President Nixon has given support to Vice-President Agnew's determination not to resign if indicated on corruption charges, but has also given strong backing to Assistant Attorney-General Henry Peterson.
GV White House
MV and CU Nixon speaking:
Mr. Nixon: "As far as the charges are concerned, they are serious, but not frivolous."
A reporter: "Do you then still support Mr. Peterson's handling of the investigation?"
Mr. Nixon: "If I would not support Mr. Peterson's handling of the investigation he would have been removed at the time. But it would be a disservice to an individual who has served both Administrations with distinction, for many, many years to remove him from handling the investigation, unless there was clear evidence that he had been guilty of an indiscretion. And I have taken up this matter quite directly with the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General assures me that his investigation, his, the Attorney-General's investigation, indicates that Mr. Peterson has handled this investigation without prejudice in advance, and without, of course, engaging in what is, in my view, inexcusable and inappropriate conduct of leaking information of a Grand Jury investigation."
Initials APSM/1531 APSM/1537
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Background: President Nixon has given support to Vice-President Agnew's determination not to resign if indicated on corruption charges, but has also given strong backing to Assistant Attorney-General Henry Peterson. Mr. Peterson, who is handling the investigation involving Mr. Agnew, has been accused by the Vice-President of leaking information on the alleged corruption charges to the press.
Mr. Nixon, speaking at an impromptu White House news conference on Wednesday (3 October), Urged every American to give Mr. Agnew the right to did not involve his activities as Vice-President.
The President made it clear that he had made no contingency plane to appoint another Vice-President, should Mr. Agnew resign.