Archibald Cox, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, who was fired by President Nixon recently, told newsmen that he had the impression some people in the White House had been troubled by the direction his investigation was taking.
GV & CU Washington Street scene sign "Pennsylvania Ave" and government building.
CU Cox speaks.
PROFESSOR COX: "Well, I think that the essential thing for improving the situation, Mr. Kirkpatrick, is - and I have agonized over these things - I think it is restoring faith and integrity, the decency of our institution and the people who man them. And I think that simply cannot be done by someone appointed the justice department under the restriction which the President has stated, and that is he would not have access to what are called "presidential papers". You'd be surprised now many files are regarded as "presidential papers." I think the principle is more important than any of the men, or any of the present discomfort. and while it should be assorted in a way that it is calm and avoids damage, that, still, it needs assertion. I can - if it won't throw the schedule off - give you a little bit of illustration: When the Attorney-General put his proposal in front of me, and called for Senator Stennis to view the tapes, and to turn over a - I think it was to be a summary, but perhaps to be a verbatim transcript of those parts that were relevant to Watergate - I felt a very heavy obligation to consider and to seek advice, to suggest improvements. And that is what I did; and that's what I mean about acting responsibly. As soon as it was said the price of getting evidence that probably wouldn't even be admissible in Court, I must abandon the fundamental of any impartial investigation, and that is that I would be free to seek evidence of whatever it was, in accordance with the law, that I had to say no. I think that would have become a deal, a cover-up. I don't think you can recover confidence in our institutions by that kind of arrangement, however much it might quiet things for the moment. W are paying a heavy price. We have to."
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Background: Archibald Cox, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, who was fired by President Nixon recently, told newsmen that he had the impression some people in the White House had been troubled by the direction his investigation was taking.
Speaking on the National Broadcasting Company's "Meet the Press" on Sunday (October 28), Professor Cox was asked what could be done to improve the current situation over the Watergate affair: