Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Watergate Tapes and Conspiracies

Arnold Rochvarg, University of Baltimore School of Law, has published Watergate, Multiple Conspiracies, and the White House Tapes at 16 Chapman Law Review 47 (2012). Here is the abstract.

On January 1, 1975, John Mitchell, former United States Attorney General, John Ehrlichman, former Chief White House Assistant for Domestic Affairs, H.R. Haldeman, former White House Chief of Staff, and Robert Mardian, former Assistant Attorney General, were convicted of conspiracy for their involvement in what is generally known as "Watergate." The Watergate conspiracy trial, presided over by Judge John Sirica, had run from October 1, 1974 until December 27, 1974. The trial included the in-court testimony of most of the figures involved in the Watergate scandal, and the playing of thirty of the "White House tapes." The purpose of this Symposium article is to discuss whether the evidence presented at the Watergate trial is better understood as evidence of multiple conspiracies, as argued by two of the defendants, or as a single conspiracy as argued by the prosecution. The article first will set forth the law on multiple conspiracies and apply that law to the evidence presented at the Watergate conspiracy trial. The article will then discuss whether the admission into evidence of certain White House tapes premised on the single conspiracy view may have prejudiced any of the convicted defendants.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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