U.S. v. Nixon, I: The Duty to Hear the Case
On March 1, 1974, H. R. Haldeman, John Mitchell, John Ehrlichman, Gordon Strachan, Robert Mardian, Kenneth Parkinson, and Charles Colson were indicted by a federal Grand Jury. The special prosecutor's office had the burden of developing the case for the forthcoming criminal trial, U.S. v. Mitchell, et al. (scheduled for September 9, 1974) and requested that the federal court issue a subpoena to the president of the United States for the additional evidence needed for the trial. If issued, it would direct Nixon to produce tape recordings and documents relating to sixty-four conversations between Nixon and advisors. On April 18, Judge John Sirica issued the subpoena duces tecum pursuant to Rule 17c of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
On May 1, 1974, James St. Clair, the president's newly appointed counsel, filed a Special Appearance and motion to quash the subpoena. He argued that the materials sought "are within the constitutional privilege of the president to refuse to disclose confidential information when disclosure would be contrary to the public interest." 1 In addition to moving to quash the sub-