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Judge Orders Nixon's 297-Page Watergate Testimony Unsealed
Ray Gustini 1:39 PM ET 45 Views Comment
Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered the U.S. government to unseal the 297-page transcript of former President Richard Nixon's secret grand jury testimony about Watergate, reports the Associated Press.
The testimony was "taken near Nixon’s California home in 1975" shortly after he left office, writes Washington Post federal courts reporter Del Quentin Wilber.
The government can still appeal the ruling, so we won't get to see the transcripts quite yet, but the grand jury testimony has long been one of the Holy Grails of amateur Watergate buffs, along with the 4,000 hours of Watergate-related recordings still sitting in the National Archives waiting to be released.
In his ruling, Dilberth sided with the scholars and historians who brought the suit. The key quote in the ruling, as highlighted by Wilber: “The special circumstances presented here--namely, undisputed historical interest in the requested records--far outweigh the need to maintain the secrecy of the records," writes Dilberth. "The Court is confident that disclosure will greatly benefit the public and its understanding of Watergate without compromising the tradition and objectives of grand jury secrecy.”
He was nominated to the federal bench on March 19, 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and confirmed by the United States Senate on November 13, 1987. He also served as Presiding Judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 1995 to 2002.