Nixon's long-secret Watergate testimony coming out -- despite Obama's wishes.
Nixon testified. Obama wanted to keep it sealed.
Personally, I don't think secret government works.
Nixon's long-secret Watergate testimony coming out
Nov 10, 6:39 AM EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony about the Watergate scandal that destroyed his presidency is finally coming to light.
Four months after a judge ordered the June 1975 records unsealed, the government's Nixon Presidential Library was making them available online and at the California facility Thursday. Historians dared hope that the testimony would form Nixon's most truthful and thorough account of the circumstances that led to his extraordinary resignation 10 months earlier under threat of impeachment.
"This is Nixon unplugged," said historian Stanley Kutler, a principal figure in the lawsuit that pried open the records. Still, he said, "I have no illusions. Richard Nixon knew how to dodge questions with the best of them. I am sure that he danced, skipped, around a number of things."
Nixon was interviewed near his California home for 11 hours over two days, when a pardon granted by his successor, Gerald Ford, protected him from prosecution for any past crimes. Despite that shield, he risked consequences for perjury if he lied under oath.
It was the first time an ex-president had testified before a grand jury and it is rare for any grand jury testimony to be made public. Historians won public access to the transcript over the objections of the Obama administration, which argued in part that too many officials from that era are still alive for secret testimony involving them to be made public.
The library is also releasing thousands of pages of other Watergate-era documents, several oral histories from that time and 45 minutes of recordings made by Nixon with a dictating machine.
The recordings include his dictated recollections of an odd episode late one night in May 1970 when Nixon impulsively had the Secret Service take him to the Lincoln Memorial so he could meet anti-war protesters there. He lingered with the astonished crowd and, according to accounts of that time, asked the protesters to "keep it peaceful. Have a good time in Washington, and don't go away bitter."
Here's the chilling part: Secret Government is not history. And the current Administration also has little desire in sharing its workings with We the People.
Nixon secret Watergate testimony unsealed
One of the topics covered during the grand jury investigation was the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap in a tape recording between the president and his chief of staff three days after the break-in at Democratic Party offices at the Watergate. Although he had been granted a pardon by his successor, President Ford, Nixon was still liable for perjury if he lied during the testimony.
The Nixon Presidential Library said it will make the records accessible online.
Grand jury testimonies generally remain sealed and private. While the Obama administration argued that too many people mentioned in the testimony were still alive, the secret testimony was ordered to be released after a judge determined that its historical value trumped any privacy concerns.
To preserve democracy in its republican form, The United States of America codified transparancy in government in writing: It's called the Constitution.