John W. Dean: Releasing Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony: It Could Change History





[John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to President Nixon.]

"A key piece of Watergate history that remains shrouded in secrecy -- former President Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony of 1975 -- should be made public, historical experts have told a court," the press release from Public Citizen stated earlier this week. Public Citizen's Litigation Group, representing a number of prominent American historians and archivists, is seeking this information under a developing body of law that has led to the release of historically-important information, freeing the material from the bonds of traditional grand-jury secrecy when its significance outweighs the reasons for secrecy.

Historian and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Stanley Kutler, the American Historical Association, the American Society for Legal History, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society of American Archivists together petitioned the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to request an order for the release of the transcript of former President Nixon's grand jury testimony of June 23 and 24, 1975, and associated materials of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. These papers are currently under seal at the National Archives and Records Administration, pursuant to Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure....

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