WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 1974 (UPI) -- Two White House officials say more information damaging to President Nixon is contained on at least one more of the tapes the Supreme Court ordered him to give federal Judge John J. Sirica, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
On Monday, Nixon made available transcripts of one of those tapes, which showed he tried to limit FBI Watergate investigation just six days after the break-in and nine months before the time he previously insisted he first knew of the Watergate cover-up.
In a lengthy story based on interviews with White House aides who say they are dismayed at Nixon's refusal to resign, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein said two "high-level" officials spoke of "astonishing" things happening in the White House recently.
In addition to revealing the existence of damaging material yet to be released publicly, one of the officials was quoted as saying: "This last phase of the coverup will be an amazing story."
The Post said: "The two officials indicated that the so-called 'last phase' began on July 24, the date of the unanimous Supreme Court decision ordering that the 64 tapes be surrendered. The President, they said, argued with his senior aides that he should not comply with the court's order. 'He was the only one who considered defying the order,' a presidential lawyer said, '...and that shows how far things had gone.'"
The officials, the Post reported, said Nixon agreed to obey the order only after his chief lawyer, James D. St. Clair, threatened to resign.
Another source quoted by the Post said one of Nixon's lawyers has recommended that the President try a plea bargain with the special prosecutor's office for immunity form prosecution in exchange for resignation.
The Post article said:
"Expressing what appeared to be a consensus of the White House staff, one middle-level White House aide said yesterday: "We're ready for an orderly transition of power-whenever that comes.'"
The Post quoted still another source "with firsthand knowledge" as saying, "...the President will not listen to anyone, not really listen...He's serene, I'd say serene, but not in touch with reality."