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New recordings and documents released by the Nixon Museum include conversations about Roe v. Wade, the Vietnam War and Watergate.
The latest release by the Nixon Museum offers more insight into the beleaguered former president's administration and specifically sheds new light on the Watergate scandal.
The museum has released 154 hours of taped recordings and 30,000 documents from Nixon's tenure in the White House from January and February 1973. The tapes and documents also include the administration's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, the negotiations to end the Vietnam War and the return of American PO W, among other topics.
Most notably in the new release, the Nixon administration outlined its plan to navigate through the Watergate scandal. Handwritten notes from Nixon's domestic policy adviser Kenneth Cole reveal reactions to the "Saturday Night Massacre," when Nixon fired the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, the Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William D. Ruckelshaus.
Cole had a document titled "Game plan," Nixon's strategy for staying in office. The president was to reach out to conservative Southern Democrats as well as supportive Republicans to try and stop the idea of impeachment from gaining momentum.
Nixon's aides wanted to convince other lawmakers that Cox was just a zealot, holding a "pistol to the head" of Nixon. It failed, as Nixon resigned in August 1974 under the threat of impeachment.
More than 2,200 hours of tape has been released by library since it first made audio recordings available in 1980. The Nixon Library has made the new tapes available on line on their website, where their previous releases can also be heard.