- Report: 8 years of Trump tax returns subpoenaed by prosecutors 2 Years Ago
- Netflix lands exclusive streaming rights to ‘Seinfeld’ 2 Years Ago
- Jenny Slate sets first comedy special at Netflix 2 Years Ago
- #EndSmearFear is aiming to save lives Today 2:54 PM
- Netflix ‘Living With Yourself’ trailer offers a double dose of Paul Rudd Today 2:07 PM
- How to stream the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Today 2:04 PM
- Caitlyn Jenner ridiculed with transphobic jokes during Alec Baldwin roast Today 1:27 PM
- Brad Pitt confronts his daddy issues in the sci-fi epic ‘Ad Astra’ Today 1:20 PM
- People are stanning Elizabeth Warren’s respect for a train’s quiet car Today 1:16 PM
- Far-right mobs attacked queer kids after first Pride in Ukraine city Today 1:13 PM
- Influencer who photoshopped clouds into photos is partnering with the editing app Today 12:34 PM
- Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira team up for ‘Americanah’ Today 12:29 PM
- Video shows cop mocking Black ninth-grader who was detained at bus stop Today 12:27 PM
- Has Trump reversed course on fighting a war for the Saudis? Today 12:20 PM
- These iOS 13 features will have you racing to update your iPhone on Sept. 19 Today 12:05 PM
In 1972, political aides working for then-President Richard Nixon were plotting violent physical assaults against anti-war demonstrators, including Vietnam War whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a never-before-published memorandum uncovered by NBC News has revealed.
The plan to counter an anti-war protest with violence was part of a wider operation to discredit Ellsberg, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1969. The publication of these papers infuriated Nixon after it exposed the administration’s assessment that it did not have the resources to win the Vietnam War.
With Monday marking the 45th anniversary of the first Watergate disclosure by then-Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, NBC News published the 18-page investigative memorandum written by Watergate prosecutors in 1975. The document describes the plan to violently attack “long-haired demonstrators, in particular Ellsberg.”
The revelations corroborate a claim made in a memoir by Ellsberg in May 1972, that the White House had flown “Cuban-American CIA ‘assets’ from Miami to Washington to disrupt a rally that [he] and others were addressing on the steps of the Capitol” with orders “to incapacitate [him] totally.”
Written by Watergate special prosecutor Nick Akerman on June 5, 1975, the memo further reveals that investigators believed White House counsel Charles Colson was behind the operation—a charge also leveled at him by Watergate burglar and undercover operative Bernard Barker. Colson always denied the allegations.
Colson did plead guilty to obstruction of justice, having been involved in a plot to steal Ellsberg’s medical files.
“There is still no clear way to link Colson to the assault which is muddled by his efforts to organize a lawful counterdemonstration,” the memo concluded. “This melding of the counterdemonstration and the assault had been a problem throughout this investigation in charging anybody with a crime.”
NBC News also disclosed a memo that detailed an interview that investigators had with Roger Stone, a GOP organizer of the counter-demonstration and who, most recently, served as one of President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers.
Stone appeared on MSNBC on Sunday evening in a passionate face-off with Akerman where both men locked over Nixon’s motivations.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.