Unsealed Materials from U.S. v. Liddy
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 therefore released the previously sealed records from U.S. v. Liddy, with the three categories of contested materials removed and marked "Court Sealed." The release included 36 folders of documents totaling approximately 950 pages.
Under the subsequent court order and accompanying memorandum opinion of May 13, 2013, (which was unsealed on June 11, 2013), additional materials were unsealed. Changes were made and additional information was released in the following folders:
- Folder 1/6: On pages 22, 23, & 44 of the transcript, the names of those overheard are now released.
- Folder 1/8: On pages 972, 975, 977, 982, 994 of the transcript, the names of those overheard are now released; pages 973, 974, 976, 981, 983, 995, & 995A remain the same.
- Folder 1/9: On the portion of Alfred Baldwin’s FBI 302, the names of those overheard are now released.
- Folder 1/13: the court ordered that specific redactions be made to pages 48, 49, 59, 61, and 62. These redactions were applied and these five pages are now released.
- Folder 3/29: In addition to the Bureau of Prisons reports, 46 pages of pre-sentence reports are now released with redactions applied to protect the privacy of living individuals.
- Folder 3/36: 24 pages of G. Gordon Liddy's insurance papers are now released with one redaction to protect his privacy.
The Court's May 13, 2013, Ex Parte Order and Memorandum Opinion are online at