Judge Orders Nixon Watergate Testimony Unsealed
Richard Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony Ordered Unsealed
Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered the transcripts of President Richard Nixon's Watergate testimony to be unsealed.
Nixon testified in 1975, a year after resigning in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It was the first time a former President had given Grand Jury testimony, and the first time that jurors traveled outside their jurisdiction to hear that testimony; Nixon testified in California.
Historian Stanly Kutler, as well as several historical research groups, had petitioned to get the Nixon testimony unsealed.
The US Department of Justice opposed the petition, arguing that the privacy of those involved in the testimony would be compromised, but Judge Lamberth ruled that those concerns were not as important as the larger historical record.
“The special circumstances presented here – namely, undisputed historical interest in the requested records – far outweigh the need to maintain the secrecy of the records,” Lamberth wrote. “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.”
The DoJ can appeal if it is so inclined.