Literature of the Holocaust
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Nixon urged audits of Jewish contributors
Subject: Nixon urged audits of Jewish contributors -report
Date: Sat, 7 Dec 1996 18:41:11 PST
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Newly-released tapes show President Richard Nixon pushed for tax audits of wealthy Jewish contributors to his Democratic rivals, the San Francisco Examiner reported in its Sunday editions.
The Examiner said the revelation was contained in more than 200 hours of recently-released Nixon White House tapes.
Nixon, who resigned in 1974 after being implicated in a cover-up of a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Building, had a hidden system installed to record his conversations.
The conversations took place in September 1971 when Nixon was worried about his re-election prospects, the Examiner said in a copyright story.
In a Sept. 8, 1971, meeting with domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman, the Examiner quoted Nixon as saying: ``John, we have the power. Are we using it now to investigate contributors to (defeated 1968 Democratic candidate) Hubert Humphrey, contributors to (then Democratic presidential contender Edmund) Muskie -- the Jews, you know, that are stealing in every direction?''
``Are we going after their tax returns? ...I can only hope that we are, frankly, doing a little persecuting,'' he said.
Five days later, during a meeting with Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, Nixon said: ``Now here's the point, Bob, please get me the names of the Jews. You know, the big Jewish contributors to the Democrats,'' he said. Using an expletive to refer to the contributors, he asked to have some of them investigated.
Nixon expressed anger that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was ``going after Billy Graham tooth and nail.'' Graham, a famous evangelical preacher, was a close friend of Nixon.
A day later, meeting with Haldeman and political aide Charles Colson, Nixon is quoted as asking: ``What about the rich Jews? The IRS is full of Jews, Bob.'' Later, he added: ``Go after 'em like a son of a bitch!''
The Examiner said it could not be determined whether any Jewish Democratic contributors were audited as a result of Nixon's conversations with his aides.
Reacting to the tapes, Robert Strauss, a prominent Democratic fundraiser and a Jew, told the Examiner that ``this language coming out of the mouth of a president of the United States is more than I can really comprehend. It's sickening.'' Strauss was treasurer of the Democratic National Committee in 1971.
The newspaper said the tapes also showed Nixon approved an aide's plan to secretly photograph Vietnam War records legally entrusted to the National Archives by anti-war defense analysts. Under a legal agreement, the papers could not be shown to anyone without the permission of the analysts.
Ehrlichman told Nixon in a Sept. 10, 1971 meeting that he was going to steal the documents. ``Do that,'' Nixon said.
``And photograph them and find out what the hell's up,'' Ehrlichman continued.
``How do we do that?'' Nixon asks, before Ehrlichman outlined a plan to have the archivist sent out of town. Ultimately, the Examiner said, the plan became unnecessary because the archives allowed a Pentagon official to study the records. Nixon died in 1994.
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