Lawyer who helped historians secure Nixon’s records, dies

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tags: obituary, Robert Herzstein

Robert E. Herzstein, who successfully sued on behalf of historians and journalists to prevent former President Richard M. Nixon from removing and even destroying his White House papers and tapes after his resignation, died on Thursday at his home in Washington. He was 83.

His daughter, Emily Herzstein, said the cause was heart disease resulting from scarlet fever, which he had contracted as a teenager.

Mr. Herzstein served as an under secretary of commerce during the Carter administration; became a consummate international trade lawyer for private corporations and governments; and promoted public justice, human rights and conflict resolution through several civic groups.

But his role in the Nixon case may be his greatest historical legacy. As a lawyer at Arnold & Porter, he was lead counsel in 1974 for a number of historians, political scientists and reporters who maintained that despite an agreement he had struck with the government, Nixon could not take possession of records created while he was in the White House.

Read entire article at NYT

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