Washington — A US attorney told the jury to "say no to bag jobs" during opening statements in the trial of two former FBI officials here, Monitor correspondent Julie Malone reports.
W. Mark Felt and Edmund S. Miller, formerly No. 2 and No 3. in command of the FBI, are charged with conspiring to deny constitutional rights by ordering nine secret break-ins of homes in 1972-73.
Justice Department lawyer John Nields said FBI agents, disguised as telephone repairmen, broke into homes and photographed love letters, valentines, and private diaries of friends and relatives of fugitive members of the Weather Underground, a radical antiwar group.
"They knew full well that these searches violated the Constitution," said Mr. Nields of the defendants.
Brian B. Gettings, counsel for Mr. Felt, countered that the Weather Underground was a terrorist group that took credit for 52 bombings. It had contacts with the Soviet Union and trained its members in Cuba, he said. The defense lawyer said he will prove that the "surreptitious entries" were a long-accepted intelligence-gathering technique and that President Nixon had ordered them.
The Felt-Miller trial comes from a 1978 indictment and is expected to last at least six weeks. Mr. Nixon and former attorneys general could be called on to testify.