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Thu November 10, 2011
Now Public: Richard Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony
Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 4:12 pm
The Nixon Library and National Archives have released a trove of documents (.pdf and a big file) relating to former President Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony. The testimony, taken after Nixon resigned, was the first by a president. Nixon was interviewed at his California home on June 23 and 24, 1975, after he had been pardoned by President Gerald Ford. The release of documents was ordered by a federal judge back in July.
As we reported, the request for the documents was made by historian Stanley Kutler. At the time he said he hoped the documents would reveal the truth about the Watergate scandal. "Nixon knew when you testified before a grand jury you exposed yourself to perjury, so I'm betting he told the truth," said Kutler, the author of Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes. We'll have more on this story, as people begin sifting through the hundreds of documents. We've embedded the first part of the interview transcript below; we're working to get the other parts online. Let us know in the comments if find something of interest.
Update at 4:05 p.m. ET. First Reads:
After giving the interview transcripts a first read, the AP reports that they "shed no light" on the 18 1/2 minutes missing from a post-Water Gate tape.
Talking to the AP historian Kutler "said after his initial review he found no bombshells. 'It's a virtuoso performance. How about $10 for every time he says, I don't recall?'"
The Chicago Tribune's review of the records find a "combative Nixon." They report:
On the second day of his testimony, for example, prosecutors asked about White House efforts to use the IRS against political opponents, particularly Democratic National Committee Chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien, whose office in the Watergate building had been the target of the burglary which began the scandal.
"The Special Prosecutor's office is only interested in the IRS harassment activities insofar as it deals with Mr. O'Brien?" Nixon demanded. "It is not interested in any harassment that the IRS may have done or is doing or has done with regard to, say, me, my friends, or anything like that?"
Update at 2:00 p.m. ET. Documents: Note that we've added the full collection of documents here. We've removed the embed because it was causing technical issues.
Update at 12:56 p.m. ET. Where To Find The Documents: The Government Printing Office has the full collection of documents at its website.