Lot 146: Historic archive comprised of the papers of John J. Sirica, who presided over the trial of the Watergate burglars and later ordered President Nixon to turn over his recordings of White House conversations, containing eleven different items related to Watergate. First is Sirica's official photocopy of the document detailing the grand jury's charges against the seven Watergate burglars, 10 pages, 8.5 x 14, filed in open court on September 15, 1972. Second is a historically important typed manuscript draft entitled 'Memo of Silbert and the Forty-Two Questions,' four pages, 8 x 13, October 29, 1975, hand-corrected throughout in ballpoint and felt tip. In part: "Some have criticized me for the role that I played as an active judge in the Watergate Break-in case. But what was I to do? I was not blind or deaf. Here was Barker, receiving envelopes of money through the mail, claiming that he didn't know where they were coming from. And there sat Liddy, refusing to testify, with evidence showing that he had received $199,000. From where and from whom? And for what purpose? And the Government simply wasn't getting into the meat of the matter." Also includes a six-page draft of this memo written in pencil in an unknown hand. Additional Watergate material includes Sirica's copy of the printed trial proceedings of January 15, 1973, 8.5 x 11, 69 pages, in which Sirica describes the charges against the defendants and accepts their guilty pleas. This is also accompanied by four printed typescripts of additional drafts and proceedings related to the case, as well as a typed document from the Association of Trial Lawyers of America awarding Sirica its 'Award of Exceptional Merit' for 1975 as the 'Outstanding Trial Judge of the United States of America.' In overall fine condition. Accompanied by a printed proof sheet with text relating to Sirica's honorary degree from City University of New York and a blank sheet of his personal stationery. A fascinating archive from the judge whose trials uncovered one of the greatest political scandals in American history.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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