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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 299« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Louis D. Miller)

but in Ohio we don't have a court reporter present. I do have the feeling in talking to you that maybe you would like to do this under some other circumstances, and I would be happy to explore this.

Mr. Miller.
I understand that you want a statement from me.
Mr. Griffin.
Well, I am going to examine you.
Mr. Miller.
And I'll be more than glad to tell anything I know about it, but I don't understand swearing in. This is not a court.
Mr. Griffin.
Not a court in the sense that anybody is on trial, but it is a--let me explain this to you, that we have authority to administer the oath, and we have authority to punish for all consequences in violation of the oath. The contempt provision of the Federal Code applies to this proceeding. We also have authority--I don't have this authority personally, but there is a provision granted that we can grant immunity from prosecution. If you feel that there will be some evidence that you wouldn't want to give for one reason or another, we have authority to grant immunity from prosecution. I don't have that authority here, but--and I do want to make it clear that you can have a right to have an attorney present, and many of the witnesses do have attorneys. Now, on the other extreme, if you would like to have a public hearing, we will

open the hearing up to the public, but we haven't done it as a matter of routine except upon request, because we thought that most people prefer not to have
it conducted in public, but that has been done, and we can do that.
Mr. Miller.
I still don't understand the reason of it. Are you going to use this thing to try to prosecute me ?
Mr. Griffin.
Mr. Miller.
What are you going to use it for?
Mr. Griffin.
We have no authority to prosecute anyone except for perjury before the Commission. Now, we our instructions are let me get a copy of the resolutions. Let me suggest that we handle it this way. I have got a copy here of the resolutions, Executive order signed by President Johnson, and the joint resolutions of Congress. The rules of the Commission and a memorandum dated March 20, 1964, from Mr. Rankin, who is the General Counsel of the Commission authorizing Mr. Hubert and me to administer your oath and take your deposition. Now, I think that what I prefer to do here so that you can be sure what you want to do, and I don't want to put you under any pressure. Now, I would like to give you this and have you try to find another room out here and look at this, and read it over, and think about this and ponder it as long as you want, and I want to give you assurance that I am going to call another--I am going to call Officer Montgomery in here and proceed with him. I am not going to tell him that I have not completed your deposition or anything like that. I want to be sure that as far as anybody is concerned whatsoever, what has transpired here is completely routine so that any decision you make, I can give you as much assurance as possible
Mr. Miller.
All I wanted to know is the purpose of the thing.
Mr. Griffin.
Mr. Miller.
And if I find out we can go on with it.
Mr. Hubert.
Why don't you go ahead and read this and let me go ahead with Montgomery, and if you want I will tell Montgomery that you went on.
Mr. Miller.
Well, now, do you want me to come back some more, or what?
Mr. Griffin.
No; I'd like
Mr. Miller.
What time is it now? It is 4:15. I am due at home at 4:30.
Mr. Griffin.
I don't want you to take that away, and I think that maybe it would be better if you waited around. Could you call your wife and meet me back here at 5 o'clock, and why don't you wait for me in my office?
Mr. Miller.
Well, now, could we get on with the thing? I am trying to explain to you, I have got small kids be coming home from school and-
Mr. Griffin.
Uh-huh. Well, would you rather think about it and come back some--
Mr. Miller.
Well, if we can't take care of it today, I would like to come back tomorrow.
Mr. Griffin.
Well, I can go ahead, you know. I want to make sure that you are satisfied in your own mind about everything before we start to ask any questions, and if you have any reservations or questions that I haven't answered
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