Press/Journalists

Press Release
November 30, 2012

National Archives to Release Nixon Watergate-related Records Online Today (11/30/12) at Noon

Release of records sealed in Watergate criminal trial U.S. v. Liddy

Washington, DC…On Friday, November 30, at noon (EST), the National Archives and Records Administration will release records that have been sealed under court order since the 1970s Watergate criminal trial of seven men involved in the Watergate burglary, U.S. v. Liddy, et al. The release includes 36 folders of documents totaling approximately 950 pages (in whole or in part), and is in accordance with the order from Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the District Court for the District of Columbia.

These records will be available online [www.archives.gov/research/investigations/watergate/us-v-liddy.html] on Friday, November 30, 2012, at noon EST.

Background

On May 1, 2009, Professor Luke Nichter of Texas A&M University-Central Texas petitioned Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the District Court for the District of Columbia to release records sealed in the case of U.S. v. Liddy, the Watergate break-in case. The sealed proceedings include evidentiary discussions held outside the jury's hearing, pretrial discussions between defendants' lawyers and the Court, and post-trial sentencing information.

On November 2, 2012, the District Court for the District of Columbia ordered most of these records to be unsealed, given the passage of time, completion of the criminal proceedings, and non-invasive nature of the content. Consistent with the recommendation of the Department of Justice, the court ordered that the following categories of records remain sealed, pending further review by the court:

  • Personal documents regarding living individuals;
  • Documents regarding the content of illegally obtained wiretaps; and
  • Grand Jury information.

Accordingly, the court directed the National Archives to release the uncontested records within 30 days from the date of the Order. The National Archives is therefore releasing the previously sealed records from U.S. v. Liddy, with the three categories of contested materials removed and marked "Court Sealed." If/when the Court later unseals additional materials, the National Archives will make them available.

Materials to be released in whole or in part include:

Box 1

  1. Kevan Hunt affidavit; 8 pages, partially sealed.
  2. Grand Jury transcript; 15 pages, partially sealed.
  3. Letters from doctors re E.H. Hunt’s health; 8 pages, partially sealed.
  4. Proceedings 12/15/1972 re Times Mirror subpoena; 12 pages, open in full.
  5. #241 Proceedings 1/2/1973 discussion of how Judge Sirica would listen to the Baldwin interview tapes; 9 pages, open in full.
  6. Proceedings 1/5/1973 discussion of Baldwin testimony; 49 pages, partially sealed.
  7. #190 Proceedings 1/5/1973 discussion of serving of Exhibit A on counsel (exhibits A-C are referred to in Item #6); 9 pages, open in full.
  8. #205A Proceedings 1/17/1973 discussion of Baldwin testimony; 53 pages, partially sealed.
  9. Exhibits B & C (exhibits A-C are referred to in Item #6); 12 pages, partially sealed.
  10. Exhibit A (exhibits A-C are referred to in Item #6); 6 pages, open in full.
  11. #207 Judge Sirica opinion filed 1/18/1973 on admissibility of overhears; 8 pages, open in full.
  12. Six cassette tapes of interview of Alfred Baldwin (will be released at a later date).
  13. #159 Transcript of interview of Alfred Baldwin; 181 pages, partially sealed.
  14.  Proceedings 12/4/1972 (2 copies) re concerns by burglar’s counsel about possible new indictment; 5 pages, open in full.
  15.  #135 Proceedings 12/4/1972 re various pre-trial tasks; 122 pages, open in full.
  16.  Proceedings 12/15/1972 (2 copies) re E.H. Hunt physical and mental health after his wife’s death (bench conference portion of Item #4); 4 pages, partially sealed.
  17.  #189 Proceedings 1/8/1973, pp. 71-75 re E.H. Hunt physical and mental health after his wife’s death; 7 pages, partially sealed.

Box 2

  1.  #191 Proceedings 1/9/1973 re possible Hunt guilty plea; 12 pages, partially sealed.
  2.  #197 Proceedings 1/12/1973 folder contains only the steno tape, the transcript was unsealed in 1981; 3 pages, open in full.
  3.  #287 Proceedings 1/24/1973, pp. 1490-1500G Judge Sirica’s suggestions as to further investigation; 21 pages, partially sealed.
  4.  #288 Proceedings 1/26/1973 re electronic surveillance; 16 pages, open in full.
  5.  #289 Proceedings 1/27/1973 re telephone message from Gary Sellers re evidence; 5 pages, open in full.
  6.  #339 Proceedings 7/17/1973 new evidence re E.H. Hunt; 26 pages, open in full.
  7.  #342 Proceedings 7/24/1973 re burglars and their representation; 24 pages, partially sealed.
  8.  #344 Proceedings 8/7/1973 (3 copies) re sentencing of the burglars; 23 pages, open in full.
  9.  #362 Proceedings 9/17/1973 (3 copies) re meeting with Bernard Barker; 16 pages, open in full.
  10.  #361 Proceedings 9/17/1973 re sentencing; 14 pages, partially sealed.
  11.  #385 Proceedings 10/16/1973 (2 copies) re sentencing issues; 9 pages, open in full.

Box 3

  1.  Presentence reports and Bureau of Prisons evaluations on Barker, Sturgis, Martinez, and Gonzalez; 104 pages, partially sealed.
  2.  #360 sealed addendum to Government’s motion re McCord’s writ of error coram nobis; 4 pages, open in full.
  3.  #176 Letters and filings re McCord’s writ of error coram nobis; 5 pages, open in full.
  4.  #363 Proceedings 1/3/1973 re McCord’s writ of error coram nobis; 9 pages, open in full.
  5.  #380 Proceedings 10/11/1973 McCord’s writ of error coram nobis; 7 pages, open in full.
  6.  Court of Appeals receipts; 6 pages, open in full.
  7.  Hunt passport, Jenkins statement, Martinez diary; 22 pages, open in full.
  8.  Liddy insurance papers; 24 pages, partially sealed.

Watergate-related records at the National Archives

The National Archives preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. The National Archives continues to make Watergate records publicly available – to the extent legally allowable. These materials include 1,362 feet of records from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, 1971 to 1977. Many of these records are open for research [www.archives.gov/research/investigations/watergate/index.html].

Others can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act. For details, see www.archives.gov/research/investigations/watergate and www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/460.html. To download hi-res images from the Security Officer's Log of the Watergate Office Building showing entry for the June 17, 1972 break-in, see [http://research.archives.gov/description/304970].

Watergate Trial Conversations are excerpted Nixon White House tape conversations that were played in open court in U.S. v. Mitchell, et al. and U.S. v. Connally. The segments are a portion of the approximately 60 hours of tape subpoenaed by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF). These conversations include the segments referred to as the "Smoking Gun" and "Cancer on the Presidency." See information on other Nixon White House tapes [www.nixonlibrary.gov/forresearchers/find/tapes/watergate/trial/transcripts.php].

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For press information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

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