An aging judge about to step down. Aggressive prosecutors friendly with the judge. A disgraced president. A nation that had already made up its mind.
The Watergate trials were a legal mess—and now, with the discovery of new documents that reveal shocking misconduct by prosecutors and judges alike, former Nixon staffer Geoff Shepard has a convincing case that the wrongdoing of these history-making trials was actually a bigger scandal than the Watergate scandal itself.
“The system worked,” Carl Bernstein’s famous assessment of Watergate, turns out to be completely wrong. Powerful new evidence reveals that in the most consequential scandal in American history, virtually nothing worked as intended. The real Watergate scandal is how our Constitution and Bill of Rights were deliberately trashed in the successful effort to realign political power, drive President Nixon from office, and imprison his senior aides.
Working from internal documents he recently uncovered at the National Archives, Shepard exposes judicial and prosecutorial misconduct that has remained hidden for four decades. Secret meetings, secret memos and secret collusion culminated in false accusations leveled against our thirty-seventh President by the Watergate Special Prosecutor. Shepard also reveals abuses that taint the convictions of Nixon’s top aides: John Ehrlichman, H. R. Haldeman, and John Mitchell.
This book will challenge everything you think you know about the Watergate scandal.
Hardcover, 385 pages
About the Author
Geoff Shepard holds degrees from Whittier College and Harvard Law School. He was selected a White House Fellow in 1969 and assigned to the Treasury Department, where he worked under Paul Volcker, then undersecretary for monetary affairs.
Following his fellowship year, Geoff joined John Ehrlichman’s Domestic Council staff at the Nixon White House, where he served for five years, first as a staff assistant and ultimately as associate director.
Geoff also worked on President Nixon’s Watergate defense team, where he was principal deputy to the President’s lead lawyer, J. Fred Buzhardt. In that capacity, he helped transcribe the White House tapes, ran the document rooms holding the seized files of H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and John Dean, and staffed White House counselors Bryce Harlow and Dean Birch.
He left the Ford administration in 1975 and embarked on a thirty-five year career in the insurance industry, ultimately becoming senior vice president and corporate secretary of CIGNA Corporation, then senior vice president and general counsel of Reliance Insurance Company, and then President of the corporate division of Karr Barth Associates.
For the past three decades, Geoff has arranged and hosted annual reunions of the Nixon/Ford policy planning staffs, consisting of former members of the Domestic Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget and the White House officials with whom they worked.
Beginning in 2010, Geoff has helped produce a series of Nixon Legacy Forums, which are documentaries focusing on President Nixon’s various public policy initiatives. The forums are co-sponsored by the Nixon Foundation and the National Archives and usually broadcast on C-Span’s American History channel. Almost three dozen such forums have been produced to date.
Geoff’s first book, The Secret Plot, was published by Penguin Sentinel in 2008 and focuses on the political intrigue behind the successful exploitation of the Watergate scandal. His current book, The Real Watergate Scandal, was published by Regnery History in August. It focuses on judicial and prosecutorial abuse in the Watergate trials. Shepard also has a third book underway about the Pentagon Papers, the Church Committee and the Plumbers prosecution.
Geoff lives with his wife of 42 years outside of Philadelphia. They have two adult sons.
“Document by document, Shepard builds an ironclad case against the very prosecutors who drove Nixon from office.” —HUGH HEWITT, host of The Hugh Hewitt Show
“The Real Watergate Scandal is one of the most valuable books ever published on the Nixon presidency. Geoff Shepard’s intrepid archival research has unearthed documents that expose, for the first time, evidence of deeply disturbing collusion between the Watergate special prosecutors and the presiding judge in the Watergate criminal trials. It’s the biggest Watergate bombshell to hit since the Nixon tapes in 1973–with implications at once historic and relevant today.”—JAMES ROSEN, Fox News chief Washington correspondent and author of The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate
“Watergate was a coup d’état that overturned the largest landslide in American history and destroyed a president who had humiliated the liberal establishment. Geoff Shepard’s investigative work has unearthed buried elements of the plot that brought down the thirty-seventh president.”—PATRICK J. BUCHANAN, author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority
“There are few books which I would call genuinely revelatory and indispensable. This is one of them. If you love America you must read this book.”—BEN STEIN, actor and political commentator