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March 15, 2011

The Bailley Ballyhoo of 1972

  By Linda Minor

©2011, all rights reserved

On April 6, 1972, search warrants were served on the home and office of a young Washington, D.C. attorney, Phillip M. Bailley, by federal investigators who seized address books and files which contained hundreds of photographs. Two months and three days later, on June 9, 1972,  a federal grand jury investigation concluded in a 22-count indictment and the arrest of Bailley. Some authors have connected the evidence seized in that prosecution with a break in that occurred exactly eight days later at the Watergate Office Building, a "third rate burglary" that led to the implosion of the Administration of Richard M. Nixon.

by Mary Ann Kuhn, Washington Daily News (June 9, 1972)
It was early June 1972. A federal grand jury had been investigating Phillip Mackin Bailley since the April seizure of records and photographs from his office and home. Although there had been only one original complainant and the seized materials, Assistant United States Attorney John Rudy had developed charges against Bailley through the testimony of friends and acquaintances, and from several women who were prepared to testify about Bailley's sexual practices. The allegations included luring women somewhere for sex, photographing them in the nude, then threatening to release the photos unless the women engaged in sexual activities with other people.
None of these acts were ever proven, nor constituted acts for which Bailley was convicted.
Rudy took his time and proceeded carefully, for he knew he would be indicting a practicing lawyer, not some ordinary pimp. In his view, Bailley was a bad apple in the legal system who practiced before the very court that would soon have to bring him to justice. Rudy readied and the grand jury returned on June 9, 1972, a twenty-two count indictment of Bailley charging violations of the Mann Act, the federal Travel Act, the federal extortion statute, the District of Columbia blackmail statute, the District pandering statute and the District procuring statute. The actions covered in the indictment spanned the period from Bailley's induction into the Washington, D.C., bar in 1969 right up to February of 1972.
See history of Washington Star below*

Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue One week to the day after the news item in the Washington Star, referred to in this article, appeared, a break in occurred at the Watergate office building which housed the Democratic National Committee's officials. At that time the chairman of the DNC was Lcasino owner and Texas "playboy" Howard Hughesawrence O'Brien, who was at the same time representing notorious , an important defense contractor as sole owner of the Hughes Tool Co. and its holding company. Hughes also employed a long-time CIA operative who acted as liaison with the Mafia in various secret negotiations, Robert Maheu

Undercover: Memoirs of an American secret agentFor years the speculation was that it was Larry O'Brien's office the burglars were attempting to access in order to remove any information he might use to blackmail President Nixon, then running for re-election that November of 1972, or to use against Nixon during his campaign. As it turned out, the burglars, all former FBI and/or CIA agents or employees, were "retired" and under contract to Nixon's election campaign known under the unfortunate acronym CREEP, Committe to Re Elect the President.

Not until 1984 when Jim Hougan, an investigative journalist, published his book, Secret Agenda, would the initial theory of the conspiracy be questioned. What if, he asked, the break in was a false flag operation? What if CREEP was targeted to frame Richard Nixon five months prior to the election? Hougan based his investigation on numerous leads after having spoken to arresting officer Carl Shoffler, trained by the Army in military intelligence, who had gone on to a career as an undercover detective with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. In addition to being one of the three arresting officers of the Watergate burglars in the late night hours just before midnight on June 17, 1972, Shoffler as a narcotics and vice cop, was also well informed about the "party" scene in Washington, D.C. at that particular time. Though not college-educated, he was intelligent and observant, and since entering the MPD force three years earlier had been committed to develop his informant base in order to glean admissible evidence against the criminal element operating within his employer's jurisdiction. At times during his career he would be invited to serve on task forces, which would overlap the MPD jurisdiction with that of the FBI and even with Interpol, primarily involved in interdiction of narcotics and prostitution rings, crossing state and national boundaries in violation of federal law.

Washington, D.C., being the federal capital, was not located within any of the 50 states but was contiguous with the states of Maryland and Virginia, making it very difficult to prosecute criminals within the MPD jurisdiction without crossing state lines. Being young and ambitious, Shoffler knew the only way to advance his career was to make an arrest in which all elements of the crime took place within the District of Columbia. He was successful in making such an arrest on his birthday, June 17, 1972. His life would never be the same after that.

Call Girl Ring location at circular Columbia Plaza inset
Again it was the Washington Star which was on the scene the day after the Watergate burglary, covering the effect the Bailley arrest had on White House officials, with no mention of the break in at the Watergate.  As we now know, reporter Bob Woodward's employer, the Washington Post, was tipped off by Carl Shoffler about the arrest, and he would eventually be the reporter given ultimate credit for exposing the criminality of the Nixon administration.

Nevertheless, the Star's unnamed reporter knew many things that were reported nowhere else:
  1. That a White House employee had been subpoened by the grand jury which indicted Philip Bailley;
  2. That Bailley was connected to a call-girl ring that operated out of the Columbia Plaza Apartment building across the street (Virginia Avenue) from the Watergate complex;
  3. That White House aide, Peter Flanigan, an investment banker with Dillon, Read & Co., made a call to the U.S. Attorney's office which was prosecuting the Bailley case;
  4. That a "Nixon Administration attorney" was a client of the call-girl ring;
  5. That the U.S. Attorney's office recommended that Bailley be evaluated for mental stability because of certain evidence seized on April 6, surmised by the reporter to be cameras, nude photos and "erotic devices"; and
  6. That the seizure of evidence had been instigated by a complaint filed by a coed at the University of Maryland.

In 1867, the group of investors Crosby Stuart Noyes, Samuel H. Kauffmann, and George Adams acquired the paper by each of the investors putting up US$33,333.33. The paper would remain family-owned and operated for the next four generations....The next major change to the newspaper came in 1938 when the three owning families diversified their interests. On May 1, 1938, Noyes, Kauffmann, and Adams purchased the M. A. Leese Radio Corporation, and acquired Washington's oldest radio station, WMAL, in the process. Renamed the Evening Star Broadcasting Company, the 1938 acquisition would figure later in the 1981 demise of the newspaper.... In early 1975, the owning families sold their interests in the paper to Joseph L. Allbritton, a Texas multimillionaire who was known as a corporate turnaround artist. Allbritton, who also owned Riggs Bank, then the most prestigious bank in the capital, planned to use profits from WMAL-AM-FM-TV to shore up the newspaper's finances. The Federal Communications Commission stymied him with rules on media cross-ownership, however; WMAL-AM-FM was sold off in 1977, and the TV station was renamed WJLA-TV.
Newbold Noyes Jr., editor of The Washington Evening Star from 1963 to 1975 was the last member of four generations of his family to lead the newspaper. Joe Albritton bought a one-third interest in the paper as early as April 1974,

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