Memos, Tapes Show Aides Hatched 'Game Plan' to Save Nixon

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Materials from the Nixon Presidential Library offer a glimpse into fateful days of the Watergate scandal as well as the waning days of the U.S. war in Vietnam.

When the Watergate scandal grew into a full-bore crisis unraveling Richard Nixon's presidency, aides hatched a "game plan" to save him. The idea: Convince lawmakers that the Watergate prosecutor was a zealot holding a "pistol to the head" of the president.

Some 30,000 pages of documents were opened to the public at the National Archives in College Park, Md., and the Nixon library in Yorba Linda, Calif., part of a long unfolding release of papers and tapes from the Nixon years. The archives administers the library.

In addition, the library posted more than 150 hours of tape recordings online. The tapes cover January and February 1973, spanning Nixon's second inauguration, the peace deal with Hanoi and the trial and conviction of burglars whose break-in at Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex precipitated the cover-up that wrecked Nixon's presidency. He resigned in August 1974 under threat of being forced out by Congress.

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