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Judge orders Nixon testimony unsealed

July 29, 2011 at 4:11 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- The transcript of grand jury testimony former U.S. President Richard Nixon gave shortly after his resignation should be unsealed, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered the release of the transcript at the request of a historian and academic groups, The Washington Post reported. They filed a lawsuit arguing public interest in the history of the Watergate scandal outweighs interest in preserving the secrecy of grand jury proceedings almost 40 years old.

"The special circumstances presented here -- namely, undisputed historical interest in the requested records -- far outweigh the need to maintain the secrecy of the records," Lamberth said. "The court is confident that disclosure will greatly benefit the public and its understanding of Watergate without compromising the tradition and objectives of grand jury secrecy."

Nixon gave his testimony in 1975 in California. He resigned in 1974 under threat of impeachment, two years after burglars working for his 1972 re-election campaign were arrested in a break-in at the Democratic National Committee office in the Watergate.

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