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Watergate Case / Freedom of Press #18932

ABC Evening News for Tuesday, Dec 19, 1972
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(Studio) Bureau chief of Los Angeles "Times" jailed for refusal to disclose source in connection with Watergate case.
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith

(DC) William Bittman, defense attorney in case, asks that tape recording of 5 hour news interview be produced. Interview was conducted by Los Angeles "Times" reporters Jack Nelson and Ronald Ostrow, with Alfred Baldwin, chief prosecution witness in case. Judge John J. Sirica heard argument from "Times" and reporters claiming 1st Amendment privilege to withhold tapes. Judge says defense entitled to hear tapes. John Lawrence, Louisiana "Times" bureau chief, refuses to hand over tapes. John Lawrence cited for contempt and sent to jail. Released later pending appeal. [NELSON - says jailing part of Nixon administration attempt to suppress civil liberties.] [OSTROW - says made agreement with Baldwin to preserve confidentiality of material. Must be able to do so or rpting. will suffer.] Outcome of case of major importance to American society as a whole.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson Artist: Mike Leahy

Donaldson, Sam;
Smith, Howard K.

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