Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on The Real Watergate Scandal  CSPAN  September 13, 2015 12:15am-1:21am EDT

12:15 am
>> good evening. i am the president of the richard nixon foundation and i am pleased to welcome you and a friend of the foundation, jeff shepard. when i when i first took this position, geoff shepard's name was often identified as a person very active with the foundation. soon i found out out he was organizing reunions and later he had developed a number of legacy forums held across the united states and then i heard he was writing a book. when i finally met who became a good friend and i now understand the contributions he has made.
12:16 am
the book he was writing is finally here. we are pleased to give him this opportunity, the book came out on monday so we are honored to have him here for the real scandal, geoff shepard. >> thank you bill. it's an honor to be here and an honor to have bill as the new head of the richard nixon foundation. as it turns out, the real watergate scandal is a trashing of our constitution and bill of rights in a successful effort to drive nixon from office and to realign political power without the inconvenience of an election. we will get to that in a couple minutes but i want to start by telling you why i think i am good shape to write this
12:17 am
book or may conclude i may know what i'm talking about. i'm a california native like many of you. i went to long beach wilson high school and whittier college. i think of myself back then as normal. then something changed for me. i got a scholarship to scholarship to harvard law school and i did well coming from the uncultured west coast. i graduated with honors and that i was chosen chosen to be a white house followed directly out of law school. at the tender age of 24 i joined pres. nixon staff at the white house. after my fellowship year, that's a program where they bring in 15 young people to study the federal government for a year. i did that and then i joined the domestic counsel at the white house staff. it was run by john ehrlichman.
12:18 am
it's the counterpart of the national security council. i was there for five years. i ended up as associate director of the domestic counsel. my main assignment was the department of justice. i worked with and knew everybody involved in watergate. i liked some and i didn't like some, but i knew them them on a personal basis. these were not names in the newspaper. things were going quite well. then watergate hit. as the tide tide of watergate rose, i did something that is somewhat similar to what clark gable does in the end of gone with the wind when he runs off to join the confederacy when all seems lost. what i did was demand a seat at
12:19 am
the defense table for pres. nixon. i believed then and i believe now that we were about to lose a president because of inadequately representative. i demanded a seat at the table and i transcribed the tapes, i ran the documents in the room that held the files and i briefed the senior staff and i staffed the presidential counselors on watergate. you may remember it ended rather badly. it's not just that i lost my first case, but we lost a president. i left rather bitter about the whole experience. maybe you remember the mantra was no man is above the law and that's true, but about 12 years
12:20 am
ago i decided i'd go back and have another look and see what led to and how watergate unfolded. i discovered something something that i hadn't realized before and that's that the special prosecutors, being government employees, their files are kept even today at the national archives. it's a little hard to get into them, take some time and you have to put in a request and know what you're looking for. if you persevere, you can read the document of the opposition. this is something like discovering 30 years after you lost the championship football game that you can have access to the coaches playbook from the other side. you can see what they were doing to exploit your business and what you were doing to exploit
12:21 am
theirs and defend yourself. as i started reading reading these documents a pattern appeared in the pattern is what forms the basis of the book, the real watergate scandal, because there are documentation of flagrant violations of due process. and cheating, there is no other word for it, they cheated to get to nixon richard nixon and his top aides. no man is against the law, but these people were the law. they were brought in to clean up the watergate mass. there was nobody reviewing their work so they twisted it and tortured it to suit their own purposes. it's it's an age-old problem, who will protect us from our protectors? the judges and prosecutors were brought in to clean up the watergate mass. there was a watergate mass. there was a break-in and cover
12:22 am
up but cover-up but they were highly political and they twisted it around. that's what i've uncovered and that's what's in the book. that's what the scandal is. why is it coming out now? watergate is an old topic. it's 40 years old. well what happened is that three of the lead prosecutors took their files with them. now this is not unlike having your own private server and deciding later what emails you're going to turn over and watch are going to destroy because like those emails, these are government documents. they. they should have been preserved for researchers. what happened, by taking the documents, there, there was a sort of cover up. you can get certain documents. they gave their papers to their alma mater which is the appropriate thing to do in the
12:23 am
elmer matter sorted through them and decided what they were going to make available and they only became available in the last couple years. i'm not the first person to go through the papers but i'm the first person to realize what's there. what's there is a documented proof of collusion between the prosecutors and the judges. judges aren't supposed to get together with one side without the other side being present. these are called export a meetings in their strictly forbidden in the concepts of fair trial. but that's what happened in the watergate scandal. let me give you a quick overview of what is in the book. >> much of what you've been told about watergate turns out to be untrue. he was driven from office largely -- whoops.
12:24 am
[laughter] that was unplanned, forgive me. i will have to figure out how i did that and make sure i don't do it again. but where were we class? pres. nixon was driven from office largely by false representation of highly partisan prosecutors. president nixon's aide were denied a fair trial. in short, the fix was in, the dates were loaded in the deck was stacked. i remember these meetings. i'm in my 20s. i'm not in charge but i'm a key member of the defense team and i'm in the room when this stuff is going on. we've had these meetings with the judge and the other side was always prepared, always confident and always ready to
12:25 am
respond and we were always caught by surprise. now we know why. they were getting together in advance to work on it which are not supposed to do. let's remind ourselves of who the players were. these are are the top six, the folks across the bottom row gordon liddy, john dean are the ones who committed the crimes. there is a break-in in the watergate hotel, his boss who authorized it and john dean ran the cover-up. in his own words he was the chief desk officer for the cover it. the gentleman across the top are the supervisors, nixon's top aides. john mitchell, bob haldeman and john ehrlichman. these men these men were convicted on all counts
12:26 am
the question has always been in the minds of people who aren't sure we got the true story, whether the folks at the bottom were operating on their direction and control of the folks at the top. if you go back a little bit further, i've outlined four of these people in a red box. there outlined because they were president, they were the only people present at two key meetings that took place in john mitchell's office where they discussed the intelligence plan. they didn't approve it at those meetings, but they discussed it and reviewed it. so you can see how after the break-in arrest where these people are rest, these four people might believe they were at risk of prosecution because they knew what was started. they knew knew what was under consideration. it wasn't approved, but it was under consideration and they reacted in different way.
12:27 am
one said it's my fault and then he clammed up and wouldn't testify wouldn't talk or take the stand in the trial. mcgruder decided it would be better to lie and start a cover-up and he lied in his grand jury appearances. john dean plan to the cover-up. as i said he and his own word became chief desk officer. john mitchell got out of town. he resigned as head of the reelection committee within ten days of the break-in. we thought it was because of his alcoholic wife martha, but it turns out that wasn't entirely the case. what about the other two people? what about bob haldeman and john ehrlichman? what about the president? in the intervening 40 years since the water watergate story
12:28 am
broke, it's never been proved that he knew about it. why would they have a reason to cover-up? up? they had a reason to protect the president politically, no problem but they had no reason to cover up. so what they did, the the mistake of the century, they sent their lawyer, john dean, dean, to protect the white house interest. the people who had done the broke break-in, they were hopelessly lost, there's no question about that. john dean's job was to sort through this. dean was at risk of prosecution himself. to be engaged in criminal conduct over and above
12:29 am
obstruction of the justice, he rehearsed mcgruder for his testimony before to grand jury's. he learned and then passed along to defense counsel the prosecution's analysis and concept of where they were going which is totally unfair. he's the only person in watergate who embezzled money. john dean embezzled campaign funds. he took $4000 of campaign funds to fund his honeymoon. then you have this cover-up and the cover-up collapses and john dean is running it so he knows and he's the first to run to the prosecutors and he says look, i can give you mcgruder and mitchell. the career prosecutors, the
12:30 am
first team said we got them. we don't need you. he discusses it with his lawyer and he does two things. one, he takes documents that he possessed as the president's lawyer, having nothing to do with watergate and shared them with the prosecutors as kind of a down payment on his immunity. now they they wouldn't give him immunity but they took what we could say the family secrets or the things we didn't want to have out and gave them to the prosecutors to try to buy immunity. that didn't work. then if you look at his book, there's a, there's a moment in his book were his lawyer, and his book was written by john dean, where his lawyer said they think your guilt or guilty. you better start talking cover-up to make yourself an invaluable witness.
12:31 am
then he set i really like this cover-up idea. while while there's no direct proof that he was operating under the control and direction of all the men, you have this key government witness who changes his story in the hands of the prosecutors. during the course of interviews, he goes from the guy who did the crime to accusing his superiors. you may not all be lawyers and i feel good for you, one of the absolute requirements of the prosecution is if the witness changes his testimony in the course of talking to you, you must disclose that to defense counsel. they didn't do it. the book will go into it in great detail and the documentation of his change of store. so go through the players the watergate coverup failed and
12:32 am
people ran for cover and there were resignations and two people moved to the floor and there on the next slide and you may not be able to tell, but on your left is l.a. richardson and he was named attorney general and archibald became a special prosecutor. l.a. richardson is named as atty. general because he is not involved at all in watergate. he should be easily confirmed but it turns out he was a poor choice. he dreamed some day of running for president himself he wanted nothing to do with watergate because to make a decision was to get involved in a controversy which could inhibit his own political dreams. he didn't want to be attorney
12:33 am
general. he became what i would describe the pontius pilate of watergate. he left the field of battle. before that he was more than happy to turn the investigation over to archibald. he had had been his professor at harvard law school and he was senator kennedy's choice to be special prosecutor and there's a reason why. archibald cox was the triple crown winner of the kennedy political dynasty. he had had been a staff aide to jack kennedy since 1953. he toured with him on the 1963 presidential the 1963 presidential campaign, he ran the academic brain trust for pres. kennedy and in the kennedy administration he was named solicitor general at the department of justice. that's a number three position. make no no mistake about it, he was a
12:34 am
superb attorney general. but he was from the previous administration. even when that was over, he was working with senator ted kennedy and helping to staff the senator on his opposition to the supreme court appointments. what you have is the very heart of the opposition becoming head of the group that it is going to investigate the presidency. elliott did two other things, he not only gave a full review of the special prosecutor bout that included the power to investigate both sides. you had this juxtaposition of them being able to investigate us but us, the duly elected
12:35 am
administration had no power to investigate them. they announced at their first press conference, they had the intent of investigating every single allegation ever made against the nixon administration. this was not a happy development it got worse. i know you can't read this chart, but, but i love it. it's reproduced in the back of the book but not in glorious color. this is the kennedy johnson department of justice. all you need to understand is there are seven names in red because they joined the special prosecutor's office. you see, they only hired their friends and by some fluke, their friends all turned out to be partisan democrats who had worked in the previous administration. the top lawyers in the supposedly independent and nonpartisan investigation had all worked together before.
12:36 am
a couple of them were safe republicans. they had already known them and worked with them. what. what you have, if your finical and i have become somewhat cynical, you you have the previous administration department of justice having prosecutorial power against you but you can't investigate them. these were very good lawyers. don't misunderstand. i'm. i'm not criticizing their ability, i'm criticizing their objectivity. here in the next picture this as a group group shot of a special prosecutor's picture. it's a big group. it grew it grew to be 100 people. only 60 were lawyers. this doesn't count the irs and
12:37 am
fbi investigators they could harness. we couldn't harness any of them because they have the investigatory responsibility. i would submit to you that no institution, business, charity, certainly no white house could withstand a determined in query by their opponents without budget or time constraint. this this is if you'll forgive the analogy. this is like having 100 mothers-in-law who don't like you and they are going through everything you have. they want your love letters they want your bank account they want everything that you have. you've got no place to hide. you have have no way to defend yourself. so as you might imagine, i'll get some water at this point, yes, i will have have to duck soon. >> and i didn't drop the microphone so as you might
12:38 am
imagine the white house screamed foul. the the press secretary said this is zealous. these are people out to get us. so what the special prosecutor decided to do was write a public letter back to zigler saying this is bad form you shouldn't attack us and were just honest forthright citizens. i'm going to read you the key paragraph in that letter. this is signed by the new special prosecutor who replaced archibald cox. they are determined to achieve their own and regardless of the truth. i'm assured to tell you this is totally unfounded. i have worked daily with my subordinates reviewing data assembled in additional sources to explore, recommendations to
12:39 am
consider and in my experience at the bar, i found no group who were more objective, fair-minded in dedicated as they search for truth then this unusual group of talented lawyers. should i find any among them who do not meet these qualifications in fairness and objectivity i would not hesitate to dismiss them. now we call this praise. this is high praise. but it turns out he didn't draft this letter. he had only been there one month. this was drafted for him by the staff. it turns out to be kind of a litmus test. you are new, are you with us or with our opponent the public is assured this is all on the up and up. we ask ourselves, what did he
12:40 am
really think about the staff that was assembled by archibald cox and these two other law professors? what did do you really think? i happen to find a document that helps us. this is the end of an exchange of four letters. i'm only taking one paragraph out of it but it's key it's how he concludes the memo. let me address myself to the general tenor that reflects an attitude i discussed with you before. the subjective conviction that the president must be reached at all cost. it's not in italics, i just want to make sure you didn't miss that. it's also reflected reflected in your references to st. clair's letter. he stated nothing that you should not expect in all fairness.
12:41 am
while this is of some concern to me. this resulted in convictions already being formed. frankly under these circumstances the meetings are of no use to me. it's not even worth it for me to be with my staff because you've had pre-meetings and you've all got together to decide what you're going to tell me i'm getting only conclusions that are all uniform. perhaps it is too late to get objective opinions from others. so i will do the best i can to make a decision in which i and not the staff will be held responsible. you couldn't find a clear denunciation of the lack of objectivity of his staff. i'm not making this stuff up. this this is his own memo.
12:42 am
we didn't know about this. this is one of the memos that he took with him when he left. so the public is told, reassert reassert the media jumps on, that this is totally objective in the search for the truth from their own leader confirms in the most dramatic language, i couldn't of drafted better language of what's really going on. they are out to get the president and his top aides. so what did they do? this is just the veneer on the top of what's going on. there was something else going on behind the curtain. i tried to tried to illustrated in this slide. this is the judge in the center. he was the trial judge and it says secret meeting, x partake. the that's the latin way you say secret meeting.
12:43 am
three of them are all special prosecutors. the other three are interested parties with interest that are adverse to the nixon administration on your left is the chief counsel of the urban committee. he is not supposed to be meeting with the judge. on the on the upper right is edward bennett williams. he is public enemy number one for the nixon white house. he is suing them for the break-in and he's counsel for the washington post whose articles are ripping them from side to side but he happens to be a close friend of the judge. now they will tell you, they come out to fight and say that the judge was a pointed by pres. eisenhower so he's a republican. they won't tell you that edward
12:44 am
bennett williams was his career mentor that both mr. williams and his wife or godparents to his daughter. he would allow them to argue cases in front of him because he was so tight together. finally is a gentleman you don't know who was an investigative reporter and he's an interesting case. he convinced president nixon that what the administration needed was a reporter who could smell out scandal. and why not somebody who didn't like him who could be there in the morning. nixon hires him and be calm
12:45 am
special counsel to the president. then nixon tired of him because he had so many opinions on so many things that didn't have anything to do with those topics and he got frozen out and didn't get to see the president as often as he thought he should. he blamed ehrlichman and holderman. he goes back to reporting tens month later. as watergate start to unwind, this man with inside information
12:46 am
starts discussing the case which is classic violation of due process. if you happen to find yourself in court, your accuser has to come into court and face you under oath. they don't get to whisper in the judge's ear on the side. that's kind of what the sixth amendment says. that's not what he did. he met with the judge on the side and convinced him to do things. then we say okay, the fix was in, what did they do to pres. nixon and what did they do to his top aide? you have to remember he never came to trial so they have to be divided and how you handle them. here's what the document show they did to president nixon. remember this effort to reach nixon at all cost. the prosecutors secretly secretly assured the court and the congress the nixon had personally ordered payment of the black lack mail demands. the assured the grin jurors
12:47 am
staff of the hose judiciary committee and recommended that nixon be impeached. we didn't know they were saying this because they did it in secret. we could have rebutted and you only learn about it if you go into the documents and you see documents and you see what they will were prepared to say to the grand jury and what they did say to the house judiciary very committee staff. the difficulty is that it if in fact he did no such thing and when these people went to prove it, nixon is not on trial in the cover-up trial because he has already resigned but this was his only chance to get him.
12:48 am
when you get into the book the real watergate scandal, it documents how their own witnesses would not go that way. the words out of their own witnesses mouse unproved this allegation. we didn't know about the allegation, you didn't know about the allegation because it was rendered in secret. so they just traipsed right on off and we are none the wiser. that's what they they did to our president. what do they do to the staff? remember the president has resigned. the trial trial starts in october after the august resignation. this weekend is is the anniversary of the resignation. the cover-up trial starts in october. the prosecutors know they need convictions because if somebody gets acquitted there will be questions about what's going on.
12:49 am
everybody was convicted on all accounts. then it would stop criticism. here's what they did to the staff. first, the fix was inches they met in secret with the judge to work out issues and procedures in advance of the trial. absolute no-no. if anything if anything had come out, the judgment of an off that case so fast it would make your head spin. if it came out shortly after they were convicted, convictions would've convictions would've been thrown out. there may have been another child but the convictions would've been thrown out. any trial lawyer will tell you that a jury trial is a role of the dice. you don't know what the jury might do. this jury had loaded dice.
12:50 am
it was both tainted by the massive pretrial publicity on watergate and politically biased. the district of columbia is a very unique jurisdiction. the registered voters consistently return 80% democratic majorities in office. you can't take a group from their in a prominent republican case and expect a fair trial. but that is what they did. they fought and agreed with the judge on how to do that. finally the deck was stacked. this borders on incredulity. the head prosecutor met with the head judge of the appellate panel and explained how to stack the deck on the appeal so that liberal control would be maintained. you you must understand that judge's a wreck
12:51 am
a was rejected because he didn't pay attention to individuals rights. they became concerned that the judge would blow it at trial because he was so eager to come secure convictions. he was right. you have to read the book to see how control was maintained but that's nothing short of incredible. the corruption, the collusion wasn't just that they went to the appellate court. so what do we know? well this is where we started. much of what you have been told about watergate is untrue. pres. nixon nixon was driven from
12:52 am
office by false representation. his aides were denied a fair trial the dice were loaded in the deck was stacked. so what. it's 40 years, so they cheated. this is hillary's question on benghazi. what difference at this point doesn't make. well, i will tell you what difference it makes. they cheated they got red-handed and there has to be consequences. that's what the book starts. there has to be consequences because those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. this. this applies to liberals and conservatives alike because of it was done to republicans, in a time of intense political conflicts, if our bill of rights did not withstand political pressure, it could be done to
12:53 am
democrats next timeout. if the rules don't apply to some, then they don't apply to all. the theory of a of a fair trial, most americans will tell you that even the most despised criminal deserves a fair trial. we give them a fair trial in the we hang them. it's very simple. they get a fair trial. these people were upset. we we want the cover to be able to be updated. that shouldn't be that hard. not after my book came out. the second thing, we want the truth. let's get the truth out about watergate. i went to whittier college. we were 30 years apart. if you go in the main administration building there is a quote from john whittier carved.
12:54 am
and that's what were asking for, the truth about watergate. harvard also, their slogan is truth. we should join together in the search of truth. there are documents still to come out. the the urban committee and house judiciary committee feels fields all of the reports. it's what you do an investigation. you don't want to ruin the reputations innocent people. so they still seal the records for 50 years. while i'm not going to be around when these things get unsealed. would like them unsealed now so people who know what they're doing can look through and see was the prosecutor really giving grand jury information to the house judiciary committee? was the prosecutor feeding questions to the urban committee
12:55 am
? we deserve to know that. secondly, and more importantly, we need a judicial investigation. it's the reputation of the d.c. courts. the judge is a disgrace to the judicial system. the court should be asked to investigate and clean up its own mass. there are are people still around and involved in ex parte meetings. they they should be called to account under oath to discuss what happened. when ted stevens was falsely convicted not all that long ago, the lead witness came to his testimony in the course of the prosecutors, the the fbi, after he was convicted, the court looked into it and the court appointed its own special investigator and issued a 300 page report just ripping the
12:56 am
department of justice apart for the way they cheated in convicting. we can't give back his presidency. the court should be called upon to launch this investigation. finally, the grand jury transcripts. they are sealed forever but there are exceptions for historical purposes. if you look back, and i have, rosenberg's testimony was unsealed. they were unsealed by order the court. richard nixon's grand jury testimony was on sealed by order of the court. the the court should unseal the grand jury testimony for watergate. [applause].
12:57 am
the documents suggest what they said, but what they said is on on record. it's in the national archives. i can't get to it but the but the court can. the court can on seal. how did they convince the grand jury to name nixon as a co-conspirator? there is a news article saying they took a straw vote. they're not supposed supposed to have straw votes. same church hold the newspaper prosecutor was in the room when they took the vote. you can't do that. there's a lot of grand jury abuse that's covered up because it stays sealed forever. i think to see what they did to our president and our people. finally i've i've worn my close friends, america owes richard nixon an apology [applause].
12:58 am
this is nixon who should be willing to apologize but i'm willing to debate anywhere, anytime. that's where we are. what should you do? i'd like you to read the book. don't just put it on the shelf. there's all kinds of things in that book. you can go on my website which is showing up here which is geoff and at some point that too far in the future, i've discovered additional information and will posted on the website. discussed discuss with your friends. don't let this go away. tell
12:59 am
your kids. it's not hard to understand what i put in the book. if you know any lawyers and there's lots of us around, asked them about what i just disclose. i. i don't think you'll find even liberal lawyers. that's not our system. our system is come into court, prove your case. we case. we have rules of evidence and cross-examination. very kind i appreciate you coming. i think you and i think i have time for some questions before we go to sign books. [applause]. thank you jeff. we have our first question. >> thank you very much it has been an enlightening lecture tonight. i'm a member of the media but i'm also a volunteer. at the library. i want. i want to know what your
1:00 am
thoughts are on the special prosecutor law in 1999 after the clinton follies and i want to know what you think of it being an answer to some of these really tough questions that we have, legal questions, with respect with respect to corruption and government. i have three answers. the special prosecutor law was enacted as a watergate reform after nixon
1:01 am
the circuit court said it's an unconstitutional delegation. brilliant opinion. it was appealed and they ruled 7-1 against. and bill rehnquist wrote the opinion and said it's not much of an intrusion into the president's power. i worked with him after that decision and i said not entirely
1:02 am
tongue-in-cheek i'm disappointed in the decision and he said i defended. but we didn't put you on the court alone. we put you because you were supposed to have flowed for other justices but in an interview not five years ago he was asked about what case was he most disappointed than. i think if the court had known will come at the decision wouldn't have come down so i would have loved to have a special independent prosecutor investigate democrats. [applause] but it's no fair.
1:03 am
it's unconstitutional. we could appoint a dedicated prosecutor not fun with total independence. that was the key to the prosecutor that it does into the independent prosecutor statute. but the -- you have a case for the cinderblock so i have a question that comes from that particular angle let's assume all of the prosecutors were also of ethical quality and assume that judges up and down there
1:04 am
was no resignation or pardon what charges against president nixon could have gotten through impeachment and conviction assuming this quantity situation? >> lets hope you for just a second it is the principal assistant. he and his team did the original investigation of the watergate break-in and they broke the cover-up and got fired in lieu of the democrats these are good
1:05 am
prosecutors and they followed the case down the line. what if there had been no politics, good luck with us there there were no politics in our company come politics is part of the work. i want to talk about those convicted in a trial. it would have been held outside of the district of columbia to richmond on baltimore if you would get he would get a different makeup of the jury. you are no place in the district where you can't walk 5 miles
1:06 am
across the state line but you cross into the circuit court of appeals so you would have gotten a fair judge in a fair shot at an appeal. now it comes down against these other guys i don't know whether they would have been convicted on all accounts but this is like a sports game where someone cheated. you throw it out because one's cheating is showing you don't inquire further. the only response is those that
1:07 am
have to be vacated. now the president nixon, i transcribed a lot of the tapes. they are ambiguous if you would forgive the analogy and i'm careful about using this you can take something out and prove whatever you want to prove. there are discussions on the tapes. at what point does fighting slop over into the collection of justice.
1:08 am
let's had it in mind to find guilt. it's almost impossible to defend yourself against those charges in an adverse jury group to take president nixon he doesn't control the house, they are about two thirds above two thirds democratic but lots of people in the house happened to be committee chairman so he's got a fair shot. sherry wrote one of the early books and they have still been the head of the judiciary this never would have gotten off the ground. he was new and didn't control
1:09 am
the committee. there was a close question on whether they were really going to recommend impeachment even under the circumstances. i maintain, and it's not the time to go into it but i maintain that there is nothing on the tapes that shows nixon knew. i don't like to cite the book but it came out this year and extended into understanding the problem until understand the problem until a wednesday march 21 and told him what was going on and when he first approached the prosecutors he comes in and says i tried to tell it on march 21 and he didn't get it so i think that he could make a strong case that he's trying to figure stuff out and other stuff i don't think
1:10 am
that he knew what was going on. but he says the way is for us to disclose this first. and he tells the staff that very evening that going in front of the urban committee i'm not going to claim executive privilege. if that had happened to come if he hadn't switched sides, watergate wouldn't have been an issue. beyond that, we don't know. we can't replay the sports. you talk about reasonable doubt which is the hallmark of the system there were acres of reasonable doubt. and impeachment is a political effort. would they have voted to impeach nixon, i don't think so. the two major problems under
1:11 am
they were down because the special prosecutor misrepresented to the grandeur and the staff recommended impeachment because the prosecutor misrepresented to the staff. let me finish with one thing. i find myself on my blog on this. they said nixon had personally approved the payment. if he had known i was the accusation he never would have quite. i'm going to have to stop and come over here. stick what does it take for the
1:12 am
court to unseal the documents referred to earlier? >> it's in the book there is an anglo-saxon and the descendents can come into the court where they were convicted in new evidence and we couldn't have this covered up as evidence by due diligence at the time but this new evidence changes everything. the heirs could come in and up to that. i deliberately did not discuss that with them. they are reading the book for the first time just like you are. i don't know what the reaction
1:13 am
is going to be. they've suffered a huge amount already to be expensive, time-consuming. but if i were to do it and i wanted the descendents to know what i know i would come into court and file the petition to say you investigate, this isn't my problem this is your problem you can get all this information i can't get and put people under oath. so they could file the root. it's the same thing on the investigation. you ask about the grand jury testimony where they sought to unseal i intervened and said
1:14 am
this is unfair you should never do this. this is after he left office they went in. the only thing that he knew under the questioning is this questioning is that it would stay sealed forever and you can't do that. they try to get you to commit a new offense they could prosecute and it's kind of that luscious concept. nixon had been pardoned. they could go ask him in the grand jury to testify about these events. and he could sell out his friends were he could commit perjury and that they would have him because president ford could pardon him for the future so i
1:15 am
filed petitions to no avail and the court ruled against me and released the testimony and we were here ready to read it and react it and there's nothing there. how they were named as a co-conspirator that is presently before the court. so we will see. [applause] you go in and the vote will be a huge help and we will see what the court does.
1:16 am
>> john responded to your book and did the judges or admonish her discipline to conduct on the bench following watergate? >> we are not close. [laughter] i would be happy to meet with john anywhere but he hasn't read the book i can promise you. he's written his best shot caught the nixon defense. i wrote a critique about it on the website.
1:17 am
i am eager to hear what people write. i want to get off in the weeds and talk about this stuff. he was given honorary degrees. they are heroes of watergate. there is a very liberal great writer and she wrote a book about the last days of the new yorker and put a sentence in about the justice that wasn't pleasing. there was a reaction from the
1:18 am
other side and she got bombed by "the new york times" for saying this. it just takes her apart and goes through all this stuff up with a terrible judge she was and all this terrible record. this would confirm her worst thoughts about this. i don't think that a reputation can survive this book. this is a direct frontal attack on a judge who is a disgrace to the federal judiciary, and i think that is where the battles are going to be fought.
1:19 am
thank you again for coming. [applause] thank you again. please check back at the nixon foundation. [applause] we are at the multicenter withen the most recent book calledt
1:20 am
being nixon admin divided. mr. thomas.chardn al was richard nixon alwaysing to n fascinated to theew news media. he liked it. it was an extremely shy, awkward lonely figure who likes being at the center of events.wkward, i don't know how crazy he was,. i'm not a shrink, that he needed something, he wanted something in the public escape him what he wanted.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on