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Writing about the Watergate scandal in the 1980s, political scientist John Marini said “The passage of time has not resulted in greater clarity concerning what it is we should have learned from the event, perhaps because we still lack an authoritative account of it.”
Having reached the 50th anniversary of the most famous “burglary” in history, we may be coming closer to have a complete understanding of Watergate through the original work of Geoff Shepard. Shepard was a young lawyer on the White House staff through the entire Watergate agony, and is one of the last insiders from that saga still living.
As an assistant to Nixon’s in-house lawyer Fred Buzhardt, Shepard transcribed many of the crucial Nixon tapes that were central to his downfall. But in the years since, Shepard has diligently reviewed the entire case with a fine-toothed comb, noting anomalies and errors in what might be called the “Standard Account” of Watergate. Above all, Shepard has pried loose numerous internal Department of Justice and National Archive files that have been closed ever since Watergate—the key document being released through a FOIA proceeding just in 2018. His work ought to revise everyone’s understanding of Watergate, but as we know the liberal narrative is dug in deep.
In a series of books, most recently The Nixon Conspiracy: Watergate and the Plot to Remove the President, Shepard makes a powerful case that just about every part of the received wisdom about Nixon and Watergate is wrong, and that Nixon should never have been chased from office. Every suspicion you may have had about the partisan motivations of the “special prosecutors” who “investigated” Watergate are more than confirmed by Shepard’s work. Moreover those tactics live on as a primary tool of the Deep State, as we can see with a certain House committee currently operating.
This is the first of two parts. Part 2 will be out early next week. Curious listeners can access the original documents and much else at Shepard’s website.
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