The agreement establishes the monetary value of the papers, 3,700 hours of tape recordings, and other items taken when the president resigned. The Justice Department has agreed to pay the estate of former President Richard Nixon $18 million in compensation for presidential papers, photographs, and tape recordings seized following Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
The agreement brings to an end a 20-year legal battle initiated by the disgraced former president to obtain payment for a collection of 44 million documents, 3,700 hours of secretly recorded tapes, and thousands of photographs housed in the National Archives.
Government Lawyer Argued The Maximum Money To Pay Should Be $2.2 Million
According to the government, Nixon’s estate once sought $35 million plus 25 years of interest, bringing the asking price to more than $200 million. Government lawyers argued in court that no money should be paid to the estate, but that if something had to be paid, it should be no more than $ 2.2 million.
Representatives for Nixon’s estate expressed delight at the agreement. They estimated that the estate lawyers would receive $7.4 million, while the Nixon Foundation, which funds a presidential library in Yorba Linda, Calif., and a research center in Washington, would receive about $6 million.
After deducting about $3.75 million for taxes, Nixon’s two daughters, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, and Tricia Nixon Cox would receive less than one-half of one percent of the settlement amount, or less than $90,000.
Maddux posted a Tweet related to the ongoing matter. You can see the Tweet below.
“They paid Nixon 18 million dollars!”
And there you can hear what his motivation was. He took the stuff because he wanted the government to pay him in order to get the documents back.
— Maddux (@omadduxo) April 3, 2023
“We are extremely satisfied that President Nixon’s two-decades-old resolution to make sure his privately funded library would have the wherewithal to do the kind of pursuits he wanted to do has been fulfilled,” said John H. Taylor, the director of the Nixon Library and a co-executor of the estate.
What Did Critics Said About The Settlement
Critics were outraged by the deal, which they claimed amounted to a swindle of American taxpayers for information that implicated Nixon in obstruction of justice and other crimes.
“It is unfortunate that taxpayers have to pay for what is already rightfully theirs,” said Peter Kornbluh, senior analyst at the National Security Archive, a non-profit research organization dedicated to collecting historical documents.
The agreement was reached on Monday, while a federal judge was deciding how much if anything, the government should pay for the materials. “Who won? In a settlement, by definition, nobody wins,” said Scott Nelson, one of the estate’s attorneys.
What Reaction Did John Dean Gave?
But John Dean was not convinced: “I think it’s pretty clear that the government won.“ Dean was the Nixon White House counsel who testified in 1973 about the Watergate scandal’s burglaries, wiretapping, violations of campaign finance laws, and attempts to use government agencies to harm political opponents.
Unlike the taxpayer-supported libraries of all other former presidents who donated their presidential papers, Nixon’s library relies on private donations and a $13-million endowment.
According to Taylor, Nixon’s motivation for seeking compensation stemmed largely from his desire to keep the library and research center open in the belief that Americans would wait a long time before deciding to pay for them with tax dollars. The Nixon Center, a non-partisan research center in Washington, focuses on foreign affairs, particularly American relations with Russia and China.
conclusion: the agreement reached between the Justice Department and the estate of former President Richard Nixon to pay $18 million in compensation for presidential papers, photographs, and tape recordings seized following Nixon’s resignation in 1974 brings to an end a 20-year legal battle. While the estate once sought $35 million plus 25 years of interest, the government lawyers argued that no money should be paid, but if something had to be paid, it should be no more than $2.2 million.
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