Ahead of Watergate, J. Edgar Hoover gave Richard Nixon’s campaign political intelligence warning of an emerging Democratic conspiracy
A month and a half before the White House Plumbers unit was established, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover contributed the paranoia that would lead to the Watergate affair when he passed political intelligence to a senior member of the Richard Nixon White House and Nixon reelection campaign. According to Hoover’s intelligence, a conspiracy was emerging between several key Democrats, the media, and a former senior FBI official. Hoover’s source for this deep state conspiracy? A rumor from a friend, two of Hoover’s critics speaking to each other, and a misrepresentation of the facts.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made an initial release of its files on television executive Roger Ailes. Consisting largely of glowing background checks for a potential Presidential appointment under Richard Nixon, two interesting details have emerged from the file - the first is a 1974 arrest for felony firearms possession and the second is a brief interview documenting the minor role Ailes played in the FBI’s investigation into John Hinckley, Jr. following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.
A counterintelligence success years in the making was framed as a lucky break fueled by drunk driving
The Federal Bureau of Investigation file on Oleg Lyalin offers new insight into what’s been called “the single biggest action taken against Moscow by any western government” - the 1971 expulsion of dozens of Soviet personnel. According to the narrative established at the time, and repeated even in recent publications, Lyalin’s defection “led to the discovery and deportation of 105 Soviet officials who were accused of spying in Britain” and was prompted by a drunk driving arrest. As his FBI file shows, however, the real story is more complicated than that and has long been one of MI-5’s closely held secrets.
Richard Nixon’s unsuccessful 1937 application to be a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a fairly well-known bit of presidential trivia. But as the Bureau’s own records show, answering the obvious corollary - why wasn’t Nixon FBI material - isn’t so easy.
Evidence compiled from Federal Bureau of Investigation files, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s notes, and statements from Deep Throat, along with Congressional testimony and the files of Senate investigators, all implicate journalist Jack Anderson as having helped set up Watergate - or at least having foreknowledge of it and benefiting from it.