ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Disgraced Vice President Spiro T. Agnew officially becomes a private citizen and addresses the nation one last time... as a convicted criminal. Agnew continues his attacks on the press and the prosecutors right to the end. But his sudden resignation leaves questions-- unanswered-- that echo 45 years later. Can a President or Vice President actually be criminally indicted while in office? And if not, what sort of pressure can be brought to bear... to force them out?

English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00program usually seen at this time will not be shown so that we may bring you the following NBC news special report here is NBC news correspondent John chancellor good evening what we're about to see has never before happened in American history that was October fifteenth nineteen seventy three
00:00:23are about to see has never before happened in American history I'll grab your attention what John chancellor was talking about there when he was preparing the audience for was not the resignation of the vice president that it already happened five days earlier and it wasn't the resignation of
00:00:39the president either that was still a few months away at that point special report that night was actually for the very very special occasion of an address to the nation in prime time from the newly convicted ex vice president of the United States a former vice president of
00:00:58the United States convicted of a criminal charge has asked the television networks for an opportunity to speak to the country traditionally if you're president or even vice president you might request network air time and then address the nation from the White House but in this case Spiro Agnew
00:01:17was no private citizen he had resigned his office he had just played to a felony and so there was really no precedent for how to do this but he wanted to explain himself and so he requested the air time there was certainly interest in what he might have
00:01:31to say so his address to the nation that night it didn't come with the trappings of the White House behind him it came from the NBC news studios in Washington DC I do not want to spend the last moments with you in a paroxysm of bitterness but I
00:01:46do think there are matters related to my resignation that I miss understood it is important to me and I believe to the country that these misconceptions be corrected Spiro Agnew did not use that final address to the American people that night to express remorse to acknowledge that maybe
00:02:05he had acted improperly at times he also didn't try to calm down his supporters who after all were outraged at his prosecution he had denounced that prosecution as a witch hunt but that night on national TV he was not there to call for calm he wasn't there to
00:02:22call for unity no Spiro Agnew used that final address that night which itself was an unprecedented event he used that speech to Stoke the fires once again to launch yet another assault on the press and to keep attacking the prosecutors who had just riven him from office late
00:02:42this summer my business to continue in office came under attack when accusations against me made in the course of a grand jury investigation were improperly and unconscionable lead late in detail to the news media the news media editorially deplored these violations of the traditional secrecy of such investigations
00:03:03at the same time many of the most prestigious of them we're ignoring their own counsel by publishing every lake they could get their hands on Spiro Agnew went out the way that he came in as a counter puncher as a man whose first instinct in times of trouble
00:03:22was to deny any accusation that was made against him and then to attack often in personal terms those he saw as his enemies and that story of Spiro Agnew the political fight that's the story we have told throughout this series back ma'am it turns out it doesn't standalone
00:03:42in history it was unprecedented then but now it's a story that can maybe be instructive for the fights that we ended up in the middle of all over again in this iteration of presidential scandal and the conflict between law enforcement and the White we also know that the
00:04:01bag man story left some burning questions of itself and in this episode we will get some answers I'm Rachel Maddow and you're listening to back ma'am good evening Washington was done today by the disclosure the vice president Agnew is under criminal investigation by federal authorities in his home
00:04:24state of Maryland public interest for those who need it most best served by myself for you that Ferrell Agnew's interest rates falling from power it's something that none of his critics would even a predictive not long ago and it is one of the biggest news stories of our
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00:05:45go to gobble dot com slash bag man that's gobble dot com slash bad man episode seven you can't fire me I quit there were a whole lot of things that we turned up in this series that we got lots of questions about from people who listen to the
00:06:03series and it made us realize that we couldn't leave this story we couldn't walk away without at least trying to answer some of the most burning of those unanswered questions and some of the questions were about the big stuff the big death of the Republic serious issues at
00:06:19the heart of this scandal and the prosecution and the court case and the resignation but some of the burning questions were honestly just from pure burning curiosity for example this moment from our last episode episode six there was a comment made by Baltimore prosecutor Ron Lee been in
00:06:38that episode about what he and his fellow prosecutors started to turn up about %HESITATION Agnew's money about how Spiro Agnew was spending his money including some of the money he got through his criminal schemes now rightly been didn't explain what he meant exactly but boy did this peak
00:06:58a lot of curiosity these guys there are always personal peccadillos you know they have money and power and they do stupid things and we can't wait we we came across a financial evidence of that and we heard some stories about that a one of them quite bizarre but
00:07:16we that wasn't part of the case one of them quite bizarre all right we're only human here we could not walk away from this without at least trying to figure out what the one of them quite bizarre thing we will try to get to the bottom of that
00:07:34in this episode here now there's also of course the related question about whether Spiro Agnew worried that prosecutors were going to expose his alleged affairs could that actually have been the real catalyst for why he quit where the prosecutors threatening him that they might expose that stuff we're
00:07:53gonna try to get to the bottom of that in this episode as well and then of course there were also the really big constitutional questions raised here the questions that speak most directly to twenty eighteen to what we're living through right now Hannah sitting president or a sitting
00:08:11vice president actually be indicted by federal prosecutors Agnew's defense lawyers argued that he was immune from prosecution that's an argument of course that we're hearing again today but then despite those arguments they did cut a deal with prosecutors a deal that led to admins resignation why would they
00:08:32do that if they really thought that he was immune from prosecution if prosecutors couldn't touch up why would they even bother negotiating with the prosecutors and on the other side of that coin frankly if the prosecutors were so sure that they could indict him as a sitting vice
00:08:49president why did they go through that whole crazy dramatic choreography where they allowed Agnew to resign just moments before they charged and what does all of that tell us about our situation now forty five years later and how our situation now forty five years later might eventually be
00:09:08resolved can you bring criminal charges against a president or a vice president or we sure the legal precedent on this makes sense are we sure that the justice department rules on this issue could bear any sort of real test because in the Spiro Agnew case they kind of
00:09:27didn't for our final episode we thought that maybe the people who were directly involved in this at the time might have some unique insights into how those questions should or could be answered today so let's ask sitting around this table right here with me now live in in
00:09:47the flesh %HESITATION are a few of the people you have met over the course of these last six episodes %HESITATION one man whose name and voice you will certainly now recognize Martin London Marty London who was one of Spiro Agnew's defense lawyers back in the fall of nineteen
00:10:00seventy three hello Mister London thank you for being here my pleasure ritual ought sitting right next to him is Ron Liebman who at the time was a young Buck twenty nine years old twenty nine year old federal prosecutor in Maryland he of course was part of a team
00:10:14of prosecutors along with Barney Skolnick and Tim Baker and their boss the US attorney George bell who uncovered a bomb shell about the crimes of the sitting vice president of the United States and then as we telling back man had to go about saving the country from that
00:10:30Mister Lee been thank you for being here I'm happy to be here also joining us here is my personal life line NBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss my lifeline to presidential history Michael has been a great help to us on this series and so many other stories with historical
00:10:48ties and residents %HESITATION Mister bass loss it's an honor to have you here today thank honor for me to be here you're my lifeline to Rachel let me start off with the fact %HESITATION Marty and run you have not actually seen each other you haven't crossed paths in
00:11:02the forty five years since that October day nineteen seventy three when vice president Agnew walked into that courthouse in Baltimore and played and resigned I might write that you guys have not laid eyes on each other since that day in the courtroom absolutely correct today is the first
00:11:16day that we saw each other since October tenth nineteen seventy three and he for some reason he's much younger than %HESITATION I'm a lot of the impact of this story both for Mike and I working on it and for listeners %HESITATION is just about the basic question of
00:11:36of the bottom line of that day in court the last day that you guys saw each other forty five years ago whether the vice president got what he deserved whether it was right what was worked out %HESITATION he wasn't indicted he did resigned the vice presidency he pled
00:11:50no contest to a felony but he didn't go to jail it was obviously a balance hard negotiations leading to that deal but over the years since you were involved in it personally how have you felt about that in the long run was was this justice in my view
00:12:06the answer is very clearly no he didn't get what he deserved what he deserved was to go to trial like any other citizen %HESITATION and if convicted to go to jail and have a fine as assessed the reason he didn't get what he deserved was because he had
00:12:24I think what we at the time called either the hundred dollar chip for the get out of jail free card in the context of the %HESITATION those times that you have so masterfully covered during the course of this podcast %HESITATION it was %HESITATION unusual situation %HESITATION a sort
00:12:40of one of a kind at least so far the result was the right result it had to be %HESITATION it had to be that way because of the context of the times so it was not justice for Agnew but it was the right thing for the country that's
00:12:55right when you when your fellow young prosecutors %HESITATION brought to the table this argument that he should serve jail time that he should do this kind of sentence that anybody else might expect from being caught committing these kind of crimes when you got talked out of was an
00:13:11emotional thing what were you I mean I can imagine I re I remember I know how self righteous I am now I remember being much more self righteous and I was in my twenties and early thirties being involved in something so dramatic I mean obviously was meaningful to
00:13:25you to be taken so seriously that the Attorney General and the have such an important role in those conversations but I imagine that must been sort of a heart wrenching thing for you to be brought around on that issue as a matter just it it was extremely emotional
00:13:38and heart wrenching I remember we had meetings in the attorney general's conference room and I remember the first time sitting across from a bust of Oliver Wendell Holmes and thinking to myself what would he do there and then %HESITATION we also had meetings in LA Richardson's in our
00:13:56office but I remember %HESITATION one of these debates %HESITATION in the conference room where Henry Petersen head of the criminal division was so angry at at the at us the three prosecutors demanding jail time that he got out of his chair and he had this way of shoving
00:14:14his hands in it under his belt and he turned to Tim Baker and said you know something along the lines and I'm paraphrasing you just want him to be treated him being Agnes like anybody else like any person and intimate again I'm paraphrasing paraphrasing him to him said
00:14:32you're damn right I do and we we went around and around and around %HESITATION and it was the experience the the statesmanship whatever you wanna call it of of the Attorney General who %HESITATION brought us around to what was as history has depicted the very best decision under
00:14:55the circumstances Marty in terms of why vice president Agnew arm decided to agree to a plea deal when he did not second week of October nineteen seventy three how much did the investigation that the IRS had conducted a factor into it the IRS agents actively digging into every
00:15:18penny that he received and spent %HESITATION turning up a lot of information about his personal life how he was spending his allegedly ill gotten gains some questions that raised about his his personal life and his family life was that was that part of his concern about his liability
00:15:36in this investigation of why he might want to cut a deal to end it look I've represented a number of people who are facing criminal charges and there were several considerations for a client who's faced with criminal charges the most important consideration is the end game am I
00:15:53gonna lose and and one of the consequences of losing to possibly a jail but the other consideration is this is an investigation it's going to take two to three years after we do work two or three years of pain and if the IRS is involved in what we're
00:16:12talking about extreme pain we're talking about internal investigations and since you know like an internal biopsy this is this is terrible and certainly nobody could ignore the pain of two to three years of uncertainty and during that on certain days you you've got the I. R. S. you've
00:16:35got Ron Liebman you've got all these people who were you know tearing away little bits of flesh so the answer is yes %HESITATION the pain of the investigation is certainly something that any %HESITATION %HESITATION perspective defendant considers when making a decision Bronco had I would say yes bought
00:16:59if if one's client in this case we're talking about Agnew of course %HESITATION felt and believed that he was innocent and hadn't committed the series of bribery and extortion crimes that he did commit %HESITATION I think that the a client like that would say to his lawyer %HESITATION
00:17:23or her lawyer ash three years of this it's going to be horrible three years of the iris crawling in and out of my life looking after every penny but you know what let's do it because I am innocent because I'm innocent and here %HESITATION you know the the
00:17:39big thing when we were in these negotiations the big thing was Agnew didn't want to set one foot in a jail cell and he had to get out of free card and all the rest of it the no the the subpoenas to the press all the other stuff
00:17:56was just background noise as far as we were concerned run let me ask you about one aspect of the the IRS part of this investigation because one of the things we did not expect to hear from people involved in the case that we'd certainly didn't didn't read a
00:18:10lot about we looked contemporaneously Terrill from the case what's the issue of what the IRS figured out about how Agnew was spending his money and some issues of potential personal hypocrisy or or personal peccadillos that were raised %HESITATION by that part of the investigation in our interview with
00:18:32you for the podcast %HESITATION this is something we've received a lot of questions about from our from our listeners %HESITATION you're talking about this point leading up to his acceptance of the plea deal where the investigation starting to turn up some information about his personal life how is
00:18:45spending his money you told us this you know these guys they have all their personal peccadillos you know they have money and power and they do stupid things and we came across financial evidence of that and we heard some stories about that one of them quite bizarre but
00:19:01that wasn't part of the case and you go on to say that this this stuff personal stuff but Agnew that you turned up you never planned to use that against act now so to me there's there's two questions raised by that number one is was Agnew aware that
00:19:14you knew about that stuff might he have been worried that would become part of the case ends what's the one of them quite bizarre one of the the one quite bizarre story you heard about that never made it into the case chance to your first question %HESITATION he
00:19:30he must have figured out that if the if the IRS is crawling all over his books and records and his life looking where every penny came in and where every penny came out there were gonna come across %HESITATION some personal indiscretions that he knew he had in his
00:19:50background as for your second %HESITATION did you ever threaten him either put them pleasantly or explicitly that would come out this is all before what happened to then president Clinton how we didn't even debate whether or not to use this salacious information that we came across it it
00:20:10it maybe it was a tenor of the times but it was a non issue for us so he had to know that you knew what he had to there was no reason for him to expect that you're going to make it public well okay I don't know I
00:20:21mean I don't know what he expected maybe he was worried that we would make it public it was never discussed it was never debated with his lawyers there were things that we learned and I don't really want to go into them there salacious in there you know of
00:20:35as I said in an earlier podcast it is very common when %HESITATION when people have money and power %HESITATION and particularly unfortunately in public life they do really stupid things %HESITATION it involves sex it involves mistresses involves all kinds of bad behavior in nineteen seventy three George bell
00:20:59and his three assistants myself Barney the senior guy into him we just wouldn't debate we came across it it was told to us we investigated it we confirmed it as much as we could but we never decided to use it was Agnew worried that that might all come
00:21:17out probably was was it of a purely personal nature was an additional criminal behavior it was of a purely personal behavior Michael Beschloss what Ron Lee minutes saying there about expectations at the time %HESITATION and how with no with no it with no even implicit threat for the
00:21:35prosecutors that that that that Agnew may have been worried about that coming out different standards about whether those things could be involved in this sort of public case how does that strike you well you have to assume that he was worried and what we're talking about this has
00:21:47been written invent Agnew as the investigated that investigation went for there was evidence that gifts went from Agnew to a woman who was not his wife which was very different from the image that Agnew presented to the public so that had to be at least to some extent
00:22:04and influence on Agnew as he was debating whether to cop a plea or not it was that there was more than that but there was that %HESITATION how unusual is it for %HESITATION an elected official to have a woman on the side are you know in and of
00:22:19itself that probably doesn't put you in jail but when you combine that with a history of bribery and extortion doesn't doesn't look right so look great at all Marty you made the case in nineteen seventy three that and when we interviewed you for the podcast you made the
00:22:35case very eloquently that there were legal and practical and common sense reasons why a vice president should be immune from prosecution why there could not be an indictment of the vice president the prospect of a vice president sitting in jail becoming president does he have secret service protection
00:22:54in jail once he becomes president while imprisoned does he get his intelligence briefings and does he partners I mean there it's it's a compelling case am yet despite that heartfelt belief by you you negotiated with prosecutors whose leverage against the vice president was that they said they were
00:23:13gonna prosecute if you believe absolutely that there's no way they could have done it why did you even talk about a plea let alone agree to one where you overstate the case when there was nobody there is nobody who could look at this perplexing problem and say I
00:23:31absolutely have to have a heart filled believe that this is absolutely correct nobody has such a certain assurance we're lawyers but we're not magicians we look at the constitution and we look at the confusion that surrounds this issue and we say we think we are right but I
00:23:51don't know what the Supreme Court is going to say about this that you have to go back and when we raise this question we said if the president is immune the vice president is from you and there was no more in the constitution that says the president is
00:24:08immune we relied on the same article of the constitution that covers both the vice president and the president article one section three about the parties convicted show in in impeachment and we said both of them have to be impeached first before you're convicted now the department of justice
00:24:30sent this question to the Solicitor General to write a brief note this is Nixon's department of justice I'm not saying they're corrupt but it's Nixon's department of justice and he has a point that everybody in it and his appointees Robert Bork to brief looking at the constitution the
00:24:50same constitution that we looked at and said well you know you're right the president is in June but the vice president isn't immune and there was a zero constitutional basis for that decision was that a political decision I don't know will ask somebody who is not around but
00:25:10that's a very strange thing at the artillery just finish is that decision that that that opinion that you wrote in nineteen seventy three say yeah Nixon's immune but Agnew isn't is one of the two opinions in the department of justice that the current president relies on for the
00:25:31argument that the president is not indictable Michael brush off it was totally a political decision because Elliot Richardson wanted Spiro Agnew out of office as soon as possible and he knew if you're both saying that the only way to do that was for Agnew to figure that he
00:25:47was going to face the hounds of hell in less he resigned hell being big guy arrest investigation three years of fighting in the courts and may be going to prison at the end of this and the only way that Richardson would have had the leverage to get Agnew
00:26:01to quit was to basically say of course you can be you dot indicted and this is the terrible result you're going to face unless you get out now similarly there's a a a a sort of conundrum a question for me in terms of the prosecution's decision if you
00:26:16guys believe that you could indict act now that you that you could bring charges against them and in fact you plan to do so and you had built the case why did you allow him to resign why was it negotiated that he would resign the vice presidency moments
00:26:32before crossing the threshold into the court room to to issue is play with us with that that was the gravel in the fundamental part of the case on one level there's a a white collar bribery extortion investigation of a high ranking public official and the other part of
00:26:51the of the scenario wise it's Watergate %HESITATION the the president Nixon is going and it was the fact of where the country was and what the parade of horrible's a some of which Marty alluded to that were that would be facing us if we had indicted Agnew and
00:27:12had insisted that he go to jail as part of a plea agreement he would've taken that and then we would have been off to the races and so the rather than tangle with this relatively untested constitutional question of indicting a sitting vice president if you could cleanly cut
00:27:29that off from the criminal matter and treat him as a citizen rather than as the special high ranking official that was the way to essentially %HESITATION cauterize this and it have given a clean given a clean and in terms of the political future of the country well that's
00:27:44right and you know as Marty had has said I think there is no law on whether or not a sitting vice president can be charged and indicted while in office there is there are justice department %HESITATION opinions on that but that issue and %HESITATION and related issues about
00:28:04pardoning presidential pardoning power which might come up someday soon perhaps that there's no law on Michael Beschloss let me ask you about %HESITATION another kind of bad behavior that we turned up in reporting out back man that we didn't necessarily expect to find %HESITATION and not what is
00:28:21the role of George HW bush what we turned up seems to indicate that George H. W. bush was at that point the chair of the Republican Party he seems to have had a key role in the active obstruction effort of that was managed by the White House orchestrated
00:28:36through both Nixon's office and through Agnew himself that targeted the US attorney George bell through his brother who was a Republican US senator trying to pressure him improperly %HESITATION to shut down the investigation essentially as a matter of family in political loyalty %HESITATION wasn't known before that George
00:28:54H. W. bush was involved in this obstruction effort is this the sort of thing that like a darker history of George HW bush the historians of all known about but people in general don't talk about it no this is a real discovery and you you found this in
00:29:05the papers if I remember correctly at the US attorney bell but I think in Frostburg state university in Maryland and not terribly minute many people if any so wonderful for you and and your team to have found that but that is the kind of thing that especially nowadays
00:29:24the idea that the Republican national chairman is George HW bush was at that time to go to a US attorney and go to a U. S. senator and say wind down this investigation or stop it not a great thing we're gonna take a quick break and come back
00:29:39with muddy London and Ron Lee Ben and Michael Beschloss this is back start making an impact on your audience with campaign monitor and email marketing platform trusted by two hundred and fifty thousand customers worldwide email marketing is the most effective way for your organization to get in front
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00:30:40with email in no time start your free trial at campaign monitor dot com to see for yourself campaign monitor make your emails unforgettable technical question for you Ron did you ever you in your colleagues ever produce a draft indictment for %HESITATION for Agnes I don't think we did
00:31:02I don't remember yeah you know totally but I I'm pretty sure we did not over the grand jury had not had not %HESITATION ever in %HESITATION voted for no indictment nothing was submitted who we we don't we we never got anywhere near that what we did get was
00:31:20a forty page dense written statement of evidence about Agnew's about the Grange about evidence the grand jury had collected about Agnes behavior %HESITATION and I understand that that was a lot of work at the time run for you and your colleagues he wrote we talked in the podcast
00:31:35Mike I stayed up all night the night before was do we did we did yeah %HESITATION it then disappeared in history it's interesting you know it's very hard to find that document now %HESITATION the content of that document would be news to most people who even think they
00:31:50know the sister even the most people who are this podcast and I do know something about this history wonder if you've reflected on that over the years that that all that work that went into it and how much emphasis you guys put on making sure that the evidence
00:32:03against him was documented in a matter of public record it's it's almost instant obscurity I wonder have it whether that's wait on you over the years actually wasn't aware of that I mean I just assumed I guess that that the forty page a recitation of the factual basis
00:32:20of the case was in the public record in the United States versus Agnew you know he went into court he he was charged with a with a crime %HESITATION he pled nolo contendere and so there was a case and I frankly was unaware until this podcast that that
00:32:38the all nighter that we pulled the bus was somewhere around hidden in the in between the pages of history books yeah let me %HESITATION Rachel %HESITATION that %HESITATION first it this forty page statement was a statement by the prosecutors none of those facts have ever been proven in
00:32:58a court of law second the %HESITATION vice president %HESITATION %HESITATION at the no eyed at everything in that forty page statement he made a statement saying none of it is true so that forty page statement is a one party statement about which there is no agreement from the
00:33:20other part well that's not entirely correct first of all it is accurate and it was accurate when written but as such listeners to this podcast have learned %HESITATION is N. as a result of his later civil action abroad against Agnew Agnew was %HESITATION listen off to have violated
00:33:42the attorney client privilege between him and his personal lawyer name was George white white and admitted to George as your listeners have already heard that yeah he did all that stuff so there you have it it didn't admit it when at the time when you're representing a party
00:33:58when you guys are fighting over the stuff but later things fell apart he never it what we had nothing to do with the matter what once was a plea of got worse once you aren't on trust we we walked out four US history that was five years old
00:34:13batting a thousand %HESITATION I want to ask one final question Michael Batchelor someone put this year but either of you can Ben plays if you have anything on this %HESITATION one of the inspirations for us during this podcast was that there was another really really good podcast that
00:34:28came out not long ago called slow burn was done by Leon nay Faulk at slate %HESITATION and it was a it was a a different type of historical look at at Watergate and when we started putting together the bones the structure of how we thought we were going
00:34:42to tell the story went to go talk to Leon about it to see if this this part of the Watergate story had been of interest to him and if you have anything that he could help us with %HESITATION and he told us one thing about how the Agnew
00:34:55resignation fit in the history of the time that I had never thought of before I just wanted to run it by you Michael see what you thought he told us I'm quoting here the ousting of Spiro Agnew imperiled Nixon in two ways one practical and one atmospheric practically
00:35:11it made the prospect of impeaching Nixon more appealing to Democrats because impeaching Nixon would now no longer involved the downside of putting Agnew in the oval office Agnew struck liberals as even more dangerous and hateful than Nixon thought was the practical concern atmospherically it changed people's sense of
00:35:31what was possible in American politics the resignation of a vice president had been unthinkable but suddenly it had happened all bets were off now that one unprecedented thing had come to pass it was easier to imagine another the notion that Nixon might lose the presidency and seemed like
00:35:47science fiction now it just seems like a slightly weird or version of something that had already happened and so the story of Agnew itself I think is epic jurors the way that it fit into the sequence of events and whether it made the removal of Nixon from office
00:36:04more likely or even inevitable is an interesting idea to me how does that strike you Michael I think it's right and it made it more inevitable because when Nixon forest Agnew out he thought it was going to help them because what Nixon had in mind was that once
00:36:19Agnew was gone Nixon would appoint his is vice president John Connally his close friend who we wanted to run for president in nineteen seventy six so Nixon figures you're not gonna Connelly and you know Democrats in Congress were thinking about in teaching me they'll hate Connolly even more
00:36:35than they'll hate Agnew because he could be could potentially a stronger Republican candidate in nineteen seventy six and here's where things going on went off the rails because after Agnew was gonna Nixon started talking to members of Congress and saying well I want Connelly and they said don't
00:36:53even try it because Connolly could never be confirmed you've got to get someone who's going to be able to be confirmed and that's a Jerry Ford and so Gerry Ford was forced on Nixon as his vice president and Jerry Ford was someone that members of Congress of both
00:37:08parties loved saw as a much preferable alternative to Nixon and so Nixon's impeachment went even faster as a result it is there's no question that it was said at the time that the only the best defense that Richard Nixon had for for it against impeachment was the existence
00:37:30of Spiro Agnew impeachment of violence in the vice presidency there there just is no question about that certainly I agree with the statement that you made the the the %HESITATION disappearance of Spiro Agnew was an important element in the %HESITATION ultimate disappearance of of Richard Nixon right I
00:37:55think even if Agnew had been pure as the driven snow Richard Nixon was not going to stay in the White House and that was part of your calculation among the prosecution team about why it was so important to get Agnew out of the line of succession because you
00:38:10thought Nixon was already going to contact the cell exactly so that was the gravel men of of of a lot of what happened did you also recognize or discuss the fact that by taking Agnew out getting Agnew out of the line of succession you might be hastening the
00:38:27end of Richard Nixon never never discuss that do you think it's true I I I think it's like chicken soup it maybe didn't help but it didn't hurt gentleman up wrongly vendor was a prosecutor on the team of young brought Baltimore prosecutors to put this case together and
00:38:50made this happen up Marty London who represented a believe the vice president through a truly unprecedented time in American history Michael Beschloss NBC news presidential historian %HESITATION and truth teller on all these matters German it's a real honor to be here with you today thank you for coming
00:39:06and helping us wrap this up I really appreciate it honor for us thank you very much Rachel is a great honor for me to be here and I thank you very much and that is going to do it for bad man thanks very much to all of you
00:39:20who have listened so intently to every episode and tweeted and posted about it on Facebook and wrote in to us about the series as I said all the way back in episode one history really is here to help Batman has been a production of MSNBC and NBC universal
00:39:38the series was executive produced by Mike your vets who did the work of a dozen producers all by himself the heart and soul and skin and bones and everything else of this project is Mike your vets and if you liked any or all of that might deserves all
00:39:54the credit all the dumb stuff was me Batman is written by myself and my carpets editorial and production support from Jonathan person research nighter men from the on home media special thanks to Phil Griffin president of MSNBC Elizabeth saw me and all the events from NBCUniversal the great
00:40:11Corey now so from MSNBC the entire team at me on home including victim Patel and Daniel to Iraq and a very special thanks to the incredible archivists and library staff across the country who helped us conduct many long hours of research for this project we want to thank
00:40:26the whole staff at the Spiro Agnew archives at the university of Maryland doctor Lee investment Endicott at the bell archives at Frostburg state university and Ryan Patrick at the Nixon presidential library could not have done this without your help librarians superhero

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