Nixon accused of smear ploy
Wednesday 09 December 1992
The charges, which have stirred a new flurry of controversy over the depth of political malice in the Nixon administration, appear in a report by the journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine. He writes that White House tapes held in the national archives carry recordings of Mr Nixon musing with his special counsel, Charles Colson, on how they might capitalise from the attempted assassination of Mr Wallace.
A spokesman for Mr Wallace, the former Alabama governor who was left paralysed in the legs after the attack and now is in poor health, yesterday demanded the release from the archives of all the Nixon tapes with any bearing on the shooting. Mr Wallace has long voiced suspicions that 'higher-up officials' plotted the attack on him, the spokesman said.
According to Mr Hersh, the tapes reveal that Mr Nixon and Mr Colson agreed shortly after Mr Wallace was hit to dispatch a former CIA agent, Howard Hunt, to the Milwaukee flat of the man who fired the gun to place in it political literature of the McGovern campaign. The apparent intention was to link Mr McGovern with the assassination attempt. The plan was abandoned, however, when the FBI sealed the apartment before Mr Hunt could get there.
Though Mr Hersh has not said whether he has listened to the relevant tapes, the report includes an interview with Mr Colson in which he confirms that the recordings capture 'the black side to our natures. It was both of us. We were spontaneous combustion'.
Mr Nixon has fought successive appeals for the release of the tapes. So far he has been successful, and access to them is theoretically limited to staff of the national archive.
'Nixon is winning one of the most significant battles of his life after Watergate: keeping the full story of what happened in his White House from the public,' Mr Hersh concludes. So far, lawyers for Mr Nixon have not commented on the New Yorker story.
The hidden tapes are also said to carry recordings of Mr Nixon talking about selling ambassadorships in return for political contributions, with a specific price for each post, and improperly discussing upcoming Supreme Court decisions with the then chief justice, Warren Burger.
The CIA agent, Mr Hunt, was among the group that broke into the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate complex two months after the attempt on Mr Wallace's life. It was Mr Nixon's involvement in trying to cover up the bungled break-in that eventually led to his flight from office two years later, just in time to avoid impeachment by Congress.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...