Plan to release Nixon tapes filed with federal court
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Thousands of hours of tape recordings made during the presidency of Richard Nixon will be released over the next few years, under terms of an agreement filed in mid-April in federal District Court in Washington, D.C.
The agreement comes after 14 months of court-ordered mediation. The case began in March 1992 when University of Wisconsin history professor Stanley Kutler sued the National Archives for repeatedly ignoring his requests for access to the Nixon tapes.
In addition to Kutler and the archives, Nixon’s estate and the advocacy group Public Citizen are also parties to the agreement.
The first segment of tapes to be released will be the 201 hours dealing with “abuses of government power.” The National Archives will deliver these tapes to the Nixon estate, which has until October 1 to submit objections to their release. Any objections will be referred to a panel of three Presidential Library archivists. Plans call for the tapes to then be available to the public by mid-November 1996.
The next scheduled release will consist of the 278 hours of Cabinet Room tapes, which are targeted for release in late 1997 or early 1998. This will be followed by the release of five remaining segments.
Only 63 hours of the approximately 4,000 hours of tapes have thus far been released. (Kutler v. Carlin; Media Counsel: Alan Morrison, Washington, D.C.)