President Nixon's personal secretary, Miss Rosemary Woods, told the Special Watergate Prosecutor on Monday (26 November), that she might have accidentally erased 18 minutes of subpoenaed tape.
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SV PAN Nixon aides carry tapes into court
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Background: President Nixon's personal secretary, Miss Rosemary Woods, told the Special Watergate Prosecutor on Monday (26 November), that she might have accidentally erased 18 minutes of subpoenaed tape. Miss Woods said she thought it might have occurred when she was transcribing it for the President.
The tape recorded a conversation between Mr. Nixon and his then Chief of Staff, Mr. H.R. Haldeman, three days after the Watergate burglary in June last year. Miss Woods said in sworn testimony before Judge John Sirica that she had reported the matter immediately to the President on the 1st of October, when she discovered what she had done. Miss Woods said the President had told her not to worry about the mistake, because the tape was not among those subpoenaed by Judge Sirica.
Miss Woods' disclosure name as Mr. Nixon gave up for court inspection a batch of original recordings of discussions with his aides dealing with the Watergate break-in. Judge Sirica wants the tapes for the use of a Grand Jury investigating criminal actions involved in the Watergate affair. The tapes could exonerate President Nixon and his aides from any law-breaking in the scandal, or its cover-up.
The White House also delivered a 22-page document to the Court, claiming that large portions should be kept secret because hey dealt with matters other than Watergate. The document analysed the tapes one by one. It said that to make available most of the material to a Grand Jury investigating Watergate would be a violation of the doctrine of Executive Privilege.