ABC Evening News for Monday, Jul 23, 1973
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(Studio) Nixon refuses Senate Watergate cmts.'s request for access to White House tapes. President incls. special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox's request in that refusal. Const. crisis may result from President' action.
REPORTER: Tom Jarriel
(White House) President makes decision to refuse request on separation of powers theory after meeting with top adviser Alexander Haig and Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler. In President' letter to Watergate committee chairperson Sam Ervin, Pres, admits listening to tapes himself. He says they're consistent with previous presidential statements on Watergate, but individuals might construe tapes differently. Dep. Press Secretary Gerald Warren has no comment on last statement. Charles A. Wright, expert on const. law, signs refusal letter for White House tapes to Archibald Cox. Cox had said separation of powers didn't apply to him.
REPORTER: David Schoumacher
(Capitol Hill) Senate Watergate committee votes unanimously to issue 2 subpoenas to President 4 White House tapes and White House documents relating to Watergate subpoenaed. [ERVIN - states President' refusal means tapes are susceptible' to 2 different versions.] Ervin thinks President' duties to country lie in political matters not campaign matters. [ERVIN - says Watergate is worst tragedy American has had. American people need moral leadership from President who would be willing to shed light on Watergate scandal.] [Watergate vice chairperson Howard BAKER - regrets matter has come to const. crisis between White House and Congress] If President ignores subpoenas, Ervin favors taking matter to full Senator and allowing Senator to go to court Hopes court would issue declaratory judgement in Senate's favor.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson
(DC) President' refusal to Archibald Cox for access to White House tapes, brings swift reply. [COX - states any action to hold tapes from grand jury is without legal foundation. Cox to seek subpoenas for tapes.] In essence, President not above the law.
REPORTER: Bill Gill
(Studio) President sends personal letter to Ervin, canceling earlier meeting that had been planned by them. Ervin agrees.
REPORTER: Tom Jarriel