The national archives of the United States declassified the secret testimony of U.S. President Richard Nixon in front of the Grand Jury after he resigned as President because of the Watergate scandal.
A testimony made by former U.S. President Richard Nixon in front of the Grand Jury, in 1975, 10 months after his resignation because of the Watergate scandal, was declassified by the National Archives of the United States because of a court order.
Many were disappointed by the fact that they still haven’t found the long awaited answer: how and why was a 8 minutes portion of the testimony deleted from the recording that contained the conversations that took place at the White House between Richard Nixon and his adviser, H.R. Haldeman.
The recording was analyzed by the prosecutors that were investigating the Democratic Party burglary inside the Watergate complex. The deletion of a 8 minutes recording made many critics to suspect that it contained conversations about the Watergate scandal and the attempt of the Nixon administration to cover-up the entire case.
What the testimony contains ?
According to the declassified testimony, Richard Nixton said in front of the Grand Jury that he doesn’t know how and why that portion of the recording was deleted. Richard Nixon said that he went crazy after hearing this and asked his people to find out what happened.
The declassification of Nixon’s testimony was requested by a historian, Stanley Kutler, who wrote many books about the former president. He underlined that, more important than the contents of the testimony is the fact that it was declassified – which is a major precedent for those who want transparency.
Kutler admits that Nixon handled himself very good during the testimony, noticing that Nixon used the words ” i don’ remember” many times.
The testimony shows a defying and sarcastic Richard Nixon, who doesn’t take blame for the Watergate scandal. The former president accuses the prosecutors of adopting a double standard regarding his administration and says that the democrats always behaved the same.
Nixon says that his opponents listed to his phone calls in 1962 when he was running for Governor of California and that the FBI was told to plant bugs during his presidential campaign in 1968.
He also tells the prosecutors that because of their actions they will surely win the admiration of the Washington press core but, in the future, they will be judged by their children.
The Watergate Scandal
The Watergate scandal started in June 1972 with the arrest of five people who broke in the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.
The story involved the White House the moment it was revealed that the burglars were paid from the fund especially created for Nixon’s presidential campaign.
In 1973, many high ranking White House officials lost their jobs and one of them said that the administration had a secret system to record the conversations that took place in the Oval Office.
Nixon refused to hand over the recordings but he was eventually obligated. One of the recordings showed that President Nixon played a key role in covering up the Watergate scandal. Nixon resigned as President in August 1974 and he was later pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.