Maheu and Meier Fight Back

Maheu began by taking his grievances into court, letting out bits and pieces of information. Meier began by talking to his friends—liberals, Democrats, journalists—about such things as AirWest. Maheu and Meier both talked with columnist Jack Anderson. The conversations resulted in articles that were potentially more disastrous for both the Hughes people and the While House than the column by Drew Pearson, Anderson’s predecessor, about the 1956 loan. Anderson, for example, was the first to print, in August 1971 the outline of the $100.000 payoff to Nixon through Rebozo. Haldeman wanted Rebozo kept out of it “at all costs.” and now Anderson was bringing him into it. Anderson said “That column, and every other column I wrote about Hughes and Nixon, provoked a reaction so much stronger than on any other subject I could write about. They went crazy over there whenever I linked them to Howard Hughes. And I learned from sources in the White House inner circle that they believed the source for that column about the $100,000 to Rebozo was Larry O’Brien. They were mistaken, but they were convinced at the time that I was gelling my stuff on Hughes and Nixon from Larry O’Brien.”