Nixon Cited Missed Clues in Defense of a Rosenberg





In a previously unpublished interview, Richard M. Nixon said that Ethel Rosenberg, the convicted spy, might have been spared the death penalty by President Dwight D. Eisenhower had he been aware that evidence against her was tainted.

“If I had known — if we had known that at the time — if President Eisenhower had known it, he might have taken a different view with regard to her,” Nixon, who was Eisenhower’s vice president, is quoted as saying. “In other words, tainted evidence, even though a person is totally guilty, is a reason to get him off.”...

“Now if you look at it coolly, in retrospect, at this point,” Nixon said in a 1983 interview, “certainly we would have preferred that it not be done. But at the time I understand why it was done. And let us understand — Mrs. Rosenberg was guilty. This wasn’t a case of somebody not guilty going to the chair.”

The interview by Frank Gannon, who served in the Nixon White House and helped the former president compile his memoirs, was posted on a Web site, thenewnixon.org, operated by the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation.



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