Richard Nixon suggested that federal prosecutors investigating his actions surrounding Watergate should look “into the activities of some of the Democratic Senators and others, including some Republicans who are taking this sanctimonious attitude about the cleanliness of their campaigns.” If they did that — and “put them to the same test you have put us” — they’d “find that we have come out rather well.”
The new quotes come from grand jury testimony that was unsealed on Thursday thanks to a lawsuit from Public Citizen.
“I don’t say this, as I say finally, in justification of any wrongdoing where it occurred. I deplore it. I regret it. And I am paying a price for it,” Nixon said. “And as far as you gentleman are concerned, you have your job to do, and I respect you for doing it. For two years you have been on this job… and you have been working very, very hard to expose anything that we did that was wrong.”
He then went on to bash the press and the “Georgetown social set,” asking prosecutors to think about how their children would judge them in the pages of history. Take it away, Dick:
I do not, in what I am writing at the present time, my memoirs, which I hope will come out before you die — or before I die, I am not going to be critical of the fact that you are doing the job you are hired to do.
But I am going to come down hard, and you, I would urge, thinking not of yourselves because at the present time, if I could give you one last bit of advice, taking the double standard is going to make you much more popular with the Washington press corps, with the Georgetown social set, if you ever go to Georgetown, with the powerful elite in this country, but on the other hand, think of your children they are going to judge you in the pages of history and as they look at you, they are going to say, well, now, you did a pretty good job one way, but did they overlook other things because they believed things.
I man I am not unaware of the fact that the great majority of the people working in the Special Prosecutor’s Office did not support me for President. After all, there are many millions of people who didn’t — about thirty-eight percent of the people in the country. I respect those who didn’t, just as I am thankful for those who did support me.
I am not unaware of the fact, too, that therefore you would have a motive to go after me and my associates and to ignore others, but I also say I just trust in the future, as you go on, after you leave these positions, have a single standard. That is what the country needs.
A prosecutor jumped in to ask for a recess “because the prosecutors are not allowed to respond to the charge of being partisan; we are not going to respond.”