Never Trust a Local: Inside Nixons Campaign And the White House
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Never Trust a Local: Inside Nixon's Campaign and the White House
Product Highlights Never Trust a Local. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. On the same day, April 30, Nixon appointed a new attorney general, Elliot Richardson , and gave him authority to designate a special counsel for the Watergate investigation who would be independent of the regular Justice Department hierarchy.
In May , Richardson named Archibald Cox to the position. The three major networks of the time agreed to take turns covering the hearings live, each network thus maintaining coverage of the hearings every third day, starting with ABC on May 17 and ending with NBC on August 7.
On Friday, July 13, , during a preliminary interview, deputy minority counsel Donald Sanders asked White House assistant Alexander Butterfield if there was any type of recording system in the White House. On Monday, July 16, , in front of a live, televised audience, chief minority counsel Fred Thompson asked Butterfield whether he was "aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President".
Butterfield's revelation of the taping system transformed the Watergate investigation. Cox immediately subpoenaed the tapes, as did the Senate, but Nixon refused to release them, citing his executive privilege as president, and ordered Cox to drop his subpoena. Cox refused. On October 20, , after Cox refused to drop the subpoena, Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the special prosecutor. Richardson resigned in protest rather than carry out the order. Though Bork said he believed Nixon's order was valid and appropriate, he considered resigning to avoid being "perceived as a man who did the President's bidding to save my job".
These actions met considerable public criticism. Responding to the allegations of possible wrongdoing, in front of Associated Press managing editors at Disney's Contemporary Resort   on November 17, , Nixon, with finality, stated relative to a definition he himself had introduced, using an emphatic continuing connective discourse marker , "Well, I'm not a crook. On March 1, , a grand jury in Washington, D.
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Haldeman , John Ehrlichman , John N. Mitchell , Charles Colson , Gordon C. Strachan , Robert Mardian , and Kenneth Parkinson —for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation. The grand jury secretly named Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator. The special prosecutor dissuaded them from an indictment of Nixon, arguing that a President can be indicted only after he leaves office.
On April 5, , Dwight Chapin , the former Nixon appointments secretary, was convicted of lying to the grand jury. Two days later, the same grand jury indicted Ed Reinecke , the Republican Lieutenant Governor of California , on three charges of perjury before the Senate committee. The Nixon administration struggled to decide what materials to release.
All parties involved agreed that all pertinent information should be released. Whether to release unedited profanity and vulgarity divided his advisers. His legal team favored releasing the tapes unedited, while Press Secretary Ron Ziegler preferred using an edited version where " expletive deleted " would replace the raw material. After several weeks of debate, they decided to release an edited version.
Watergate Case Study
Nixon announced the release of the transcripts in a speech to the nation on April 29, Nixon noted that any audio pertinent to national security information could be redacted from the released tapes. Initially, Nixon gained a positive reaction for his speech.
As people read the transcripts over the next couple of weeks, however, former supporters among the public, media and political community called for Nixon's resignation or impeachment. Vice President Gerald Ford said, "While it may be easy to delete characterization from the printed page, we cannot delete characterization from people's minds with a wave of the hand. The editors of The Chicago Tribune , a newspaper that had supported Nixon, wrote, "He is humorless to the point of being inhumane. He is devious. He is vacillating. He is profane.
He is willing to be led.
He displays dismaying gaps in knowledge. He is suspicious of his staff. His loyalty is minimal. They were disturbed by the bad language and the coarse, vindictive tone of the conversations in the transcripts. The issue of access to the tapes went to the United States Supreme Court. On July 24, , in United States v. Nixon , the Court ruled unanimously 8—0 that claims of executive privilege over the tapes were void.
The Court ordered the President to release the tapes to the special prosecutor. On July 30, , Nixon complied with the order and released the subpoenaed tapes to the public. The tapes revealed several crucial conversations  that took place between the President and his counsel, John Dean, on March 21, In this conversation, Dean summarized many aspects of the Watergate case, and focused on the subsequent cover-up, describing it as a "cancer on the presidency".
The burglary team was being paid hush money for their silence and Dean stated: "That's the most troublesome post-thing, because Bob [Haldeman] is involved in that; John [Ehrlichman] is involved in that; I am involved in that; Mitchell is involved in that.
Watergate: Who Did What and Where Are They Now?
And that's an obstruction of justice. Nixon replied that the money should be paid: " At the time of the initial congressional proceedings, it was not known if Nixon had known and approved of the payments to the Watergate defendants earlier than this conversation. Nixon's conversation with Haldeman on August 1, , is one of several that establishes he did. Nixon said: "Well That's all there is to that.
They have to be paid.
Nixon's agreement to make the blackmail payments was regarded as an affirmative act to obstruct justice. Rose Mary Woods , Nixon's longtime personal secretary, said she had accidentally erased the tape by pushing the wrong pedal on her tape player when answering the phone. The press ran photos of the set-up, showing that it was unlikely for Woods to answer the phone while keeping her foot on the pedal.
Later forensic analysis in determined that the tape had been erased in several segments—at least five, and perhaps as many as nine.