780 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
that there will be omitted references to matters related to the national
defence or foreign policy whose disclosure would do real harm.
I’m very troubled by the lack of precision in those standards. …
My third reason for thinking that, as a practical matter, I, as charged with
prosecuting violations, could not regard the arrangement as satisfactory
is that it’s most unlikely—I don’t go beyond that—most unlikely that a
summary of the tapes would be admissible in evidence.
It would be satisfactory for the purposes of a grand jury, I think, but I’m
thinking of the actual conduct of a trial. And if that was all that was available—
and I was given to understand that the tapes would never be available
under any circumstances—then I would be left without the evidence
with which to prosecute people whom I had used the summaries, perhaps,
Similarly, you have all read of cases in which those who have been
charged with wrongdoing have said that they need the tapes in order to
make their defences. Again, it seems to me most unlikely that a summary
would be accepted by the defendants or that a court would regard it as
sufficient. And that could very well mean that those prosecutions would
have to be dropped. …
The other main part of the president’s statement last night said that I
would be instructed not to use the judicial process in order to obtain
tapes, documents, memoranda relating to other presidential conversations.
This instructs me not to pursue what would be the normal course
of a prosecutor’s duty in conducting this kind of investigation.
And I think the instructions are inconsistent with pledges that were made
to the United States Senate and through the Senate to the American people
before I was appointed and before Attorney General Richardson’s
nomination was confirmed.
If you go through the hearings you will find repeated pledges by both of
us that I should have complete independence to decide how to conduct
these investigations and prosecutions and particularly to plead independence
in determining what evidence to see.
* * *
The incidents of last night need to be viewed against two things: One is
the whole problem of obtaining information for this investigation, and
the other is the immediate discussions that took place between me and
various representatives of the president.
It’s my characterization, but all I can say is that my efforts to get information,
beginning in May, have been the subject of repeated frustration.
There followed a series of questions from the press, which included the
Q. Mr. Cox, you would seem to be in what we call a nonviable position
now. Are you going to wait for the president to dismiss you?
A. I’m going to go about my duties on the terms on which I assumed
* * *