CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Jan 31, 1973
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(Studio) Pentagon Papers case takes unusual turn.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(Los Angeles, California) Daniel Ellsberg says he leaked Pentagon Papers because government lied and concealed facts with regard to Vietnam war. Ellsberg and codefendant Anthony Russo accuse government of being involved in conspiracy to conceal facts of war and case. [RUSSO - says government values secrets more than American lives.] Defendants on trial for violating Espionage Act and disclosing facts harmful to national defense Judge Matthew Byrne orders government to turn over info. tending to prove defendants' innocence by showing little or no damage done to national interests. Prosecutor David Nissen assured judge in past he knew of no such material. Now government gives up thick stack Defense Department studies of Pentagon Papers. 11 of 20 volumes of Papers, studies say, not harmful to national defense Defense attorney claims Pentagon affairs director Jerry Friedheim ordered low level official to remove from files 9 other studies showing no harm done to national defense by Pentagon Papers. Today prosecutor David Nissen gives judge 9 studies, saying nobody high in government previously knew they existed. Defense attorney Leonard Boudin serves notice he will ask for case dismissal tomorrow because of government wrongdoing.
REPORTER: Fred Graham