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Federal Judge Orders Release of Secret Nixon Watergate Testimony

Former President Richard Nixon

A federal judge has ordered the government to unseal the 297-page transcript of former President Richard Nixon's secret grand jury testimony on the Watergate scandal in 1975.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled in favor of historians who sued on the grounds that the historical significance of the testimony outweighs the need for secrecy. The Justice Department had fought to keep the material secret to protect witness privacy.

"The Court is confident that disclosure will greatly benefit the public and its understanding of Watergate without compromising the tradition and objectives of grand jury secrecy," Lamberth said.

The transcript won't be released immediately, however, as the government is entitled to appeal.

Nixon's June 1975 testimony took place over two days in California, 10 months after his resignation from office. It was the first time a former U.S. president had testified before a grand jury.

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