Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A series of secret tapes released today, August 28, shed new light on Richard Nixon's efforts to cover up the Watergate scandal. Just hours after he forced chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and chief domestic policy aide John D. Ehrlichman to resign, fired counsel John Dean, and gave his first speech on the episode, Nixon stayed up late making and taking a series of phone calls that planted the seeds for further cover-up. The tapes show Nixon urging Acting Attorney General Elliot Richardson not to appoint a special prosecutor and suggesting to Charles Colson that he avoid questions by falsely asserting national security. (Attorney General Richard Kleindienst voluntarily stepped down that same day.)
The tapes also show Rev. Billy Graham praising Nixon and calling the scandal a "Communist plot" to destroy him, future president George H.W. Bush castigating the press who revealed the scandal to undermine American democracy as "arrogant bastards".
These tapes are the final ones from the Nixon administration to be made public.