Isaac Irving Davidson

Isaac Irving Davidson was born in Pittsburgh on 19th January, 1921. Davidson arrived in Washington. in 1941 and worked for the War Production Board. In 1944 he began working in public relations. Later he became a licensed arms dealer.

In 1955 Davidson was employed by Anastasio Somoza. Over the next few years he arranged arms deals between Israel and Nicaragua. He also sold arms to Fulgencio Batista, the military dictator of Cuba.

Davidson was a close associate of Carlos Marcello and played an important role in the legal attempt to prevent Jimmy Hoffa from being sent to prison. According to Peter Dale Scott (Deep Politics), in September, 1960, Davidson was at a meeting where a suitcase containing $500,000 was passed from Marcello to Hoffa for Richard Nixon.

After the fall of Fulgencio Batista, Davidson developed a close relationship with those Cubans attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro. In 1963 Davidson met Roland Masferrer.

Davidson also represented Clint Murchison and his oil company in Dallas. It is also alleged by John H. Davis (Mafia Kingfish) that Davidson was a specialist in "putting people together". This included Rafael Trujillo, J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa, Carlos Marcello, Bobby Baker, and Santos Trafficante.

In 1964 Papa Doc Duvalier hired Davidson to represent the Haitian government. It has been claimed that while in Haiti, Davidson met George De Mohrenschildt. According to recently released classified documents, Davidson provided information to both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency during this period.

When he returned to Washington, Davidson shared an office with investigative journalists, Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson. In his book, The Kennedy Contract (1993), John H. Davis claims that Davidson was a constant source of information for Anderson.

In the early 1970s Davidson became involved with Santos Trafficante and the Teamsters Union. The FBI were closely watching these two men and they were eventually charged with pilfering large sums from the Teamsters Southeast States Health and Welfare Fund. Although indicted, the charges were eventually dropped.

Irving Davidson (copyright Dan Moldea)
Irving Davidson (copyright Dan Moldea)

In 1995 Gene Wheaton approached the Assassination Records Review Board with information on the death of John F. Kennedy. Anne Buttimer, Chief Investigator of the ARRB, recorded that: " Wheaton told me that from 1984 to 1987 he spent a lot of time in the Washington DC area and that starting in 1985 he was "recruited into Ollie North's network" by the CIA officer he has information about. He got to know this man and his wife, a "'super grade high level CIA officer" and kept a bedroom in their Virginia home. His friend was a Marine Corps liaison in New Orleans and was the CIA contact with Carlos Marcello. He had been responsible for "running people into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs." His friend is now 68 or 69 years of age... Over the course of a year or a year and one-half his friend told him about his activities with training Cuban insurgency groups. Wheaton said he also got to know many of the Cubans who had been his friend's soldiers/operatives when the Cubans visited in Virginia from their homes in Miami. His friend and the Cubans confirmed to Wheaton they assassinated JFK. Wheaton's friend said he trained the Cubans who pulled the triggers. Wheaton said the street level Cubans felt JFK was a traitor after the Bay of Pigs and wanted to kill him. People "above the Cubans" wanted JFK killed for other reasons."

It was later revealed that Wheaton's friend was Carl E. Jenkins. Wheaton also named Davidson as being involved in the assassination. According to Anne Buttimer's report: "Wheaton said we must look at his friend and his associates in order to know what really happened to JFK. One of those associates was I. Irving Davidson who was/is the bag man for the intelligence community."

Primary Sources

(1) John H. Davis, Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1988)

He was a registered lobbyist for the Teamsters and... a friend of Jimmy Hoffa. He was the registered lobbyist for the Somozas of Nicaragua, the Duvaliers of Haiti, the Trujillos of the Dominican Republic, and the wealthy Murchisons of Dallas, owners of the Dallas Cowboys.... He shared his close friendship with the Murchisons with another good friend, J. Edgar Hoover, who, it has been said, relied on Davidson for inside information no one else was able to provide.... Irv Davidson's activities ranged the entire globe. He once sold seventy Israeli-made staghound tanks to Nicaragua. He lobbied on behalf of the CIA on Capitol Hill. He represented Fidel Castro's interests in the United States. As the registered lobbyist for Coca-Cola, he personally escorted Coca-Cola soft drink teams on missions all over the world. He did a good deal of business with the sultan of Oman and was instrumental in getting Carlos Marcello involved in business with Oman and other Persian Gulf countries.

(2) Andrew J. Shannon, FBI report on I. Irving Davidson (30th September, 1958)

DAVIDSON is self-employed in general public relations work with office located in Suite 1224 Wyatt Buildings WDC. JAMES G. FARRISS, a former State Department employee, JACK ANDERSON and FRED BLUMENTHAL, present and former DREW PEARSON associates share office space with subject, Subject registered with Registration Section, Department of Justice, since 4/15/55 as representative of Republic of Nicaragua, and since 7/22/58 as representative of Israeli Military Industries controlled by government of Israel, Subject represents Republic of Nicaragua and President of Nicaragua in general public relations and as purchasing agent for Republic of Nicaragua, including military forces, Subject registered to import arms, ammunition and implements of war Israel to US. (Blanked out) Subject registered with Office of Munitions Controls Department of State, effective 10/12/54, Subject maintains checking account in DC bank under name of Nicaraguan Government Agency; he claims account maintained to keep his records straight for income tax purposes; information obtained concerning activities of DAVIDSON from 1949 to date set out with the financial group which was building an insecticide plant and hotel in Nicaragua. He also advised that he had accompanied a group, which he did not identify, to Nicaragua in an attempt to set up an irrigation system there. He advised that he had completed negotiations for the military equipment purchased from the Government of the United States. In addition he advised that he was in continuous negotiation with the United States Government for various types of excess property consisting of military, industrial and consumer goods on behalf of Nicaragua.

DAVIDSON also stated that he was engaged in general public relations for a variety of clients and was handling public relations for CLINT MURCHINSON, JR., of the Tecon Corporation in Dallas, Texas, regarding tie construction of the Avila Tunnel in Caracas, Venezuela. He advised that for the period of this statement he had received the following money from the Nicaraguan Government: August 15, 1957 - Salary - $6,000; July 28, 1957 - Expenses in connection with race horses of President LUIS SOMOZA (Montelimar Stables $3600); October 1st, 1957 - Expenditures - $5,000.

He advised that in connection with the $5,000 received for expenditures that they were mainly for personal expenses of President LUIS SOMOZA and former president, A. SOMOZA, their families and the Guardia Nacional of Nicaragua, as well as his own travel expenses,

DAVIDSON pointed out on this supplemental statement for the period ending October 18, 1957 that he had opened a bank account at the Security Bank in Washington, DC., in the name of the Nicaraguan Government Agency. He advised that he opened this account "to keep his records more clear for internal revenue,"

On May 27th 1958, DAVIDSON filed a supplemental registration statement for the period ending April 18, 1958. He listed the following foreign travel during this period:

Nicaragua (November 29, 1957, from Miami; December 15, 1957, to Miami)

Cuba (January 5, 1958, from Miami; January 7, 1958, to Miami)

Canada (January 12, 1958, from New York; January 14, 1958, to New York)

Cuba and Nicaragua (January 22, 1958, from Miami; February 5, 1958, to Miami)

Switzerland, France, Italy, Israel (February 7, 1958, from New York; February 26, 1958, to New York)

Cuba (March 6, 1958, from Miami; March 7, 1958, to Miami)

Cuba and Nicaragua (March 22, 1958, from Miami; March 31, 1958, to Miami)

Nicaragua (April 15, 1958, from Miami; May 3, 1958, to Miami)

DAVIDSON advised that he was still working on the insecticide plant and hotel to be built in Nicaragua. He also advised that during this period he had arranged for a shipment of arms at the request of General A. SOMOZA, from Nicaragua to Cuba. He also advised that he had arranged for the beginning of a "Do it Yourself" housing program between the United States and Nicaragua with ICA (International Cooperation Administration of United States) assistance. He also advised that he had arranged for the purchase and shipment of hospital equipment and supplies for the Morovian Hospital in Nicaragua In addition he had arranged for the purchase and shipment of equipment and supplies for certain Nicaraguan schools and had arranged for the financing and building of a plywood factory in Nicaragua with private Israeli, Nicaraguan and American capital. He also stated that he was working on the acquisition of new ships and their registration under the Israeli flag for the Nicaraguan steamship line Mamenic.

(3) Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993)

After Bobby Kennedy started to put pressure on Jimmy Hoffa at the McClellan hearings, Davidson, who already knew both Carlos Marcello and Clint Murchison, became Hoffa's protector and go-between with both the Nixon forces in the Republican party and the Johnson forces in the Democrats. This put Davidson in a position to obtain huge Teamsters' Pension Fund loans, first for the Murchisons, and eventually for himself (in a deal which led to his conviction for bankruptcy fraud). Up to the time of his legal difficulties, Davidson used his international connections to be of service to the CIA and National Security Council.

(4) Joe Backes, The Fourth Decade Conference, Fair Play Magazine (October, 1996)

Monti Evans asked Peter Dale Scott about the role Issac Irving Davidson may have played in the assassination. Davidson was a Washington lobbyist. Peter told the HSCA to look at him. Peter was interested in him because, "Senator Fulbright in the fall of 1963 thought it was time to look at foreign lobbyists spending foreign money and the kind of influence they were peddling in Washington and in the name of American nationalism fostering a lot of positions and policies which did not represent American interests but those of the foreign governments who were secretly paying them to do this and one of the people who was summoned by Senator Fulbright, who worked quite closely with the White House and with the Justice Department, that is to say Bobby Kennedy, in these things, Senator Fulbright looked into what was left of the China lobby, and he learned some amazing things and he looked into a firm called Salvage and Lee which had a number of ex-CIA agents and it turned out quite a lot of Portuguese money was being fed to racist movements in the Southern states because Portugal had a vested interest in preventing America from desegregating because Portugal was running the most segregated empire in existence so they had a natural desire to strengthen the voice of racists in Washington, and the third man they looked at very extensively was I. Irving Davidson. He was called to these hearings. And because his activities were so complex, I won't try to give a list of all the governments he represented but it interested me that he represented the government of Nicaragua and that he spent a lot of Samoza's money paying for journalists at the two party conventions in 1960. And I can name names here. A journalist, a name familiar to everyone who studies this case, had his hotel bill paid for for one of the two conventions, the one in Los Angeles, the Democratic one, by I. Irving Davidson, which is to say by Samoza. And the reason why I am not naming the journalist is because I don't know if the journalist knew it was Samoza's money. But I know that the Kennedy's were worried about this and they should be. There are at least, I tried to make a list coming here on the plane, because it is a very important topic, at least a dozen foreign governments that have thrown significant amounts of money around Washington since World War II and because its illegal money it isn't reported and is even more influential than legal money which is reported.

(5) William Turner, Rearview Mirror (2001)

Lobbyist I. Irving Davidson, who had ready access to Hoover's office because lie represented the Director's crony, Dallas oil Croesus Clint Murchison, also had Mafia clients such as Carlos Marcello of New Orleans, who had ties to Frank Costello, and Pete Licavoli of Ohio, who contributed $5,000 to the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation. On annual "working vacations" to Murchison's resort, the Del Charro Hotel in La Jolla, California, with his significant other, Associate Director Clyde Tolson, Hoover played the horses at the Del Mar race track, also owned by Murchison. The Director got a free ride, Alan Witwer, the Del Charro manager at the time, told me. His tabs (one was for $1,900,00) were picked up by Murchison's Delhi-Taylor Oil Company and his Atlantic Insurance Company.

(6) Anne Buttimer, Chief Investigator for the Assassination Records Review Board (12th July, 1995)

Wheaton began by telling me he would only give me limited information over the telephone although he was willing to meet me face to face to provide as much information as he had. He said he had no physical proof of what he would eventually tell the Board; however he said he does have a number of documents which he will need to show me in order for me to believe what he has to say.

By way of providing background on himself Wheaton explained he is a 59 year old retired military intelligence officer. He works as a consultant investigating terrorist attacks around the world and said he expects his telephone will ring in the next few days with an offer to work on the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. He said if this happens he will also probably be called to Washington DC and would meet with me here. If he does not he would still agree to meet with us but would have to do so on the West Coast. He lives in Riverside County, California near Palm Springs.

Wheaton told me that from 1984 to 1987 he spent a lot of time in the Washington DC area and that starting in 1985 he was "recruited into Ollie North's network" by the CIA officer he has information about. He got to know this man and his wife, a "'super grade high level CIA officer" and kept a bedroom in their Virginia home. His friend was a Marine Corps liaison in New Orleans and was the CIA contact with Carlos Marcello. He had been responsible for "running people into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs." His friend is now 68 or 69 years of age.

Over the course of a year or a year and one-half his friend told him about his activities with training Cuban insurgency groups. Wheaton said he also got to know many of the Cubans who had been his friend's soldiers/operatives when the Cubans visited in Virginia from their homes in Miami. His friend and the Cubans confirmed to Wheaton they assassinated JFK. Wheaton's friend said he trained the Cubans who pulled the triggers. Wheaton said the street level Cubans felt JFK was a traitor after the Bay of Pigs and wanted to kill him. People "above the Cubans" wanted JFK killed for other reasons.

Wheaton said we must look at his friend and his associates in order to know what really happened to JFK. One of those associates was I. Irving Davidson who was/is "the bag man for the intelligence community." Davidson runs a group called the Timber Center which handles payoffs and payments for the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon. He is a friend of Jack Anderson's and was indicted with Carlos Marcello in the 1980's on a Teamster's kick-back charge. Davidson is a non-practicing attorney in Washington D.C. He is now about 70 years old.

Wheaton said he would speak to the Board confidentially but would not allow his name to be used publicly because his friend and the friend's associates "said they would destroy me in the media with a blitz of disinformation to destroy my professional reputation. They will make me out to be a conspiracy nut. I'm not afraid of them, I've been a cop too long and besides, they only kill the people on the inner circle. The rest of us end up having our reputations destroyed."

Wheaton concluded by saying "this matter is not complex but it is convoluted. I need to show you the paper trail to show the contacts of these people."

(7) Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2006)

Another name mentioned in Wheaton's communication with the ARRB was that of Irving Davidson. Wheaton implies no direct role for Davidson in the conspiracy, however he seems to suggest that Davidson may have unwittingly served as a sort of cut out, bagman, or facilitator. Davidson was a very long time "arranger" in Washington, a registered lobbyist for clients including the Samozas of Nicaragua, the Trujillos of the Dominican Republic, and the Murchisons of Dallas.

In Chapter 16 we examined Davidson's role as the broker of a Murchison deal involving a Haitian meat packing plant in which Bobby Baker had been involved. Baker and VP Johnson had traveled to the Dominican Republic in 1963 and Baker had gone back shortly afterwards, possibly leveraging Johnson's name in regard a casino deal involving his Las Vegas business partners. During the Dominican crisis, tapes record President Johnson and Abe Fortas discussing an intermediary involved in discussions with potential leaders. The name used in the conversation is "Davidson."

Murchison had introduced Davidson to FBI Director Hoover (Anthony Summers relates an interview with Davidson, who lived only a block away from Hoover, in which he describes frequent visits to Hoover and Tolson).'

Davidson represented Carlos Marcello in Washington and was running information between Murchison and Marcello in 1963: it was a government sting of a Murchison/Marcello project that resulted in Marcello's arrest. Reportedly Davidson had also been in contact with Marcello after his forced deportation by Robert Kennedy, helping him to covertly return to the United States. In Interference, Dan Moldea writes that Murchison had gotten Teamster investments for California land development and that there were many connections between Murchison and Marcello, including their joint use of Davidson. Moldea also describes Robert Kennedy's major 1963 Justice Department initiative against sports gambling and its potential impact on both Marcello and Murchison, both heavily involved with professional sports gambling.'

Davidson also had a history as an intermediary in arms transactions, as a collaborator with Cuban exile activities, and as an informant (apparently a protected informant) to both the FBI and CIA. One 1959 FBI memorandum concerns a report by Davidson about a purchase of military weapons. Howard Davis was seeking Davidson's assistance in obtaining quantity of 50 caliber machine guns to be used by Cuban counter revolutionaries. A 1959 CIA report describes Davidson being involved with Cuban exiles interested in forming a government in exile, shows Davidson making introductions for them in Washington.' Other memos show Davidson under FBI electronic (ELSUR) surveillance. And in November - December 1963, Davidson was the subject of NSA monitoring, apparently at the request of the FBI. The NSA made reports to the FBI on November 17, 19, and 27, 1963.

Also, as previously noted, Davidson was Jack Anderson's office mate and may have helped focus Anderson's attention on the bombshell lead from John Roselli that JFK had been killed by a team originally formed and trained to kill Castro. Anderson's "scoop" helped undercut Jim Garrison's early focus on CIA officers and anti-Castro exiles as the main actors in the conspiracy.