Saturday, November 10, 2012

Watergate's Next Watergate

A history professor hopes that a federal court's recent order to release long-sealed Watergate documents will shed light on the motivations behind the infamous 1972 scandal and help set an example for how to unseal court records.

Federal District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington, D.C., on Friday ordered the National Archives and Records Administration to review and release some of the documents within a month. The order came in response to Texas A&M history professor Luke Nichter's 2009 informal request to Lamberth to unseal a trove of documents relating to the 1973 trials of Watergate conspirators G. Gordon Liddy and James McCord.

Nichter's letter said that some of the sealed materials "purportedly will demonstrate that exposing a prostitution ring was the real motivation for the break-in." Liddy had alleged a similar theory in the mid-1990s, although he claimed that motive was unknown to him when he orchestrated the break-in. (more) (previous report)