20 Burst results for "Spiro Agnew"
Getting to Know Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States
"Let's dig in. This was a speech that was given by Gerald Ford president of the United States in 1977. It was January. It was his State of the Union, and I think he went ahead and took it to the State of the Union because Gerald Ford has an interesting perspective of being the only person ever to serve as president. And vice president, both, and never be elected to those offices. He was a member of the House of Representatives when Spiro Agnew resigned from the vice president. He was appointed by Richard Nixon to become vice president after Richard Nixon resigned. He taking again through the Twenty-fifth Amendment became president of the United States. So he serves as the only person to have ever served as president of this country without actually being elected. We've had some who have ascended to those roles, but if they actually served, if they serve later, they were actually president, but this was one in which he was actually appointed to the vice president's role, not elected to that vice president's role. So in moving up, it makes it makes an interesting anomaly in history. But it also sort of fits one Gerald Ford. If you look into his background, you look into where he came from. He's a midwesterner, raised in mission, Grand Rapids, went to school at the University of Michigan, played football there was a star football player. In fact, one two national titles there undefeated football teams at the University of Michigan after that went to Yale law school and then served in the United States Navy during World War II came out and began his service in the United States House where he served over 25 years before he was picked to be vice president and president.
"spiro agnew" Discussed on It's All Journalism
"And enjoy the episode. Neither of us knew too much about the new story. Is i think most people generally do not and we kind of looked at it as this might be an interesting historic goal parallel to what we're now experiencing with the trump presidency the resignation of former vice president spiro. Agnew is not something. A lot of people know a lot about but rachel motto and michael yards found it rich enough and relevant enough has subject to create a podcast series and book by michael. O'connell this is it's altruism. Michael yard is an emmy and peabody award. Winning television producer and journalist he also co authored with rachel. Matto the book bag man. The wild crimes audacious cover up and spectacular downfall of a brazen crook in the white house. And he was the co writer and executive producer of the bagman podcast. Michael welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Oh no it's my pleasure. I read your book. It's a great book. I like history political histories. What we're gonna talk about it but before we get into that. This is journalism podcast. We talk we talk to journalists about how they do do their jobs. You know with their thoughts on the industry and their careers are tell me a little bit about yourself you know. How did you end up a tv producer. The author part came a little bit. Later was unexpected but i became interested in journalism. I think pretty early age. I grew up outside of boston in a town called bill ricca massachusetts and i think around high school i started volunteering for the weekly town. Newspaper was called minute. Man which i think still exists and you know i had my little note pad i would run around town and interview town officials in you know local residents and go to town meetings and i think you know from that stage pretty early on. I sort of knew that journalism was where i wanted to add. That was kind of the launching point for me and i ended up pursuing a degree in journalism and went to syracuse university and went to the new school there and ended up getting a degree in broadcast journalism. Initially i thought i wanted to be an on air reporter but i quickly realized i was not meant to be on camera and i also just liked producing behind the scenes. A little bit better. So i pursued that path of tv production and that ultimately after graduating from syracuse led me to job sort of an entry level job at msnbc down in new york new jersey and that kind of launched what ended up becoming a pretty long career in tv producing. And you also work on rachel show or less. You have yes addict. Okay so becoming an author with something that sorta wasn't in the planning. I could have gone online and looked videos where you were. You and rachel were interviewed where you're talking about. You know how you came about this book. The thing that i don't understand about this book is kind of how it came about the idea for it. because spiro agnew just doesn't seem like somebody who is particularly timely or relevant to what's going on. We're the german this idea come from. I mean it came about in early two thousand eighteen reginald edward together for a long time and i ended up leaving her show and pursue other projects in two thousand sixteen..
Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump's call to Raffensperger
"In addition to the events of january sixth. The article mentioned just one other specific event quote president. Trump's conduct on january six twenty twenty one followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the twenty twenty presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on january second during which president trump urged the secretary of state of georgia. Brad ravensburger to find enough votes. To overturn georgia presidential election results. President trump threatened secretary burger if he failed to do so. I know that that thing in georgia that little episode of attempted election interference by donald trump has been swallowed up by history already. This phone call was eclipsed by the violent attack on the us capitol just four days later. It's like how the resignation of vice president. Spiro agnew got swallowed up in history because watergate forced the resignation of president nixon right after it and so when i wrote a podcast and wrote a book about spiro. Agnew people are like. Who's that guy. He wouldn't believe what a big scandal that was for a minute until a much bigger scandal eclipsed it and made us all forget the earlier one when really really life changing terrible thing happens. It tends to blot out the memory of other really bad stuff. That might have happened just before this and so it is with this georgia call. But there's a reason that this georgia called this january second phone call is the one other specific event that the author author the impeachment resolution decided to include in their charges against former president trump. Because it's because before the january sixth violent attack on the us capitol members of congress. Were already considering a second impeachment of president trump just for that goal because at that point before island attack on the us capitol. His hour-long phone call to georgia secretary of state pushing and threatening george official to try to get the election results overturned there before the attack on the capital that was president trump's most egregious and blatant act of trying to apparently criminally alter and mess with the election results to try to hold onto power. And he not only did it. It was all on tape. So what are we going to do here. But i only need eleven thousand votes found us. I need eleven thousand. Give me a break for you. Know what they did. And you're not reporting it. That's a that's a criminal. That's a criminal offense and you can't let that happen. That's that's a big risk to you and to ryan you lawyers. That's a big risk is not fair to take it away from us like this and it's got to be very costly in many ways and i think you have to say that you're gonna reexamine it and you can reexamine but reexamine it with people that wanna find answers not people that don't wanna find answers. You can't let it happen and you are letting it happen all you know i mean i'm notifying you. You're letting it happen. So all i wanna do is i just wanna find Eleven thousand seven hundred eighty loads. I want you to find exactly enough votes to declare me the winner of the election in your state. And if you don't that's a big risk to you. I'm notifying you all criminal offense by you say you have reexamined. Didn't i actually one or else. And when president trump made that call on january second four days before the attack on the capital he hit already called. Georgia's governor to pressure him. To overturn the state's election results to trump also personally called a level official in the georgia secretary of state's office. The guy in charge of elections investigations and spent a long time. Personally pressuring that guy to quote find the fraud that would result in overturning. The election results in georgia and declaring trump the winner while president trump was making all of these calls personally the top federal prosecutor in atlanta. Us attorney in atlanta resigns under direct pressure from the trump white house because trump felt and communicated to that the us attorney that he was not doing enough to find that non-existent fraud that would somehow allow the overthrowing of the election results. One of the things that made the series of escalating interventions georgia's election so remarkable. Was that it. It was just also blatantly illegal. Not just impeachable but illegal like go to jail illegal. It is against the law in georgia to solicit someone to commit election fraud state election officials to find you exactly the number of votes you need to turn the election result the other way threatening collections officials that they to change vote counts in your favor or else would surely seem to fall under that statute will now even as donald trump's second impeachment trial unfolds in the us senate and what a spectacle it is and that trial unfolds on an article of impeachment that specifically references trump's threatening call to george a secretary of state while nell a high profile state prosecutor in georgia district attorney the largest county in the state fulton county has now opened a criminal investigation that centers on that phone call district attorney. There has sent this letter to george secretary of state governor lieutenant governor and attorney general extracting them all to preserve any and all records related to the two thousand twenty election quote. This letter is notice that the fulton county district attorney has opened an investigation into attempts to influence the administration of the twenty twenty georgia general election. This investigation includes but is not limited to potential violations of georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies conspiracy racketeering violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the elections administration quote. This matter is of high importance. Excuse me the this matter is of high priority. The next fulton county grand jury is due to convene in march. This office will begin requesting grand jury subpoenas as necessary at that time
"spiro agnew" Discussed on WAAM Talk 1600
"You know that Derek match rich now you know that right he's not alone anyway he's not being chased by an alligator anyway he he used to us eight their own place of different music for both music every now and then and I did and I kinda stock whenever we we never look back on and now it's it's become kind of a Frankenstein monster of my music show and my talk show but we do get content from time to time that last song right there revolution will not be televised that of course comes right out of the Nixon administration Spiro Agnew thing and I miss pearl Agnew I really do we can do to Spiro Agnew all right now George Mitchell right now I would definitely need ed Meese right now to to to start to taking down some of these criminals that are running around just like they only joy they do actually on the joints are sort of royalty Rudy Giuliani's act like he's going to see is making some noise like I've got the goods on the vines and I'm gonna well could screw around get out there what what do you waiting for what do you pass up well here's what is wait for he's not acting on his own Donald trumps attorney so he's not just run off like a loose cannon he could say I'm Mister president I'm going to resign our dear friends I will advise and consent with some of your other guys but I'm going on my own and I'm gonna bring down the bidens brought on the mob in New York he brought on the mob in New York we'll see what happens next week because next week they up all the good guys make their case however is going to be on that I what I know is in on it I mean he knows what's going on as part of a team I don't think you'll be an awful factor on the Senate floor yeah up taking down another criminality that is the socialist left remember how they vilified Nixon knew vilified Reagan and they vilified eyes anybody's Republican I was not a member of our after their name there immediately painted as being some kind of a crazy person some kind of just Ebola this force that needs to be dealt with and it's never been as vicious and vile as it is right now we're living through it right now this is the crown of socialist vile creation right now twenty twenty United States of America I am here to stand against that you're on the install turned about music Friday.
"spiro agnew" Discussed on KCRW
"At the top of the world the arctic ice is receding while Russian military power is expanding hi Mitchell Martin and I'm Steve Inskeep how do Russia's military moves look from Norway and how is that U. S. ally responded also what's it like inside a camp filled with wives and children of ISIS detainees it is Wednesday November twenty seventh this day in nineteen seventy three the Senate confirmed a new vice president Gerald Ford he replaced Spiro Agnew resigned and sued replaced president Richard Nixon the news is next live from NPR news in Washington I'm joining Hurst they're powerful storm systems are bringing heavy snow rain and high winds to the western and central U. S. and yours wins our Johnston reports winter weather advisories and warnings have been posted a more than a dozen states on one of the busiest travel days of the year forecasters say two major storm systems are bringing hurricane force winds and a blizzard like conditions to the upper Midwest and areas along the west coast National Weather Service meteorologist great carbon says a parts of the northeast will also feel the effects we'll see when Jim crease across much of the eastern seaboard the store will remain quite strong it looks like blustery conditions in the wake of that system will bring strong winds across all the northeast right through thanksgiving day the system dumped heavy snow on the central and southern plains on Tuesday causing significant travel delays including hundreds of flight cancellations in several cities Windsor Johnston NPR news an explosion at a refinery plant in southeastern Texas early this morning have left at least three people injured the TPC chemical plant in port nature's blew out windows in homes miles away officials issued a mandatory evacuation orders from nearby homes Mike to bias is a resident says his neighbors are worried they're worried about long term effects they're worried about long term exposure to whatever is near TV seasons all personnel at that site have been evacuated flavored tobacco invading products are now banned in Massachusetts the state's governor Charlie Baker says sign that log today which immediately bans the sale of flavored vaping products and we'll all lost sales of math and met a menthol cigarettes starting this January this is health officials deal with a lawn disease plaguing vapors which has sickened nearly three thousand people forty seven have died he was a con we grew a little faster in the third quarter of the year than initially reported and peer Scott Horsley reports on revised figures from the commerce department the new numbers show the economy expanded at an annual rate of two point one percent between July and September that's up slightly from the initial GDP reading of one point nine percent but still far short of the three percent target set by the White House the improvement reflects somewhat stronger growth in inventories and consumer spending while spending by state and local governments was somewhat lower than initially reported business investment was still weak but not quite as soft as had been feared a separate report shows a modest uptick in orders for durable goods in October shipments of business equipment rebounded slightly after slumping during the third quarter of the year Scott Horsley NPR news Washington and Wall Street is trading in positive territory at this hour the Dow was up a fraction of a point at twenty thousand one hundred twenty one the nasdaq is up thirty eight points at eighty six eighty six the S. and P. five hundred up five points at thirty one forty five you're listening to NPR news from Washington it's eight oh four on cherry Glaser with KCRW news the king fire continues to burn in the mountains above Santa Barbara and go Lida the rain has started to fall and that should be a big help getting the blaze under control the wind driven fire started Monday afternoon in an area of dry brushy canyons in the Los Padres National Forest threatening homes in the foothills below but most of the mandatory evacuations have now been lifted Los Padres National Forest fire chief Jim Harris talked about some of the challenges of fighting this fire the K. fire is burning under some of the toughest firefighting conditions anywhere in the world we're at the end of of the dry season so the fields are some of the driest that we have at last count the cave fire had burned about forty three hundred acres and was ten percent contained no homes have been damaged we are expecting an.
"spiro agnew" Discussed on 860AM The Answer
"GPS was there go back and listen to know yours testimony now your says that there was a lot of contact between Democrats and the Ukraine why have all the contacts and John when the rest of this comes out. and we look at China and the one point five billion that the that the the Biden family took out of China well that guy was negotiated forest this will be a lot bigger than Spiro Agnew have fallen into a trap think of what they are accusing the president off without any details we have no substance and now we know it's based on hearsay somebody told somebody who had the conversation with the president pressurized the government of Ukraine to look into some corruption issue that's the accusation but we have no details we have no proof. that's exactly what Joe Biden did when he was vice president he actually said to you must file yeah this prosecutor until then we will hold US aid to Ukraine from being released then what happens Ukraine actually does that this is the real real scandal and this isn't some position we have Joe Biden the main thing that he did this that the extorted the Ukrainian government let's listen to his own admission top ten. I had gotten a commitment.
"spiro agnew" Discussed on KDWN 720AM
"Vice president Spiro Agnew was among the first national politicians on the right to exploit the division between the mainstream press pose of objectivity and the clear viewpoints that were shaping journalists coverage what happened to Woodrow Wilson. And the Sedition Act of nineteen eighteen. What happened to that? And his propaganda, movement, and is censorship, movement and is imprisoning of journalists as well as political, why does he skip over that what happened to Franklin Roosevelt and his unleashing the IRS? Against Moses Annenberg because the Philadelphia Inquirer and support the new deal. And his wife, Eleanor, who sick, the IRS on get what happened to them. What happened to John Kennedy and his association with the media, what happened to Linden all skipped? All missed. But Spiro Agnew UC's crucially important. Vice president Spiro Agnew was among the first national politicians on the right. Took the division between the mainstream press pose of objectivity and the clear viewpoints that were shaping journalists coverage part of Agnes genius was to lump all reporters and news organizations Senate, a vast undifferentiated media, did he just tell us what was going on in newsrooms plural? That conspired to produce. A twist of the counter the news, that little resemble the world is conservative view that this portrayal undermine confidence in the press. More generally, no. Unfortunately Agnew would resign and shame. It wasn't Agnew. It wasn't any politician. It was the modern mass media. That undermine confidence. In the press. Books, such as TV guide writer Edith, ephrons, the news. Twisters published in nineteen seventy-one purported analyze the leftward, lean of the press, but they scholarly veneer and offered support for the administration's move to undercut the media's collective credibility. Dozens of books have followed in their wake ladies and gentlemen. Ask a question of you read any of these books? No, the vast majority of Americans read any of these books. No. So he's talking about this. But that's didn't have any effect at all. Nineteen seventy-one Lucas join with colleagues defined more. Hey journalistic re journalism review that tried to nudge, elite news organizations into a new set of practices and values for the press ones that acknowledged to some extent, the inherent subjectivity of news. Reporting Moore's goal was to leave.
"spiro agnew" Discussed on C-SPAN Radio
"Should nixon. Former vice president under Eisenhower earlier, congressman Republican con- congressman from California. He wins the election in nineteen sixty eight in part by taking away some of Wallace's issues, so Nixon talks about restoring voice to the quiet Americans. The Americans who don't go out on the streets. The Americans who are not making trouble the Americans whose children are fighting in Vietnam. In fact, he takes some of that vote. From Wallace is a vice president who becomes famous for good reason. Spiro Agnew was a former governor of Maryland Spiro Agnew talks about exactly who is going to be represented under Nixon presidency, and he says. Nixon Nixon's campaign was bringing us together after the democratic debacle of the democratic convention. Nixon was going to bring people together it was going to bring the country together. Here's how Spiro Agnew defines. What that really meant. He says it's time to rip away the rhetoric and to divide on offensive lines. He says when the president said bring us together what he meant was the functioning, contributing portions of American people. The new president would have his job cut out for him the same Americans who voted really quite overwhelmingly for Nixon, or at least who catapulted him into the White House over Democrats gave the Democrats both houses of congress. So Richard Nixon in nineteen sixty eight we'll be the first president to enter the White House without control of either house of congress since Dockery Taylor in eighteen forty nine. That's how unusual it is a president not to have either house of congress when he begins. That represents a real you can see that as real distrust at this point of government and wanting to have real checks and balances president from one party, both houses of congress from another party is an extreme version of that kind of distrust that you see other times. Nixon's job in nineteen sixty nine as he begins. His presidency is the soothing the nation that fractured into multiple groups whites African Americans women men youth old folks workers intellectuals, and they were all at odds with each other. And this phrase middle America was not a phrase in the nineteen sixties. It's a new phrase that comes to describe this portion of America that is where American presidential elections are going to be fought and won on for the next forty years. This thing. This thing middle America wasn't very firm in the late nineteen sixty. So it was more Marsh than solid ground. It was hard to figure out who was in America who was not in middle America and maintaining majority was tricky for Richard Nixon for anybody for that matter in the White House. Nixon had a majority that was formed by disgruntled white Democrats so Wallace voters with an increasingly conservative, fiscally and culturally conservative Republican party. So this is where Richard Nixon is standing in the middle middle and manages to get the voters who will vote for both of those things that becomes very important fact Nixon's election in sixty eight is usually regarded as a bellwether for the next. Presidential elections. The Democrats actually the Democrats win only one of the Knicks six six presidential elections between nineteen sixty eight and nineteen ninety two. So you have a very long period of really of unified Republican. Control of the White House, and it's a profound shift in American politics. It's the beginning of a profound shift in American politics. So Nixon realizes that his future depends in good measure on his ability to woo. Those Americans who voted for George Wallace in nineteen sixty eight that's thirteen point five percent of voters. Nixon needs to have those people in order to win any understands that Wallace voters whether they're in the south or the north for that matter are spooked by the social changes of the sixties. They're spooks by the changes in race relations spooked by the Chasen's in youth behavior in relations between the sexes. There's spooked by hippies. All of these things upset them and Nixon takes on this this Wallace law and order mantle. We talked rather vaguely about just sort of calming things down, and he's going to be the protectors of middle-class read white against. The lawless urban class read black. This is what he's always talking about these people in the cities, they're burning the cities, they're wrecking America. And he had a hard time because he had to lure these Wallace voters which included democratic voters in the north urban Democrats working class urban Catholics, for example. Traditionally, you know, urban Catholics about a democratic. They voted for mayor Daley who was an urban Catholic. They voted democratic and Richard Nixon needs those votes. So this is the moment when the Republican party starts to reach out to what was traditionally a democratic working base. It was a working class voter base of white ethnics that had been if you remember back been part of the new deal coalition in the nineteen thirties. Aren't they're all about long. We tend to think of working class whites as being Democrats. In fact, they're only Democrats were about thirty years, and then they've been Republicans for longer than that. By now. Nixon understands that. Democrats want security, and this is old word again back from the new deal. You remember we talked earlier social security all the different programs people want security, and then and that they are defenders of the new deal social safety net. There aren't Republicans or there, aren't there aren't Wallace Republicans there aren't sorry. Wallace. Democrats there aren't old Democrats from the democratic coalition. Those people want to keep the Neil deal. They're not interested in. Republican economics as they're being described in the late nineteen sixties Gary wills who was a syndicated commun- columnist later said his definition of American conservatives and was asked he said Americans are conservatives with they want to preserve is the new deal..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"And in Watergate, and we know how it ended both for Nixon and Agnew. But that doesn't mean it's going to necessarily end the same way. Now history is informative but not determinative in terms of what happens next. I I do feel like it helps to understand. That even though it feels like a lot of what we're going through is unprecedented or worse than we can possibly imagine the more, you know, about previous scandals in US history. The more you realize that some of this stuff is not unprecedented. And that we have not only been confronted with some of these same problems and crises in the past. We've survived them and done. So in a way that we can be proud of in terms of the way that our democracy handled challenges and Agnes case because of some heroic individuals, and because the system held and because of some historical accidents in terms of the way things worked out, I think the Agnew story is really helpful to understanding the way the system works when it confronts bad behavior by people in high office, we are capable of dealing with that as a country in a way that makes us proud of the people who are in public office who are dealing with it. I just want to say in conclusion to our listeners we've just touched on some of the. Story that's told him bagman. There's a lot more story in it. And really interesting clips as well. So the podcast is called bagman and my guest, Rachel meadow. Co wrote it with Mike yardage, the producer of the podcast and Rachel, of course, also hosts her own show on MSNBC weekday nights at nine o'clock. Thank you both so much for talking with us, Terry. Thank you so much. This was a ton of fun. Thank you. Thanks. Terry was an honor. Tomorrow on fresh air. My guest will be Kevin Hart who stand up comedy sells out stadiums. He starts with Bryan Cranston in the new movie. The upside last month heart stepped down from hosting this year's Oscars after facing criticism for earlier, homophobic, jokes and tweets. The story is still developing hope you'll join us. Fresh Air's executive producer Stanley Miller, our technical director and engineers, Audrey Bentham. Our associate producer for digital media is Molly seavy nesper. Roberta shorrock directs the show. I'm Terry gross.
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"Let's get back to my interview with Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC's. The Rachel Maddow show and Mike yard. It's a former senior producer of the show. So let's just get a sense of what chaos. Our government was in an October of nineteen Seventy-three Adna resigns, and then ten days later what happens ten days later is the Saturday night massacre. I mean, it's it's amazing. It's not even two weeks later that Nixon orders, the attorney general to fire the special prosecutor who is pursuing the Watergate case that attorney general, of course, is Elliot Richardson, the man who just secured the resignation of Nixon's vice president Richardson objected to that order from the president. He resigned in protest deputy attorney general then resigned in protest. Ultimately, it went down down the line of succession at the Justice department until the solicitor general Robert Bork was willing to fire. The Watergate prosecutor that will happen. Within two weeks of of of Agnew surprise being forced from office in this dramatic showdown in a courtroom in Maryland. And I actually think that the the closeness of those two events in the timeline is part of the reason that the Agnew story is so poorly. Understood I mean Watergate was at a full roiling boil by the time Agnew was going through this entirely separate drama and the history of Elliot Richardson is very much inflicted by the heroic way in which he resisted Nixon's order and resigned on that Saturday massacre in the middle of that Saturday night massacre drama, but that was so close in time to what he had done with Agnew that I sort of feel like we've got limited bandwidth as Americans in terms of our history books. We can only remember so so many events from one particular time in history. And so I knew ended up slinging into the shadows. On that one is so Elliott, Richard. Jason the then attorney general ah so important in bringing down vice president Agnew and in the Watergate investigation. Now, I have an acting attorney general who actively supports President Trump and President Trump is under investigation, and we have a nominee to be the attorney general who opposes the Muller investigation. So we're in a very different situation right now. Yeah. It's it's it's interesting to see the I guess the the strength of the Justice department through various lenses of history. I mean, the Justice department has rules it has its own traditions. It has its own pride in its own independence and competence. It's also an institution that is run by human beings who have different strengths and weaknesses and alliances that they bring with them to their jobs and part of the story of Agnew is the heroism of George bell. This Republican US Turney age all thirty five who supervised this investigation and resisted all this pressure. That was being put on him by the most powerful people in the country in his family, and in his own party part of the story of Agnew is the statesmanship of Elliot Richardson, and the way that he approached this in the way that he prioritized the needs of the country over the individual concerns of his own prosecutors and the individual sort of impact. Gives of this criminal case that he was dealing with involving Agnew. And you have to wonder if people of that caliber were not in those powerful positions at that important time would we have had a different outcome for the country. Would we have would we have had president Agnew? Rachel, you re tweeted presidential historian, Michael Beschloss tweet you did this on Tuesday of this week, and it's very relevant to the conversation that we're having Beschloss tweeted Nixon on Watergate in state of the union forty five years ago this month. Quote, I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end one year of Watergate is enough. Exclamation point. That sounds familiar. Yeah. It is amazing. How much the history rhymes here? I mean, we don't do anything exactly twice. But the parallels with what was going on in the Nixon and Agnew administration. Forty. Five years ago to the efforts by the Trump administration right now to Perry this investigation, and these swirling scandals around this presidency. It is uncanny the attacks on the press the attacks on the Justice department, the efforts to undermine the independence of the Justice department the attacks on individual prosecutors the effort to claim publicly that there's something improper about the length of the investigation all of these things have direct parallels in the Agnew scandal..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"And this to me is where you get into some of the most important and fuzzy implications. Of the end of Agnew as vice president of the United States because the Agnew legal team was maintaining publicly that Agnew as vice president was immune from prosecution that he couldn't be indicted, the office of legal counsel, the Justice department at the time was asked to weigh on way in on this matter, and they produced a sort of strange memo, which said, well, the president can't be indicted, but the vice president can sort of odd duck that that memo, but on the basis of that opinion, the attorney general and these prosecutors went tag news legal team and said, hey, we can indict you and we intend to and what do you have to trade for that? And those negotiations went on for a long time, and they were complex and important. But ultimately the deal that was reached was that Agnew would only have to plead no contest to one count. He wouldn't do any jail time. But he would have to resign immediately. And what was the count that he pled to he pled to taxi vision? But he he. Didn't plead guilty. He pled. He pled, no contest. So th this is why when people think about Agnew leaving office. They just think of like, oh, tax fraud and anything. Yeah. He got caught fiddling something with his deductions. I mean, it was such a bigger story. Yeah. Yeah. And in a way that that is a credit to Spiro Agnew defense attorneys who were able to secure in exchange for his immediate resignation from office. This this plea to a single count of tax evasion in a single year. And so you know, when you look back at the history of Spiro Agnew just doing sort of cursory search of it. That's what you find is that, you know, vice president Spiro Agnew resigned on account of tax evasion. But it was it was a very drawn out process between avenues defense, lawyers and attorney general Elliot Richardson, really negotiating this this agreement that would result in one one count of tax evasion. So one of the questions surrounding President Trump. Now a question that surrounded president Nixon and vice president Agnew is Cana sitting president be indicted. On criminal charges or Agnes cases. Vice president does the Agnew story that you've told so well in bag man have any lessons for us today that can help answer that question. I think that there are puzzles on both sides of this if Agnew's defense team, and if Agnew himself didn't believe that a vice president could be indicted, which is what they maintained in argued publicly at the time. Well, then why did they talk to prosecutors at all they were maintaining a public argument that prosecutors essentially had no power over a sitting president or vice president they couldn't touch him. Well, if so why did they even talk to those? Prosecutors let alone enter into a negotiation with them that resulted in the vice president's resignation on the other side. Prosecutors were claiming that they could indict a sitting vice president, and they were fully willing to well if so if they were confident in that, then why did they go through this choreography? Why did they take such pains to ensure that by the time Agnew pled to that tax evasion count by the time he was in that courtroom? He had resigned. I I mean he resigned moments before he stepped into that courthouse. And they made sure that was the sequence of events had he resigned as vice president moments after he pled or after he was indicted. We would have an entirely separate legal precedent on this case that a president or vice president could be indicted in this case they sidestepped that issue by allowing him to resign. I that's fast. I'm I I'm still puzzled as to whether or not they were bluffing that they weren't totally sure they could indict him, or what would have happened had that Justice department opinion that said he could be indicted actually been tested in court. They sidestepped the test by letting him resign..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"Kind of a whole week of the news networks, basically talking most of the time about George H W Bush's presidency. What a model president he was and suddenly his name crops up in your podcast about the Agnew bribery, and extortion scheme and the attempt to shut down the investigation. Tell us how George H W Bush comes up in this. So when Agnew and the Nixon White House, we're trying to put together a scheme to shut down this prosecution of Agnew. They lit on this idea that the US attorney in Maryland who was leading the investigation that he could be pressured through his family to stop this thing. So the White House needed somebody to put that pressure on him Nixon says on tape that he's not going to do it himself. So Nixon staff is like, oh, no, no, sir. Of course, you can't do that yourself. It seems like Agnew did a little bit of it himself. There was a lot of discussion about different senior White House figures being asked to go put that pressure on that Senator, but ultimately for variety of reasons the person or one of the persons who they decided to dispatch to pressure that Senator to try to shut down. That investigation was the then head of the Republican National Committee, the head of the Republican party who was George H W Bush. So we know that he actually went to the senator's office to try to get him to pressure his brother to stop the investigation. But do we really know what he said, we know we know he had the meanings. But I I was wondering like did H W Bush go to the Senator and say, I was told to tell you this. I'm telling you this. I'm not telling you to do it. I'm just telling you, I was told to tell you this. I've told you this goodbye. Thank you do. You know what I mean? So it's like, I'm doing my job. I'm telling you. But I'm not pressuring you. I'm just reporting what they told me to tell you in a neutral. We don't have. We don't have recording of what happened between George H W Bush and this Republican Senator, but I mean, Mike was able to turn up pretty good evidence on both sides of the request. And what was apparently the delivery of the pressure by George H W Bush. So we we at least can see some of the dock. Commentator of it. Right. That's yeah. That's right. We can hear obviously, the White House tapes where Al Haig is informing president Nixon that he's you know, he says I did it through George Bush on the first run. Meaning I spoke to George Bush and told him to deliver this message to the Senator to get through to his brother. And so we know from that end that Al Haig, and Richard Nixon oversaw this effort to have George Bush do that in one of the things that we found in reporting the story was trip that I took to George bells archives at Frostburg state university of Maryland where he wrote a memo to file that lives in his archives in which he memorialize us for the record. The fact that his brother the sitting Republican Senator Glen bell did rela- a conversation that was had with him by George Bush, and we don't know the exact nature of the conversation. But it was part of this effort from Agnew. Due to say that these prosecutors were intimidating people and were conducting this investigation in an unprofessional manner. And we can see in this memo to file from that summer of nineteen Seventy-three that George H W Bush who was then Republican party chairman did speak to the Republican Senator there to try to get word to his brother about this investigation. You also have on tape Adnew saying get this thing the investigation get this thing over with and get the sky, Nick one of the prosecutors, who's a musky volunteer the hell out of his office. Where did you find that statement? Well, that one we found on one of these Nixon White House tapes, which was a conversation that Spiro Agnew was having with Richard Nixon in the Oval Office in that was you know, when you talk about this sort of elements of obstruction and the efforts to shut down this investigation that was that seemed to be a prime motivator force bureau, which was to get this federal prosecutor Barney Skolnick who was the lead prosecutor on this three man team to get him thrown off the case..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"That was being led by the US attorney in Maryland man, named George bell and the way that Agnew tried to do it was by getting to George Bell's brother who was a sitting Republican Senator from Maryland named Glen bell. And what you hear in these tapes is this really elaborate plan that Spiro Agnew discussing in the Oval Office with Richard Nixon and others to basically get to this Republican Senator behind the scene. Enes and have him essentially get word to his brother to shut down this investigation. And as you mentioned, this was a an obstruction effort that prosecutors at the time didn't know about and one of the surprising and amazing things to us as we were putting together this podcast was that even forty five years later, they weren't aware of it. And so their reaction now to hearing about this effort to obstruct an end their investigation. It was a revelatory moment in in putting together this podcast, which is that they they were completely unaware in the reason that they weren't is. Because ultimately, the obstruction effort didn't work and George bell their boss. The US attorney was getting that pressure from his brother, and he shut it down. He didn't let it get to his federal prosecutors were working on the case he shot and the attempt to shut down the investigation. That's right. That's right. He resisted that pressure. That was coming at him from the Nixon White House and from his brother, okay? In case anybody's finding the story hard to follow. So George bell is the federal prosecutor in Maryland overseeing the investigation into Adnew. His brother is a Republican sitting Senator from Maryland who's getting pressured from the White House. So the senators being pressured to tell his brother the prosecutor shut it down. Any other nice dynamic at work. There is that George bells older brother, the US Senator he really owed his Senate seat to Nixon and Agnew, Nixon and Agnew had weighed in very heavily during his election campaign to help him win that seat Jorge and Glenn the brothers. Their father had previously held that US Senate seat. He had been ousted by democrat, Nixon and Agnew in the White House. Wade into help the bell family to help George bells. Older brother win that seat back that their father had previously held the bell family was absolutely indebted to the Nixon White House to Agnew personally. Because he campaigned. For that Senate seat as a big figure in Maryland politics for them to win it. And so for then little brother, George bell to turn around and bring prosecution against Agnew when his family was so politically and personally indebted to Agnew, and when Agnew was reminding them of that at every turn and bringing all of these different Republican graybeards and important people to weigh in to try to pressure. This investigation to stop. I mean, George bell was a heroic figure here in the way that he resisted the pressure. That was brought against him. My guests are Rachel meadow. And Mike Yar Vitz who collaborated on the podcast bagman. A seven part series about the bribery and extortion investigation into vice president Spiro Agnew, and how it forced his resignation motto hosts MSNBC's the Rachel maddow's show yards is a former senior producer of the show after a break. We'll talk about how George H W Bush figures into Agnew's attempt to stop the investigation, and we'll talk about lessons. From the Agnew story that may be relevant to the investigations into Donald Trump. I'm Terry gross. And this is fresh air support for this podcast and the following message. Come from duck, duck go in a time when some big tech companies are surveilling your every move online. Duck duck. Go has a private search engine that allows people to search without being tracked, plus their mobile, apps and browser extensions. Block sketchy add trackers across the web. Visit duck duck go dot com slash listen to take back your privacy..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"And so Richardson in a real way is the person who sort of allows this investigation to sort of reach. It's the conclusion that it needs to. So when Agnew finds out he's under investigation. He wants to shut it down before we get to the the really big way. He tries to shut it down. What are some of the smaller ways of attacking the people who are investigating? One of the first signs that the Baltimore prosecutors had that they were maybe onto something big that related to the vice president is that when Agnew heard that. There was an investigation going on into public corruption in Baltimore County back in Maryland, he made himself available to the attorney general he started importuner himself into the scandal himself, even before he had ever been named in conjunction with it, actually, even before the attorney general knew that this investigation was going on it had risen to the level where the attorney general himself would be notified so Agnew had his intent up and knew that this was something that could get him in trouble. And so he got himself more in trouble by raising his hand and saying, hey, Mr. attorney general this investigation this needs to stop that was sort of. Prosecutors I signed that maybe he was involved in it that was not a genius move on Agnew's part. But then he continued efforts through the attorney general. Directly, and ultimately through the US attorney who was supervising the investigation Maryland to pressure them into stopping the investigation simply because Agnew thought. They should and one of the things that's that's interesting to see in terms of that strategy that Rachel's talking about is his effort to sort of behind the scenes cast. These federal prosecutors as biased he's sort of making an effort within the White House to say that these prosecutors are unprofessional and that they have political vendettas against him. And so as part of this obstruction effort, he is trying to sort of malign the character of the prosecutors who were in the process of investigating him that has a familiar ring to it. Sure does. So you found something like that. The prosecutors didn't even know at the time, and that this was there was a secret plan that Agnew had to shut down the investigation. Would you describe that secret plan? Yeah. You know, it's an interesting part of us digging into the story was looking through the Nixon White House recordings. And obviously, those recordings have been very picked over as it relates to Watergate, but not as picked over as it relates to the Agnew scandal. And what we found as we were sort of listening through the recordings was this effort that Spiro Agnew developed behind the scenes with Richard Nixon and with h r Haldeman and other White House officials to try to shut down this investigation..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"And they ultimately didn't let him take that over. But we can now see knowing his criminal designs, and knowing how criminal scheme worked that his effort to do that. Once he was vicepresident, which again failed must have been an effort to get control of more contracts that he could then dole out in this kickbacks game that would earn him some cash. So once the Maryland federal prosecutors found out about talk of this bribery, and extortion scheme involving Agnew. They wanted to investigate and see what they can find they needed the green light from the. Newly appointed attorney general, Elliot Richardson. He was appointed in the spring of nineteen Seventy-three Richardson had already appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Watergate. So what was Richardson's reaction when he was told by his prosecutors that they wanted to investigate the vice president and bribery, and extortion Richardson was in an amazing situation here because he was not only the attorney general the third Nixon attorney general at that point the first two had resigned in Watergate adjacent scandals of their own. He's the third Nixon attorney general there is the special prosecutor's looking into Watergate, he's responsible for that to a certain extent as attorney general, but he's also become a sounding board for Nixon himself. Nixon is frequently personally calling Elliot Richardson at that point to complain about various elements of the Watergate investigation in the scandal surrounding him and that gives Richardson an insight into. The president's state of mind and how much this investigation is affecting him and distracting him and dominating his life as president and on top of that a totally unrelated scandal is brought to his desk from these Baltimore prosecutors who had not started off investigating Agnew. They had just started investigating. But what was known to be a public corruption problem in Maryland. They did not expect that it would take them to the door of the sitting vice president. But it did by the time they came to Richardson, they had a ton of evidence against the sitting vice president, and they were essentially bringing him something brand new and something potentially equally catastrophic for the White House to the Watergate scandal he was already dealing with. So Richardson is getting pressured by Agnew like don't do anything about this Richardson could have put a stop to this right there. But he didn't he could've and that's one of the really served dramatic scenes that plays out in this podcast. And that the prosecutors were counted for us as this July third nine thousand nine hundred. Three meeting where they're going to the Justice department to meet with Richardson for the first time, and they know that they've got the sort of bombshell on their hands. They understand Watergate is going on at the time. And and the consequences of this are are incredible going into that meeting as they recount, they don't know what Elliot Richardson is going to do as they're laying out all of this evidence that they've collected against the sitting vice president they're sort of looking at Elliot Richardson's face trying to sort of calculate what he's going to do in Richardson during this meeting has been called out of the room for phone calls from the White House about Watergate from Nixon from Alhag, and so it's incredible pressure. That Elliot Richardson is under at the time, which the prosecutors are aware of and it's not until at the end of that meeting that it becomes clear to the prosecutors, Elliot Richardson is not going to shut this investigation down. He understands the importance of it. And he basically gives them the green light to keep investigating and that they would keep the this investigation secret. Including from the White House until such time as they needed to to sort of move forward with a more formal part of the investigation..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"I mean that was kind of a disconnect for me. So let's get to the bribery and extortion scheme that he was part of in Maryland, what was the scheme. Yes, sensually. It was a scheme that he had concocted when he was Baltimore County executive where he realized that he had the power to award some local contracts for engineering and architecture, and he could single handedly decide who got the contract, and what he put together was a scheme that predated his time in that office. But he would arrange with these local contractors engineers and architects that they would get the contract and in return, they would kick back to him something on the order of three to five percent of whatever they were making off of that contract in these were kickbacks that were delivered to him in cash often in in an envelope. That was just brought to him and handed him directly in many cases, use the bagman as part of this scheme, and it was a scheme that he started. When he was Baltimore County executive that he then continued when he was governor of Maryland. And again, he used a state roads Commissioner when? He was governor. And basically, it was a kickback scheme. It was a bribery and extortion scheme in which if you wanted a government contract in Maryland, you would have to kick back money to Spiro Agnew. And it was it was brazen. And it was delivered in cash, and and he started that scheme in local politics. And then he carried a run into the White House. How did it continue into the White House? Well, when he was vice president he didn't have as much power to award contracts. That's a federal process, but when he became vice president he was still taking money for contracts that had ripened essentially that he had given out in Maryland as governor. And so the the men who were sort of streaming into his office at the White House were paying him money for contracts. They had gotten in Maryland. And in some cases, he was trying to influence the awarding of federal contracts, and he was successful in number of cases at steering federal contracts to these businessmen in Maryland who wanted these jobs there was this one. Great moment that we came across in the history of Agnew as vice president where he tried to assert control over federal contracts on the eastern seaboard General Services Administration contracts. He essentially decided that he was going to be as vice president the guy who decided to those contracts went to and there was a sort of bewilderment about that in the Nixon White House, why does Agnew to do this..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"Let's just give some background before serving as vice president he'd been elected. The Baltimore County executive in nineteen sixty two then governor of Maryland and sixty six what did Agnew represent politically? When he was campaigning for vice president when he became vice president, what did he represent on the right because he was kind of part of the culture war in the late sixties before the term culture war was coined. Yeah. I think that's right. I think one of the interesting things that we found was that he really was this sort of firebrand figure on the right in a way that Nixon really wasn't. He sort of was able to rile up the conservative base across the country. He spoke in very controversial language at times about issues of of race. And you know, law and order, I think one of the sort of interesting things, that's you know, sort of not known about Agnew as a political figures is how much in a lot of ways he was much more beloved among the Republican base much more. So than Nixon was what sort of manifest itself during the scandal is that Nixon really sort of needs Agnew on his side because he knows in a way that Agnew was much more popular with the Republican base in the country than even he is. So I think as Rachel's alluding through this sort of the political history of Spiro Agnew as a political. Is sort of forgotten. But he did a lot to sort of raise these issues in the Republican base about antagonizing the media, and these sort of these racial issues that have more sort of bubbly and on the right in the sixties. And it's it's sort of a forgotten part of his legacy with the help of his speech writer, William Safire. He said phrases like referring to his critics calling them Pusa Lanham ass- pussy footers missile. Animus means lacking courage and resolution he called his critics nattering nabobs of negativism. And there's a great quote that you use in the podcast. He said if you tell me that they hippies in the garden to be able to do the job. I'll tell you this. They can't run a bus. They can't serve governmental office. They can't run a lay than factory all they can do as a lay down in the park and sleep or kick policemen with razor blades. Very very provocative. I would say he's provocative, but that attack on liberals the attack in other instances on minorities, the attack on the elites the attack specifically on the media, which he really turned into an art form is something that was key not only to his controversial nature at the time. But it's absolutely what Nixon needed in terms of lining up and keeping on his side. The very hard line Republican base at the time. And I think that was part of what was interesting in terms of parallels to today. I think a lot of people lament on the right? The anti media stuff that is stoked by the Trump administration, the anti elite stuff some of the divisive and and racially specific stuff that we're seeing from this administration. But it's it's not new it's really it's a well trodden path and Agnew was great at it. You think Agnew kinda creates a new playbook for the kind of language you can use in campaign for high office. I mean, he was really quite eloquent actually in his provocative and controversial remarks. I mean, Mike one of the things I think you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like when we were going through his most controversial statements one of the things that was sort of mind-bending for us. At least for me was to be both seeing all the parallels to sort of Trump ist republicanism today, and to be seeing somebody who had this, you know, twenty million dollar vocabulary and all the alliteration and all the eloquence, and he always spoke in complete sentences..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on Fresh Air
"I'm Terry gross with fresh air today. Rachel Maddow and Mike yards. Talk about bagman their podcast about how Nixon's first vice president Spiro Agnew was forced out of office by a federal investigation into allegations of bribery, and extortion will Agnew as under federal investigation. Nixon was to for Watergate Maduro says this posed a terrifying prospect unprecedented in US history. Theoretically, what that could have resulted in his Nixon leaving office or being forced from office because of the criminal scandal that was Watergate him being succeeded immediately by vice president who is under a completely separate criminal investigation. Who? Then also forced from office. I mean, the prospect of the chaos at the top of the federal government was just unparalleled. We'll talk about the investigation. How Adnew tried to shut it down and parallels to the current investigations into President Trump? My guests. Rachel motto and Mike yard yards have collaborated on a podcast called bag, man. That tells the forgotten story of how a sitting vice president Spiro add new came under investigation by federal prosecutors. And before he was forced to resign did everything to try to stay in office, including attacking the press and trying to shut down the investigation. There are several parallels relating to current investigations into President Trump Agnew as Richard Nixon's. First vice president, and you is being investigated for bribery and extortion in nineteen seventy three at the same time. Nixon was a target of the Watergate investigation which later led to Nixon's resignation. Rachel motto is the host of MSNBC's the racial Matt show, she hosts and co wrote bagman Mike, your Vitz is a former senior producer of her show and produced and co wrote bagman as part of his research. He listened to the Nixon White House tapes. And to an audio diary made by Nixon's White House chief of staff, h r Haldeman your average discovered. Some surprising previously unreported twists in the story, including one way that Agnew tried to get the US attorney overseeing the investigation to stop it, the lead prosecutor Barney Skolnick never knew this part of the story until you are. It's played him the Haldeman tape as you hear on the podcast Skolnik was stunned. Well, we I mean, we knew we had some sense as the whole country did have what kind of administration Nixon with Haldeman and all Erlich men, and so on were running, but we had no we had no knowledge that this was happening. Rachel motto. Mike yard fits welcome to fresh air. And congratulations on your podcast, which has now gotten over ten million downloads. When thinking about questions surrounding President Trump like did, he obstruct Justice? Did he commit impeachable? Offenses might we face a constitutional crisis. People tend to look at Richard Nixon and Watergate, but you've looked at his vice president Spiro Agnew. What made you think about investigating avenue for me? I feel like there are a lot of presidential scandals in US history. But there are very few presidential scandals that results in resignation and or impeachment, and I was really interested in Agnew just because he's one of that very small number of presidential or vice presidential scandals that rose to that level. But also because I realized that when I tried to sort of thumbnail in my mind, what happened in the resignation everything I thought about it was wrong, all of my impressions about it turned out to be wrong. When I looked them up and for me that that piqued my curiosity. I was almost embarrassed listening to your podcasts because I knew so little like I hadn't spent that much time thinking about why Agnew left office. And I was just shocked by. Everything I learned your that's not an uncommon thing. And that what I think Mike, and I found that same dynamic at work, even as we had started working on the podcast. I mean, I assumed that his big sin was tax evasion. I had assumed that it was a Watergate adjacent scandal. You know that the F B I was looking into Watergate related crimes and they stumbled upon something in Spiro Agnew taxes. I had assumed that acne was kind of no big deal as vice president because he's kind of no big deal in history. All of those things were completely wrong. The history of it is just is not what we remember. If we remember that history at all. And so it's it's nice to find something in history. That's brand new. Mike before we get to what Agnew was guilty of before we get to his bribery and extortion scheme..
"spiro agnew" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM
"And if you're just joining us, my guests are Rachel Maddow, and Mike ER vets he produced they co wrote and Rachel hosts the podcasts bag man, which is a limited series about the bribery and extortion scandal involving Nixon's first first vice president Spiro Agnew, and how Agnew is subsequently forced out of office. So once prosecutors understood Agnew's involvement in this bribery, and extortion scandal, we had a president under criminal investigation. Richard Nixon Watergate and now vice president under a completely separate criminal investigation. What what was the unique set of problems that this presented for prosecutors? Prosecutors at the time I think were already well, prosecutors writ large. I think the Justice department. The attorney general Elliot Richardson at the time was already faced with the enormity of the prospect that the Watergate investigation would lead to the end of the Nixon presidency. Whether he was somehow prosecuted, whether he resigned, whether the pressures of the Watergate investigation or somehow going to end his presidency one way or another that was already such an almost politically apocalyptic scenario that they were facing they were blindsided when they were confronted by the evidence that Agnew was also existentialist challenged as a senior figure in the federal government because of his own totally unrelated scandal and the prospect that you would. Lose Nixon somehow that Nixon would have to leave the presidency, but then Agnew would ascend to the presidency because he was the vice president even though the Justice department was well aware that he was under serious criminal investigation. He was potentially facing a forty count criminal indictment that I think was a terrifying and totally unique prospect in US history. I mean, theoretically, what that could have resulted in his Nixon leaving office or being forced from office because of the criminal scandal that was that was Watergate him being succeeded immediately by a vice president who was under a completely separate criminal investigation. Who was then also forced from office relatively quickly because of that same sort of criminal liability that his predecessor had faced at that point would president Agnew have even had a chance to nominate a new vice president who would then be confirmed by the Senate who would then succeed him. Would you end? With the democratic speaker of the house ascending to the presidency. Because all of these dominoes were falling too quickly for the line of succession to be restored. Fully. I mean, the prospect of the chaos at the top of the federal government was just unparalleled and the fear of that kind of chaos. Drove the prosecutors approach to dealing with Agni. Would you would you explain how well the prosecutors themselves? The pro these young prosecutors in Baltimore who actually put together all the evidence that nailed Agnew that really had this Bill. They built a slam dunk case against him. They wanted Agnew to go to jail they wanted Agnew to be treated like a public official on the take somebody had been caught for public corruption and had to pay for it. It was Elliot Richardson, the attorney general who decided that the priority could not be individual Justice for Spiro Agnew, the criminal the priority could not be Agnew. Being put in jail. It was Richardson who decided that the priority for the country had to be Agnew out of the line of succession that the most important. And in fact, the unitary goal of this prosecution of this of this entire revelation. These prosecutors had come to about Agnew the unitary goal of it had to be his removal from office. He had to no longer be vice president because that was more important to the country than whether or not he faced individual Justice. The prosecutors were very mad about it at the time. But Richardson believed it was the right thing to do. So what was Richardson's approach to removing Agnew from office? Well Richardson and his prosecutors engaged in a lengthy series of negotiations with Agnew's own legal team about what they were gonna do with this evidence of criminal behavior on the part of the vice president. And this to me is where you get into some of the most important and. Fuzzy implications of the end of Agnew as vice president of the United States because the Agnew legal team was maintaining publicly that Agnew as vice president was immune from prosecution that he couldn't be indicted, the office of legal counsel, the Justice department at the time was asked to weigh on way in on this matter, and they produced a sort of strange memo, which said, well, the president can't be indicted, but the vice president can sort of odd duck that that memo, but on the basis of that opinion, the attorney general on these prosecutors went tag news legal team and said, hey, we can indict you and we intend to and what do you have to trade for that? And those negotiations went on for a long time, and they were complex and important. But ultimately the deal that was reached was that Agnew would only have to plead. No contest to one count. He wouldn't do any jail time. But he would have to resign immediately. And what was the counter that he pled to? He pled to tax evasion. But he he didn't plead guilty. He pled he pled, no contest. So this is why when people think about Agnew leaving office. They just think of like oh tax rod. I think yeah, he got caught fiddling something with his deductions. No. It was such a bigger story. Yeah. Yeah. And in a way that that is a credit to Spiro Agnew defense attorneys who were able to secure in exchange for his immediate resignation from office. This this plea to a single count of tax evasion in a single year. And so you know, when you look back at the history of Spiro Agnew just doing sort of cursory search of it. That's what find is that, you know, vice president Spiro Agnew resigned on account of tax evasion. But it was it was a very drawn out process between avenues defense, lawyers and attorney general Elliot Richardson, really negotiating this this agreement that would result in one one count of tax evasion. So one of the questions surrounding President Trump. Now a question that surrounded president Nixon and vice president Agnew is Canada, sitting president be indicted on criminal charges or Agnes cases, sitting vice president does the Agnew story that you've told so well in bag man have any lessons for us today that can help answer that question. I think that there are puzzles on both sides of this if Agnew's defense team, and if Agnew himself didn't believe that a vice president could be indicted, which is what they maintained in argued publicly at the time. Well, then why did they talk to prosecutors at all? They were maintaining a public argument that prosecutors essentially had no power over sitting president or vice president they couldn't touch him. Well, if so why did they even talk to those? Prosecutors let alone enter into a plea negotiation with them that resulted in the vice president's resignation on the other side. Prosecutors were claiming that they could indict a sitting vice president, and they were fully willing to well if so if they were confident in that, then why did they go through this choreography? Why did they take such pains to ensure that by the time Agnew pled to that tax evasion count by the time he was in that courtroom? He had resigned. I I mean, he resigned moments before he stepped into that courthouse, and they made sure that was the sequence of events had he resigned as vice president moments after he pled or after he was indicted. We would have an entirely separate legal precedent on this case that a president or vice president could be indicted in this case they sign. Sidestepped that issue by allowing him to resign. I that's fast. I I'm still puzzled as to whether or not they were bluffing that they weren't totally sure. They could indict him or what would have happened had that Justice department of Indian that said he could be indicted actually been tested in court. They sidestepped the test by letting him resign. I. My guests are Rachel Maddow, and Mike Yar vets who collaborated on the podcast bag man, which tells the story of the federal investigation into allegations that Spiro Agnew receive payments from bribery, and extortion, Rachel Maddow, host the series. We'll talk more after a break. This is fresh air. WNYC is supported by Walt Disney pictures, presenting Mary Poppins returns. Now, playing WNYC is a media partner of pop up magazine alive magazine created for a live audience, featuring multimedia stories by arcade. Fire's will Butler and more February seventh at bam. Howard Gilman opera. House info at pop up magazine dot com. This is ninety three point nine FM WNYC. And you're listening to fresh air. Stay tuned for the latest news from NPR WNYC on all things considered at four o'clock. This is fresh air. Let's get back to my interview with Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC's. The Rachel Maddow show and Mike yard, a former senior producer of the show. They collaborated on the podcast bag man, which meadow hosts it's about the federal investigation into bribery and extortion allegations against Spiro Agnew which forced him to resign as Nixon's vice president, so let's just get a sense of what cast our government was in an act Tober of nineteen Seventy-three Agnew resigns. And then ten days later, what happened ten days later is the Saturday night massacre. I mean, it's it's amazing. It's not even two weeks later that Nixon orders, the attorney general to fire the special prosecutor who is pursuing the Watergate case that attorney general, of course, as Elliot Richardson man who just secured the resignation of Nixon's vice president Richardson objected to that order from the president. He resigned in protest deputy attorney general then resigned in protest. Ultimately went down down the line of succession at the Justice department until the solicitor general Robert Bork was willing to fire. The Watergate prosecutor that'll happen within two weeks of of of Agnew surprise being forced from office in this dramatic showdown in a courtroom in Maryland. And I actually think the the the closeness of those two events in the timeline is part of the reason that the Agnew story is so poorly. Understood I mean Watergate was that a full roiling boil by the time Agnew was going through this entirely separate drama and the history of Elliot Richardson is very much inflicted by the heroic way in which he resisted Nixon's order and resigned on that Saturday night massacre. In the middle of that Saturday night massacre drama, but that was so close in time to what he had done with Agnew that I sort of feel like we've got limited bandwidth as Americans in terms of our history books. We can only remember the so so many events from one particular time in history so Agnew ended up slinging into the shadows. On that one. So Elliot Richardson, the then attorney general ah so important in bringing down vice president Agnew, and in the Watergate investigation now, I haven't acting attorney general who actively supports President Trump and President Trump is under investigation, and we have a nominee to be the attorney general who opposes the Muller investigation. So we're in a very different situation right now. Yeah. It's it's it's interesting to see the I guess the the strength of the Justice department through various lenses of history. I mean, the Justice department has rules it has its own traditions. It has its own pride in its own independence and competence. It's also an institution that is run by human beings who have different strengths and weaknesses and alliances that they bring with them to their jobs and part of the story of Agnew is the heroism of George bell. This Republican US attorney age of thirty five who supervised this investigation and resisted all this pressure. That was being put on him by the most powerful people in the country in his family, and in his own party part of the story of Agnew is the statesmanship of Elliot Richardson, and the way that he approached this in the way that he prioritize the needs of the country over the individual concerns of his own prosecutors and the individual sort of imperatives of this criminal case that he was dealing with involving Agnew. And you have to wonder if if people of that caliber were not in those powerful positions at that important time would we have had a different outcome for the country. Would we have would we have had president Agnew? Rachel you re tweeted. Presidential historian, Michael Beschloss tweet you did this on Tuesday of this week, and it's very relevant to the conversation that we're having Beschloss tweeted Nixon on Watergate in state of the union forty five years ago this month. Quote, I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end one year of Watergate is enough. Exclamation point. That sounds familiar. Yeah. It is amazing how much the history rhymes here. I mean, we don't do anything exactly twice. But the parallels with what was going on in the Nixon and Agnew administration. Forty five years ago to the efforts by the Trump administration right now to Perry this investigation, and these swirling scandals around this presidency..