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Subcommittee Investigator Manuel asked Viviani what he did when he finished this call with John Wing. Viviani said, “I hung up, dialed Mr. Valentine. ..." (P. 727.)
According to the testimony of Wing and Viviani, then, they did not know who the caller was-except that he knew Cotroni and Bouchard and claimed to know something criminal about Robert Vesco.
It was Wayne Valentine who identified the caller as being Frank Peroff, informant to Richard Dos Santos. Viviani's testimony can be interpreted no other way. Chief Counsel Feldman asked Viviani:
So then you called Mr. Valentine not knowing the name of
VIVIANI. You don't believe I did. That is correct.
VIVIANI. Yes, I simply said to him, “Do you have a case going with the following individuals ? Rusty Wing is interested in Vesco for obvious reasons. If you do, could you get
back to him.” (Pp. 712, 713.) It was then, Viviani said, that Valentine identified the caller as Dos Santos' informant, Frank Peroff (p. 710).
Valentine said just the opposite in his DEA-Customs statement. He said Viviani called him for information about a man named Frank Peroff. Moreover, Valentine was the fourth or fifth person Viviani had asked at DEA New York about Peroff, Valentine said.
But Viviani testified he called Valentine immediately after talking to Wing. Valentine was not No. 4 or 5—he was No. 1, Viviani said.
THE DATES OF EVENTS
A difficult task was establishing the dates of when the erents of July 17-22 actually occurred. The only person who was at all precise in his dates was Frank Peroff. Federal officials were virtually always Fague and imprecise about when things happened. Moreover, neither the DEA nor the U.S. Attorney's oflice could provide documentation which would have dated these events as they occurred.
Frank Peroff said he called John Wing on or about July 18. Wing and Viviani were not sure when the Peroff call came in. Wing said it could have been July 20 but he wasn't certain. Viviani said he became involved in the Peroff call in either late July or August.
Wayne Valentine was able to specify that the call came through in July, however. Valentine said that during the "same time span" as his first conversation with Viviani the name Frank Peroff came up again in his work. Valentine identified this time span as either late July or September. He was on leave in August.
On this occasion, the reference to Peroff had to do with Peroff's calls to the White House, Valentine said. Valentine said in this time spaneither late July or September, he wasn't sure which—he received a call from DEẢ headquarters in Washington. Valentine could not remember the name of the official who called him. At the hearings, Valentine said the official was DEA Agent Morris H. (Pete) Davis, Jr. (p. 668).
In the DEA-Customs inquiry, Valentine said this DEA official-Davis-explained that Peroff had called the White House and made "allegations against DEA.” Davis told him that the person who took the call at the White House was a Secret Service agent, Valentine said. Valentine said he had forgotten the Secret Service man's name. But when Davis talked to him, Valentine said, he wrote down the Secret Service agent's name and telephone number. Valentine said he conveyed this information to Group Supervisor John J. O'Neill. Valentine said he has since been reminded that the name of the Secret Service agent was Peter Grant.
Valentine said he instructed O'Neill to get together with Richard Dos Santos and "handle the matter" in coordination with Peter Grant.
Valentine said the call from Davis came after the call from Viviani. In the DEA-Customs statement, Valentine discussed the call from Viviani and then turned to the call from Davis. Valentine said:
The next time that I can recall Mr. Peroff's name coming to my attention was in the same time span as my conversation
with Mr. Viviani. Then Valentine described the call from Davis. When he wrote "the next time" he had to mean that the Viviani call was before the Davis call.
VIVIANI'S CALL MAY HAVE BEEN JULY 20 There is another possibility as to one sequence in the chronology of events. It is that Valentine was alerted to Peroff's having called the White House before he spoke to Viviani.
Valentine said the call from Viviani was before the call about Peroff contacting the White House. But Valentine's recollection could be inaccurate.
John Wing could not remember what day he spoke with Peroff but, he testified, he was "almost positive” it was a Friday (p. 724). July 20, 1973 was a Friday,
If it was July 20 when Peroff and he spoke, then it was also July 20 when Viviani and Wing spoke for the first time about Peroff and it was also July 20 when Viviani talked to Valentine about Peroff.
As will be seen in the testimony of John J. O'Neill reviewed later in this report, O'Neill ordered that Peroff be arrested (p. 585). That order had to be before or on July 19 because July 19 is the date of the telegram from Florida to New York asking for Peroff's arrest.
Valentine said in the DEA-Customs inquiry that when he learned of Perofl's calls to the White House, he, Valentine, directed John O'Neill to handle the matter."
In his testimony before the Subcommittee, Valentine characterized his direction to O'Neill this way: "I asked O'Neill to get in touch with the informant and find out exactly what did happen." (P. 671.)
As events developed, O'Neill did not "get in touch" with Peroff but he did "handle the matter"-he had Peroff arrested.
If, then, Peroff and Wing spoke July 20, Viviani and Valentine also spoke July 20. Viviani wanted to know what Valentine knew about the anonymous caller. Valentine identified him as Frank Peroff, informant to Richard Dos Santos, but there is no mention in Viviani's
testimony or Valentine's testimony and sworn statement that Valentine
O'Neill left no doubt about how he handled the matter. Manuel
O'Neill did not hesitate at any time in his two days of testimony before the Subcommittee to insist that it was his decision, and his decision alone, to have Frank Perofl arrested. Officials senior to O'Neill did not contest O'Neill on that point. They said they had nothing to do with Peroff's going to jail.
The closest to the decision-making in the Peroff arrest which any senior official came was Wayne Valentine, O'Neill's boss, who said:
I did concur with the decision but I did not take part in reaching the decision (p. 677). The Subcommittee then sought to determine how Valentine could concur in the decision without being a part of it.
VALENTINE'S KNOWLEDGE OF TIIE WARRANTS
DEA Agent Morris Davis said he advised a New York DEA agent that a warrant was outstanding on Frank Peroff in Florida.
DEA Assistant Regional Director Wayne Valentine told Senators on three separate occasions in his testimony that he took the call from Agent Davis (pp. 668, 669, 674).
Therefore, if Davis' sworn testimony is accurate and if Valentine did take his call, it follows that Valentine knew about the outstanding warrant on Peroff in Florida. But, also in his testimony before the Subcommittee, Valentine said that he learned about the outstanding warrants on Peroff not from Davis but from John J. O'Neill and O'Neill informed him of them two or three days after he heard from Davis (p. 674). Valentine made these remarks in this disenssion with Manuel:
MEXUEL. Jr. Valentine, following your knowledge of lir. Perofl's calls to the White House, did you have anything to do in the decision-making process to have Vi. Peroff arrested?
VALENTINE. No, sir.
MANUEL. To your knowledge, was anyone in DEA aware of the existence of the outstanding warrants against IIr. Peroti prior to July 18, 1973?
VALENTINE. I am not sure on the date, but whatever the date was that I received the phone call from Pete [Morris II.)
Davis, within the next two or three days, I would have been
MANUEL. Did you have any prior knowledge of the ex-
VALENTINE. No, sir (pp. 673, 674). In his testimony, Group Supervisor John J. O'Neill said that Secret Service Agent Peter Grant was the first to tell him about the warrants on Peroff (p. 582).
But at a later point in his testimony O'Neill amended his remarks somewhat. He said it might have been Wayne Valentine who first told him about the warrants. O'Neill testified:
My recollection is that the first time I found out about those warrants was when Mr. Valentine told me or Peter Grant told
me (p. 593). O'Neill made another assertion which undercut Valentine's testimony that he did not learn of the warrants until two or three days after the call from Davis. Manuel asked O'Neill what he did after talking to Valentine about Valentine's talk with Davis. O'Neill replied:
I went in and told Dos Santos that there were outstanding warrants for Peroff, that we should find out if they were still in existence and if they were viable would the local authori
ties extradite him (p. 578). O'Neill said he could not remember the exact date of these conversations with Valentine and Dos Santos but, he explained, “it was the day that Grant called Davis and Davis called New York." (P. 578.)
On a directly related issue, the DEA-Customs report on the inquiry into the Peroli allegations is in error. The error, if not corrected at this point in the Subcommiítee staff study, could conceivably be used to confuse the record regarding Wayne Valentine's knowledge of the outstanding warrants on Peroff.
In his sworn statement, Agent Davis makes clear that when he called the DEA oflice in New York he called one time only and talked to only one agent. And, Davis said, the agent to whom he spoke was the same agent who was to call Peter Grant. The language Davis used in his statement is as follows:
I then called New York City, Drug Enforcement Adminis-
During the telephone call from Special Agent Grant, he
However, in the summaries of the sworn statements in the DEACustoms report, the Davis sworn statement is interpreted incorrectly. The summary reported that Davis "spoke to an agent, whose name he cannot recall, and advised that agent to have the agent, who was handling Peroff, telephone Grant .:.” [Emphasis supplied.]
The Davis statement does not say that the Peroff control agent would call Grant. Davis, in his statement, said the agent with whom he spoke would call Grant.
The error in the DEA-Customs interpretation of Davis' sworn statement is potentially very misleading. A person who read only the summary and not the original statement could conclude that the DEA official who took the call from Davis understood that he was to seek out Peroff's control agent and that the first person Davis talked to, then, would pass on to someone else the information given him by Davis. Some of the information then—the part about the outstanding warfants, for example—could be lost in the shuffle.
This study wishes to make clear, therefore, that Davis said he gave the information of the warrants to one person, in one phone call and that one recipient of the information told him that he would call Peter Grant.
Iccordingly, Wayne Valentine told Senators, and asserted in the DEA-Customs inquiry under oath, that it was he who received the call from Davis. Moreover, if Davis' statement is accurate, it was Valentine, then, who learned on July 18 or 19 that there were warrants on Frank Peroff in Florida.
WHAT VALENTINE TOLD HIS SUPERIORS
On July 18 or 19, 1973, DEA Agent Morris H. Davis called DEA Assistant Regional Director Wayne T. Valentine and told him about Frank Peroff's having complained to the White House about the way DEA was treating him.
Valentine testified that he, in turn, directed Group Supervisor John J. O'Neill to get the facts of the situation. Valentine also said he told O'Neill to "handle the matter."
The directions to O'Neill represented the downward thrust of Val. entine's actions. The Subcommittee also wanted to know the upward thrust. What official above him did he tell? Valentine admitted that he should have told somebody above him but he could not remember if he did and, if he did, who it was.
Manuel asked Valentine if he told John W. Fallon, his superrisor, or Jerry Jensen, the then regional director. Valentine said he could not remember (p. 675).
Manuel asked Valentine if reporting to Fallon or Jensen would have been the “logical” thing to do under the circumstances of an informant lodging criticisms of DEA at the White House. Valentine agreed that it would have been logical to make such an upward report but he still could not remember if he did or not (p. 675). Valentine added :
I am not saying I didn't. I am saying I don't recall whether I did or not. Normally, I would report that (p. 675).