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July 25, 1974 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-25

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Page Ten

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, July 25, 1974

Nixon will give up tapes

(COntinue d fom Page i
are necessary to comply with
that decision in all respects."
In one of the most important
decisions of its two-century his-
tory, the court declared firmly
that it is its duty to decide the
law and disagreed with Nixon's
claim of absolute control over
administration papers and com-
munications.
"Neither the doctrine of sep-
aration of powers nor the need
for confidentiality of high-level
communications . . . can sus-
tain an absolute, unqualified
presidential privilege of im-
munity from judicial process
under all circumstances," the
court said.
IN HIS statement, Nixon
maintained that the court's rul-
ing supported the principle of
executive privilege, often cited
by the White Itouse as grounds
for not releasing the tapes.
The decision, written by Chief
Justice Warren Burger, noted
that privacy of presidential
communications was "funda-
mental to the operation of gov-
ernment" but said the principle
was outweighed by the needs of
criminal justice.
Nixon said: "For the future,
it will be essential that the spe-
cial circumstances of this case
not be permitted to cloud the

rights of presidents to maintain
the basic confidentiality without
which this office cannot func-
tion. I was gratified, therefore,
to note that the court reaffirm-
ed both the validity and the
importance of the principle of
executive privilege - the prin-
ciple I had sought to maintain.
"By complying fully with the
court's ruling in this case, I
hope and trust that I will contri-
bute to strengthening rather
thantweakening this principle
for the future - so that this
will prove to be not the prece-
dent that destroyed the prin-
ciple, but thesaction that pre-
served it."
SIRICA NOW m u s t review
each of the tapes for relevance
to the cover-up trial, which is
scheduled to begin Sept. 9 for
six former administration and
Nixon campaign aides, includ-
ing H. R. "Bob" Haldeman,
John Ehrlichman and John Mit-
chell.
Previous tapes given to Sirica
have eventually gone to the
Judiciary panel.
The possibility remained that
Nixon's attorneys could chal-
lenge Sirica's rulings of rele-
vance on various of -the tapes,
which cover a time span from
June 20, 1972-three days after
the Watergate break-in-to June

4. 1973.
NEVER BEFORE had the
court taken such a direct action
in stating the limits of a presi-
dent's powers. St. Clair had told
the court the ruling against
Nixon would strip him of essen-
tial powers and make him "an
85 per cent President."
The closest precedent to yes-
terday's ruling was the 1952 de-
cision denying President Harry
Truman the right to take over
the nation's steel mills, but the
legal action in that case was
technically directed at Secre-
tary of Commerce Charles
Sawyer.
The court brushed by argu-
ments that a decision in the
tapes case would unbalance the
separation of powers and in-
trude the court into a "politi-
cal" area-arguments which ef-
fectively kept it from ever rul-
ing definitively on the legal
challenges to the Vietnam War.
Burger recalled that in ear-
lier decisions the court had
confirmed executive privilege
but only in cases where diplo-
matic or military secrets were
involved.
THIS CASE, Burger said, was
different from all those in that
it involved a criminal trial.
Nixon was in the position of a
third party holding essential

evidence and there were no mil-
itary or diplomatic implications.
Any claim of privilege, Bur-
ger said, "must be considered
in light of our historic commit-
meat to the rule of law."
"This is nowhere more pro-
foundly manifest that, in our
view that the twofold aim of
criminal justice is that guilt
shall not escape or innocence
suffer," Burger said.
"We have elected to employ
an adversary system of criminal
justice in which the parties con-
test all issues before a court of
law," he said. "The need to
develop all relevant facts in the
adversary system is both funda-
mental and comprehensive."
This was the argument made
by Jaworski when he asked the
court to order Nixon to honor a
subpoena issued from material
to be used as evidence in the
trial of six former Nixon admin-
istration and campaign aides on
charges of trying to cover up
the Watergate case. Most of the

defendants had joined Jaworski
in the original subpoena request
saying they needed the mate-
rials for their defense.
The case tracked the ronte
taken a year ago where original
s p e c i a l prosecutor Archibald
Cox had subpoenaed nine White
House tapes. U.S. District Judge
John Sirica, who issued Jawor-
ski's subpoena, also backed Cox
and was surprised by the U.S.
Court of Appeals here.
Nixon-fired Cox but ultimately
turned over seven tapes rather
than appeal to the Supreme
Court. The White House said
two subpoenaed tapes did not
exist and an 181-minute gap
was found in one of those sur-
rendered.
Twenty of the tapes sought
by Jaworski were issued in
edited transcript form by the
White House earlier this year,
but Jaworski said he still want-
ed the tapes to verify the ac-
curacy and completeness of the
transcripts.

Be carefulwith fire.
Remember: there are babes
inthe woods.
And those baby fawns, rabbits, Follow all the rules of safety and
squirrels and trees need a safe, happy caution-just like any other place where
home. They need a place where they can there are children at play.
grow up strong and healthy.
Like babes everywhere.
So, please, be careful with fire when
you're in the forest.

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