A Washington federal judge today ordered the disclosure of certain previously sealed information related to the Watergate scandal, but denied a request to unseal all of the records at issue—including the substance of an illegally obtained wiretap.
A historian of Richard Nixon's presidency petitioned the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to release documents sealed in the criminal case against G. Gordon Liddy. Liddy was convicted in 1973 of charges related to the Watergate Hotel break-in. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Royce Lamberth last year unsealed court records the government didn't object to unsealing, saying he would then weigh a request to unseal the contested information.
The historian, Luke Nichter of Texas A&M University, argued the sealed information could be key to a better understanding of the Watergate break-in. The Justice Department argued the remaining information should remain sealed because the documents "disclose private, personal information, would constitute a breach of grand jury secrecy, or would reveal information obtained by an illegal wiretap," according to the opinion.