U.S. Vice-President Gerald Ford on Tuesday (30 April) praised President Nixon's delivery of edited White?
GV & CU White House officials carrying transcripts (4 shots)
FORD: 'I would hope that now that the President has made some one thousand or more pages of transcript available and that he has agreed to permit the Chairman and the ranking Republican of that Committee to listen to the tapes and to compare the tapes with the transcripts and to further permit himself to answer interrogatories and to answer questions from the Chairman and the ranking Republican, I think that's a full disclosure.
QUESTION: "Don't you think though the President my be defining the limitations himself of the Judiciary Committee's investigation, because it was the White House that edited those transcripts?"
FORD: "Well, as I said a moment ago, the President has made the tapes available to Chairman Rodino and to Congressman Hutchinson. They can sit and listen to the tapes with a copy of the transcript right before them. They can read the transcript as they listen to the tapes. I can't imagine a more accurate way of verifying the validity of the tapes. And I come to the conclusion after reading a number of summaries and after talking to people who have had the full opportunity to listen to the tapes and read the transcripts that the President is, in my opinion, completely innocent, and any fair appraisal of the documentation will show that he should be exhonerated."
Initials AE/18.42 AE/18.50
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Background: U.S. Vice-President Gerald Ford on Tuesday (30 April) praised President Nixon's delivery of edited White House tape transcriptions to the House Judiciary Committee.
White House officials delivered nearly 1,300 pages of edited conversations an hour before the deadline of a subpoena for the tapes issued by the Judiciary Committee.
The transcripts -- expunged of Presidential curses, matters of national security and what the White House called "irrelevant matter" -- showed that efforts to keep the Watergate investigation from spreading into the White House were discussed as far back as September 15, 1972. This is the date when, according to former White House lawyer John Dean, Mr. Nixon first showed awareness of attempts to cover up the Watergate burglary.
In a television broadcast the previous evening (29 April), President Nixon also offered to allow the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Democrat Peter Rodino and Senior Republican, Edward Hutchinson, to verify the authenticity of the transcripts by listening to the tapes at the White House.
Some committee members retorted that the transcripts were no substitute for the actual 42 tape recordings they wanted, and that the President's refusal to supply the tapes under subpoena could be possible grounds for impeachment.
But Vice-President Ford said the President's response to the subpoena amounted to a full disclosure, and proved the President's innocence. He was interviewed in Washington D.C.