Who do you think gave the orders to bug the Watergate?

RICHARD KLEINDIENST: Well, the persons who the grand jury indicted in Washington, DC, last week, gave the orders to do it.

You don't think they were following orders, then?

- No, I do not. There's nobody higher?

There has been no evidence presented that anybody did that.

I think the opposition is disappointed that after such a thorough, intensive investigation that just seven persons were indicted.

NEWS ANCHOR: The Watergate break-in took a dramatic turn when one of the defendants, former White House consultant E. Howard Hunt, changed his plea to guilty.

REPORTER: The judge accepted the guilty pleas of the four Miami men on the condition that they answer his questions on who else was involved in Watergate.

With the crucial questions of who, and what, were behind it all still unanswered.

GRAY: I got a call from across the river.

MARK: Which river is that? GRAY: The Potomac.

The CIA.

The CIA is telling us we need to taper off.

Taper off?

GRAY: We're getting too close. MARK: Too close to what?

I can't tell you.

You can't, or you won't?

It's a matter of national security.

NIXON: We are doing everything that we can to investigate this incident.

No one on the White House staff, no one in this administration was involved in this very bizarre incident.

GRAY: The CIA is telling us we need to taper off.

MAN: Disappointed. Disappointed.

NIXON: No one in this administration...

GRAY: We're getting too close. It's a matter of national security.

(TELEPHONE RINGING)

NEWS ANCHOR: A bomb exploded early this morning in the Pentagon and left-wing terrorists telephoned newspapers to say they were responsible.

People calling themselves members of the Weather Underground...

Yes? G RAY: Are you watching this?

I see it.

- GRAY: What about the White House? It's at the top of their list.

I told you that three months ago.

GRAY: But can they really hit it? They just hit the Pentagon.

I want us to open files on every member of every counterculture organization in the country.

Hunt them to exhaustion. No holds barred.

The president is fighting for the White House.

That's not my job.

The president needs order.

I promised the president he'd have order.

(SIGHS)

GRAY: Which brings me to my next point, Felt.

I spoke to the Attorney General.

The Attorney General is going to officially announce we have found nothing connecting the president on Watergate.

What? But that's not real.

I know. And the president knows you are still pursuing it.

You're never going to find what you're chasing.

I want it to end. It's time to finish it.

Shut it down.

I hear you and your wife are registered Democrats, Mark.

I hope you're not going to let that get in the way.

MARK: The Weather Underground, they're combining.

They're multiplying.

We'll never get warrants. Not now.

Warrants?

We're not talking about the kids sleeping out there in the parks.

We're talking about people who would burn your children alive in their beds.

People die because we stick to the letter of the law, we lose everything, including the law.

We're taking off the gloves.

Entries, taps, nothing on paper.

No warrants.

Mr. Miller's people report to Mr. Miller.

Mr. Miller reports to me.

Just like the bad old days.

Where's Bill Sullivan when you need him?

He's over at the White House, protecting the nation by spying on senators and their mistresses while we're here just trying to keep all this goddamn mess together.

Hey, look.

We're on your side here.

All I'm saying is, all that was behind us.

Even Hoover knew the dirty stuff was over.

That's why Bill's gone.

All I'm saying is, everyone is watching.

How many more kids do we have to lose?

How many more do we let just vanish into eternity?

I am not Bill Sullivan.

This is still the goddamn FBI.


I don't want to intrude.

Then don't.

You heard from her?

Joan.

You think she's involved with all this?

The Underground?

How could she?

She's just like me. Exactly like me.

She worships you.

She's okay.

I can feel it, Mark.

There's a price to pay for what we do, Mr. Miller.

There's a price to pay for what we become.

We all pay it, one way or another.

RICHARD KLEINDIENST: Watergate was the most intensive, objective and thorough investigation in the history of the US Attorney's office and the FBI.

The Justice Department has now completed its criminal investigation without implicating any present official of either the White House or the Committee to Re-elect the President.

Completed? KLEINDIENST: Any questions?

What the hell, man?

Get me Felt on the phone.

- DEAN: As to the White House? Hold on, hold on. Wait a second.

I understand the FBi's Watergate investigation is in a state of repose and unlikely to be reopened.

Anybody tell us this was over yet?

Get me Felt on the phone! Or Bates!

God damn it, get me Felt!

She can't. Why the hell not?

'Cause he's right there.

And now, let's return to the press conference of the US Attorney General.


Maybe she's dead.

Maybe she just gave up.

Didn't think anybody cared.

Maybe she's right out there watching us.

To see what a man like you does when your daughter just vanishes one night for no good reason.

Joan had a reason for everything.

You hated her.

Mothers don't hate their daughters.

It's just not always easy being one.

You dressed her up like a doll, until she got old enough to look just like you.

Mark.

You kept telling her to get out until one day she listened to you.

Listen to me.

I had no mother.

But she did.

Yes.

She did.

My father just left.

So, yes, she gave me up to foster homes, then the orphanage.

But you know all about that, don't you? Yeah.

Then I made my own way.

Until you.

My White knight.

Our homes are the only homes I've ever known.

You were both mine.

GRAY: How's home, Mark?

Why are you asking?

That daughter of yours, Jill?

Joan.

Well, I hear she's terrific.

Fulbright scholar, first girl in the country.

A chip off the old block.

I want you to be the first to hear my statement to the press.

"No pressure has been put on me

"or any of my special agents in the FBI's investigation

"and that it strains..." I thought I would just nip this in the bud.

"It strains credulity that President Nixon

"could have done a con job on the whole American people."

What do you think?

It's just fine.

KUNKEL: The Democrats have issued a statement this morning.

"The FBI's Watergate investigation is a whitewash.

"What is involved here is not only the political life of this nation

"but the very morality of our leaders

"at a time when the United States desperately needs to revitalize

"its moral standards."

"The FBI's Watergate investigation

"is a whitewash."

That's it.

Well, gentlemen.

Here's what we know.

We know what we've heard out of the Department of Justice the past two days is bullshit.

We know the men who broke into the Watergate are not the end of this thing, but the beginning.

We know this is the latest link in a chain of illegal, covert intelligence operations by the president's re-election campaign.

We know we are facing obstruction from multiple fronts.

From the White House.

From the CIA.

From the Attorney General of the United States, who is our boss, by the way.

It is not our job to speculate on the involvement of the president.

It is our job to follow the bread crumbs.

But those bread crumbs appear to be taking us on a tour of the West Wing of the White House, and in the general direction of the Oval Office.

We also know we've been ordered to shut down our pursuit of all this as of today.

And we know that except for the 30 men in this room, no one in the entire country knows any of this and may never know any of this.

No one can stop the driving force of an FBI investigation.

Not even the FBI.


MARK: Segretti.


I'm going to give you the name of a man who was asked to work for the Nixon administration in an unusual way.

What are you talking about?

There's only one way to understand what Watergate really means, and this is it.

The name

is Alex Shipley.

Shipley.-

He lives in Nashville.

The man who approached him was a lawyer out of LA named Donald Segretti.

Segretti.

Shipley can tell you everything you need to know.

Will Shipley talk?

I guess you're going to have to find that out.

One more thing.

This comes from classified FBI files.

The Department of Justice has it, the White House has it, and, now, you have it.

REPORTER 1: Let's just get on with the election and stop this nonsense about there having been a political espionage campaign against the Democrats.

REPORTER 2: Here's what's making the news at the top of the hour.

North Vietnamese military attempts to break through South Vietnamese lines have been met with an intense bombing attack by a US aircraft.

General Creighton Abrams, the United States commander in Vietnam, ordered every available B-52 into the northern sector of South Vietnam.

REPORTER 3: Though baseball season is over, the Philadelphia Phils went to the Ozarks for a new manager today.

Los Angeles coach Danny Ozark was the surprise choice of Phils' general manager, Paul Owens.

Ozark has had no big league managerial experience...


MARK: Mr. Woodward.

The story isn't moving.

Everyone stopped listening to you.

This isn't the same as before.

We're lost in detail.

That's their plan.

They want everyone confused.

Confusion is control.

The truth could ruin the administration.

How high?

How high does it go?

MARK: You still don't understand what I'm giving you.

This is dangerous stuff you're playing with.

Especially, if it's known before November 7th.

That's election day.

You put out the right story, the public will scream.

The Attorney General will have to let me keep going.


My editors know that I'm talking to somebody, but not who.

They don't ask.

No one understands how one person knows so much.

No one can possibly know how much I know.

With all this mystery, there's a nickname for you at the paper.

Deep Throat. What?

They didn't know what else to call you.

That's just...

They shouldn't have to call me anything.

Take out your notebook. There's more.

AUDREY: "FBI agents have established Watergate bugging incident, "massive campaign of political spying and sabotage.

"'There is some very powerful information, '

"said one federal official, “especially if it's known before election day.".

REPORTER: The White House is vigorously denouncing a story in The Washington Post this morning accusing the administration of engaging in a secret political war.

REPORTER 2: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler is calling the story a pack of scurrilous lies and innuendo.

REPORTER 1: Based on baseless, cowardly sources inside the Department of Justice.

GRAY: He's here, Mark. He has to be.

There's a spy in the FBI.

"FBI agents have established..."

"One federal investigative official said..."

"According to FBI reports..."

That's us, God damn it.

There is information in here that the bureau only got 72 hours ago.

Are you goddamn joking?

Mr. Felt, you had something you wanted to say.

The last few days, I've heard various people accuse Mr. Lano of leaking to the press.

You've got to be kidding me! Him?

And that he and certain newspaper reporters have been seen together. I'm going to be sick.

I wanted to say to you, Mr. Lano, in front of everyone here that I know these are vicious lies by jealous agents.

You're doing a fine job, and no matter what, the director and I will support you.

Mr. Gray.

GRAY: I may not be an FBI lifer like some of you.

I'm certainly no Mark Felt.

Since I arrived here, I have put up with paranoia, insubordination, second-guessing.

Gentlemen, it's come to Jesus time.

Whoever the leaker is, whoever is the Judas among you, betraying me, the other good men in this room, his family, God, not to mention the bureau and the legacy of J. Edgar Hoover, step forward.

Right here, right now.


Charlie, we got an office pool on who the leak is.

My money's on you.


KUNKEL: It's just one big game, Charlie.

We're all just chess pieces. You gotta remember that.

What's the body count?

Eight, so far.

You, me, a few guys on my team.

Where are they sending you? St. Louis.

But I don't know how much more I have left in me.

You'?

San Francisco.

Well, at least, it's Frisco.

Yeah.

Great.

How many years you put in here, Charlie?

The whole run.

My kids were born here.

REPORTER 1: Whatever Watergate was, whatever it wasn't, the American people don't seem to understand, nor care, as Nixon has won in a landslide.

I appreciate you taking the time, Mr. Felt.

I always take care of my people, Mr. Bates.

In fact, my father always said to me, "Mark, whatever we do, we have to make our lives vectors."

Lines with force and direction.

You have to destroy anything that is sick beyond repair to rescue it from its agony.

Mark.

And...

And the agony it causes everyone else, Mr. Bates.

REPORTER 1: It was thought that he might have a little bit of difficulty.

Mr. Felt. What are you doing, Charlie?

What is it, Mr. Bates?

Here's to you. Bravo.

(CHEERING ON TV)


Genesis commune.

Ben Lomond, California.

Check it thoroughly.


These leaks are driving the White House crazy.

The White House thinks it knows who it is.

Your name came up.

Do you have any idea what that would mean?

Treason, for one.

Betrayal of everything the FBI stands for, for another.

Everything you stand for.

So, why would I do it?

I don't know.

I can't imagine their thinking.

Why don't they fire me then?

You know everything.

To them, the only thing worse than keeping you is firing you.

Dean did say something strange.

Apparently, they know everything going on inside our shop.

They have a source. Inside the FBI?

He said they hear everything.

We just swept your office for bugs, Mr. Felt.

Do it again!

The knives are out.

More than you know.

MARK: Am I safe?

AGENCY MAN: No One is.

The White House is gonna sanitize the entire town.

The director of Central Intelligence will be gone by morning.

MARK: Why?

Apparently, he couldn't smoke you out fast enough.

The source of all those stories.

Where does the CIA stand?

AGENCY MAN: The CIA is building a wall.

We'll stay out of your way, but if we're forced to protect ourselves, we will.

The FBI will never reach the CIA on this.

And the White House?

Presidents come and go, but the CIA stays.

The FBI stays.

We are the constants.

I almost forgot.

Time magazine's person of the year is going to be Richard Nixon.

I thought you'd like to know.

Happy holidays.

(BELLS JINGLING)

GRAY: The president told me the unthinkable has happened.

He actually misses Hoover.

"Hoover would have gotten the dogs off him," he said.

"He'd have everyone scared to death."

The White House is going to make me director permanently.

Congratulations.

GRAY: Bill Sullivan will be my number two.

You know what the president said to me today?

He said, "The Germans had the right idea during World War ll.

"If they went through a town and one of their soldiers got hit by a sniper, "they'd line up the whole goddamn town and kill everyone."

He said, "It's time to clean out the FBI."

You know what that will mean for me.

Remember, they're afraid of you.

Mark, if you did know something, you could come to me.

We'd be able to work it out together. We could do something about it.

I can't protect you anymore.

Just give 'em what they want.

The traitor's head on a platter.

(DOOR CLOSES)


SULLIVAN: So, the president asked me what he should do.

And, I tell him, get rid of everyone in the interest of the nation.

I didn't mean me, of course.

(CHUCKLES)

You don't have many friends left, you know.

A bunch of your FBI pals told me to cut your nuts off.

Think they'll let you keep your badge?

You got a lot of people worried in Washington.

They think you're gonna unwrap everything.

Everything from all the years.

Everything we, you and I, know.

Is that what you want to know, Bill?

This your last little errand?

To help the president sleep at night.

I'm just sayin', you open those scabs, a lot of things underneath.

Just remember, no one likes informers.

They only remember you as a rat, even if you were their... Even if you were their rat!

Mr. Felt, Mr. Miller's on the phone. He needs to speak with you.

This is Special Agent Clark. I don't want to know his name.

Tell him what you told Mr. Bates and me.

I don't think you have anything to worry about, Mr. Felt.

You don't think.

Specific.

(BREATH ES DEEPLY)

The commune where the subject, Joan Felt...

Do not say her name.

Where the target is...

Definitely some people of interest in there.

Maybe some with the Underground. But the target?

If you ask me, just someone's kid looking for a way home.

We never spoke. No paper.

You don't know anything.


Do you know your physics, Sandy?

If you tap repeatedly on the post of a building, and the tapping is relentless,

it creates a rhythm.

If you do that long enough and steadily enough, it will feed back.

The frequencies will align, the molecules will scramble, and the whole thing, the whole building will come apart from the inside and collapse in on itself, and all come tumbling down.

The molecules are beginning to scramble.

The FBI is coming apart. Do you know where that takes us?

Do you want a country this big, this angry, this confused without a police department?

Get out your notebook.

May, 1969 and February, 1971.

Mark, are you sure about this?

Between those dates, White House employees were wiretapped.

Many of them aides to the Secretary of State and five reporters, including The New York Times.

You're kidding.

This is hard for you. What part?

All this truth.

The truth is hard for you.

The FBI illegally, unconstitutionally and reprehensibly bugged and taped and secretly photographed and memorialized every move that those people made.

Them and their wives and their mistresses and homosexual lovers.

Who did the wiretaps? Bill Sullivan.

It became a rogue FBI operation.

Sullivan drove it. Sullivan and the White House by themselves.

How 'bout you?

What do you know?

About everything else, I knew every sordid little detail.

But not this.

They knew they couldn't tell me about this.

Yeah, they couldn't count on you.

The White House is packing all its crimes in separate little boxes.

Watergate, the spying, the ugliness, the rot.

Each thing in a different box, so that no one can put it together, so that no one sees it's all connected.

And no one will care. But it's all the same big thing.

And Watergate? Just the gateway.

Can you get the story out before Gray's confirmation hearing?

What you're doing will bring down the whole house of cards.

But then, you already knew that.

SANDY: Gray is ready to fall now.

Watch where it leads.

Any last-minute advice?

We've gone over everything.

They'll go easy-

You're the president's man.

Mr. Gray. What about this?

I don't know what my position should be.

MARK: It was before your time.

Tell the truth.

No one can argue with the truth.

SENATOR: Mr. Gray, this Time magazine article by Sandy Smith contains information on alleged wiretaps requested by the White House installed by the FBI.

How do you respond to these charges?

It was before my time, Senator.

What about the assertion in this article that a White House aide slipped Donald Segretti, a target of the bureau's Watergate investigation, copies of what the FBI had?

We didn't look into that.

Why on Earth not? I'll have to look into that.

SENATOR: Did you know that the White House had your confidential file?

I did. Yes, Senator.

Let me tell you how that might have happened.

SENATOR: Please do.

GRAY: White House counsel John Dean told me the White House wanted everything the FBI had on Watergate to help with its own investigation.

Mr. Dean took all those FBI files.

SENATOR: How many Bureau reports are we talking about?

How many reports did you give Mr. Dean?

I believe it was 82.

As the acting director of the FBI, why on Earth would you do that?

Because I was told to. SENATOR: By who?

Who would have ordered that?

(CLEARS THROAT)

The president. (ALL CHATTERING)

NIXON: One of the most difficult decisions of my presidency, I accepted the resignations of two of my closest associates in the White House, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.

The counsel to the president, John Dean, has also resigned.

REPORTER: The nation tonight is in the midst of what may be the most critical constitutional crisis in its history.

As a result of the president's action, the Attorney General has resigned.

REPORTER 2: L. Patrick Gray, head of the FBI for nearly a year, will now never take the chair occupied by J. Edgar Hoover.

REPORTER 3: John Dean told me, during a conversation, that the White House masterminded a cover-up.

DEAN: I began by telling the president that there was a cancer growing on the presidency, that it was important this cancer be removed immediately because it was growing more deadly every day.

MARK: I found Joan.

Let's go get her.

Oh, my God. It's my parents.

It's all right. I know.

Mark?

Dad.

This is your grandson.

Come here, sweetheart.

There we go.

(SIGHS)

I had this feeling when I was little,

that I couldn't see into his eyes,

that he didn't approve of me.

That he was holding me up to some impossible standard.

That was me.

When you were sick and you were little, it was your father who climbed into bed with you in his shoes, his holster, his suit.

He'd sit with you for hours and rock you till you fell back asleep.


MARK: Oh! Look at that big baby. (CHUCKLES)

(CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY)

Thank you.

MAN: Mr. Director? We're ready. Mr. Felt.

Mark. Mr. Ruckelshaus.

Thank you.

Mr. Felt, thank you for 31 years of service to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Thank you. ALL: Hear, hear!

(SCATTERED APPLAUSE)

Congratulations.


(APPLAUSE)

MAN 2: Hey, congratulations. MAN 3: Good luck, Mark.

WOMAN: Well done, Mark.

WOMAN 2: Congratulations, sir.

NIXON: I have never been a quitter.

To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body.

But as president, I must put the interests of America first.

Therefore, I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.

Vice President Ford, will be sworn in as president at that hour, in this office.

STAN POTTINGER: Counterespionage expert.

Nazi hunter.

You, Mr. Felt, are the G-man's G-man, a hero and a patriot, and we are a grateful nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, for the past few weeks you've heard through testimony the sounds of the bombs of the PLO and the Weather Underground ringing in your ears.

People died.

We were a nation at war at home and abroad.

We don't dispute that.

Now, we ask you to listen for the sound of the Constitution.

You hear that?

It doesn't make quite as much noise as a bomb, does it?

It just sits there, silent, like our conscience, just as it's done for the last 200 years.

Mr. Felt.

On September 8th, 1972, did you order 143 FBI agents across the country to break into the homes of relatives of alleged members of the Weather Underground, to wiretap their phones and bug their homes?

Yes. Who else?

Who else what?

Who else participated in giving those orders?

Assistant Director Edward Miller? I gave the order.

Acting Director L. Patrick Gray the third?

MARK: I gave the order.

Charles Bates?

You're really gonna sit there and do that?

You're really gonna take that on for everybody?

I gave the order.

POTTINGER: Mr. Felt, you stated that you frequently briefed the Nixon White House on the case.

Maybe you could just give us a quick snapshot on how that all worked.

I was in constant contact with the White House on many matters.

In fact, I was in the Oval Office so often, people used to say I had to be Deep Throat.

What did you just say?

I said I was with the White House, Dean and so forth, so often, people thought I was The Washington Post's source for Watergate.

The person they called, "Deep Throat."

Before the witness is excused, are there any questions from the jury?

JUROR: Well, were you?

Was I what? JUROR: Were you Deep Throat?