The National Archives and the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum have unsealed long-secret transcripts and other materials from President Nixon’s grand jury testimony.
The Archives on Thursday released 26 files from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force’s collection of documents, including transcripts and “associated materials” from the June 1975 grand jury testimony.
Earlier this year, a U.S. district judge ordered the unusual release of the grand jury testimony over the objection of the Obama administration, which argued against the release to protect people’s privacy.
The grand jury testimony was the one time that Nixon was required by law to speak honestly about the Watergate scandal.
In granting the request for release of the documents, which was submitted by historian Stanley Kutler, Judge Royce Lamberth said it, “would likely enhance the existing historical record, foster scholarly discussion and improve the public’s understanding of a significant historical event.”
Some redactions were made to the documents to protect the privacy of people who are still alive.
Nixon gave his testimony to the grand jury over a period of two days, June 23 and 24, 1975, in connection with a number of investigations that were being conducted by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
Among the topics that were discussed was the 18.5-minute gap on the Watergate tapes and Nixon’s ordering of an IRS audit on then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Larry O’Brien.
The Los Angeles Times is reviewing and annotating the documents, which can be accessed here.
The Nixon library also released texts and sound recordings, including five transcripts of White House taped conversations from 1971 and 1973. It also opened about 3,000 pages of previously classified national security materials, including Henry Kissinger’s telephone conversation transcripts.
Tim Phelps in the Washington Bureau contributed to this report.