Richard M. Nixon Grand Jury Testimony Transcript from July 1975 - Read It Here

Public domain discoveries on the Internet never fail to amaze me - there's so much out there!  Project Gutenberg alone could keep you staring at a screen for days, but I digress.  Today, as I was surfing around for a public domain image, I stumbled upon something fascinating.

Well, I find it fascinating, at least.

It's the complete transcription of the Grand Jury testimony given by President Richard M. Nixon back in the summer of 1975 -- along with notes from those questioning him and other amazing stuff.  Okay, geeky-amazing.  Granted.

I remember my mother being very (VERY) involved in all the Watergate stuff back as it was happening, she would watch the televised proceedings for hours at a time -- and I vaguely remember bits and pieces of things.  Leon Jaworski was from Houston; John Dean testifying with his young, blond wife at his side.  The Nixon wave as he got on the helicopter.  And, of course, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men. (Sigh.  I think I saw that movie five times during the first two months it was in the theatre.)

Richard Nixon Testified?  I Did Not Know That.

However, I don't remember Nixon ever giving testimony - so finding this deposition transcript was a real find for me.  I did not know this existed -- wow.

The testimony was taken in San Clemente, California, almost a year after Nixon had resigned.  (Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974; the deposition began on June 23, 1975 as part of District of Columbia grand jury proceedings which began in January 1974 (see page 4 of the transcript).)

Richard Nixon's 1975 Deposition Transcript Can Be Read Online 

Consider the "areas of inquiry" delineated for that first day of testimony (pp. 5-6):
1. The circumstances surrounding the 18 and a half minute gap in the tape of the meeting between you and Haldeman on June 20, 1972. 
2. Aspects of alleged receipt of large amounts of cash by Charles Rebozo or Rose Mary Woods on your behalf, and financial transactions or aspects thereof between Hr. Rebozo and you. 
3. Attempts to prevent the disclosure of the existence of the National Security Council wire tap program through removal of the records from the FBI, matters dealing with threats to reveal the existence of such records, and the testimony of L. Patrick Gray at his confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate upon his nomination to be permanent Director of the FBI. 
4. Any relationship between campaign contributions and the consideration of ambassadorships for five persons: Ruth Farkas, J. Fife Symington, Jr., Vincent deRoulet, Cornelius V. Whitney and Kingdon Gould, Jr., and 
5. The obtaining and release of information by the White House concerning Lawrence O'Brien through use of the Internal Revenue Service.
Why Read Nixon's Testimony Now?

For one thing, it's very entertaining from a lawyer point of view - or maybe that subset of lawyers that have taken and defended many, many depositions.  For example, I chuckled at the top of page 26 when Nixon has just testified about one memo and how maybe it came across his desk and next, there's the introduction of another exhibit with the question, do you see this notation "... the president has seen your memo ...."  It's that "are you lying then or are you lying now" sort of exchange that gets the questioning lawyer all pumped up and the defending lawyer ready to strangle his client.

For another, it's history.  Plus, it's a great example of our political system in action -- this is the former President, of all people, who is being grilled here.  Maybe you'll find your own reasons....

Click on the image to go to read the first file containing his testimony.  There are several others, as well as other files with other stuff, i the complete Nixon Grand Jury Records stored online by the GPO.