One of Richard Nixon’s defense lawyers claimed recently that Tricky Dick didn’t receive due process because “the prosecutors cheated.”
Now Geoff Shepard, 76, has filed an official complaint of attorney misconduct with the federal Department of Justice against Watergate prosecutors — 47 years after the fact.
He revealed the Oct. 2 filing this week. Among its charges: prosecutors improperly met privately with Watergate trial judges, even “rehearsing” court proceedings ahead of time; suppressed exculpatory evidence; and even lied to the grand jury.
And when they were done, Shepard, the author of “The Nixon Conspiracy,” claimed they “wrongfully” took confidential files, in violation of DOJ policy.
Over the years, between Freedom of Information Act requests and archival visits, he’s “uncovered piles of documents that are very damning,” he claimed. All are posted on his website.
Shepard has requested a meeting with DOJ officials, where he hopes to personally present what he’s found.
“If the Department of Justice hears me out, lets me make this presentation — I think they are duty-bound to go into court and say they can’t stand behind these convictions,” he said. “I don’t care if they discipline these lawyers. But lots of these lawyers are still alive.”
The 1972 burglary of the Democratic National Committee’s offices at the Watergate Office Building — authorized and subsequently covered up by senior Nixon aides — set off the giant political scandal.
Dozens were convicted, including the five burglars and Nixon’s chief of staff and counsel.
Nixon — who denied knowledge of the break-in and was never charged — resigned in 1974 rather than face an impeachment trial in the Senate.
“And what’s so interesting is they left a paper trail, so there’s no doubt what they were doing,” said Shephard, who was personally cleared by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. “You can’t make those documents go away.”