Former United States Vice-President Spiro Agnew on Monday (15 October 1973) again denied that he was guilty of corruption.
Former United States Vice-President Spiro Agnew on Monday (15 October 1973) again denied that he was guilty of corruption. In a nationally-televised speech five days after his resignation, he repeated his courtroom explanation that he had stepped down to protect the public interest and the interest of his family. He said he was fully aware that his plea of no contest to a single charge of tax evasion was the equivalent of a guilty plea. But, he added, it did not represent a confession of guilt. it was the only way quickly to resolve the situation.
To have stayed on as Vice President, Mr. Agnew said, would have been a selfish and unpatriotic action, because appearance of wrong-doing could not be tolerated in a man who must be ready at any moment to assume the Presidency.
He strongly attacked news leaks out of the Justice Department and Grand Jury investigations, and daily publication of what he called "wildest rumours". He also criticised the system under which investigators can promise immunity from prosecution to potential defendants, in return for their co-operation. Mr. Agnew of the unreliability of such witnesses.
The former Vice-President was sentenced last week (10 October 1973) at the Baltimore Federal Court to a $ 10,000 (GBP4,000 sterling) fine and three years unsupervised probation.