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U.S. Attorney involved in the prosecution, to get him to back off the investigation.
The issue was subsequently taken up with President Nixon, whose
infamous recording system picked up this interaction between White
House aide John Ehrlichman and the president:
Ehrlichman: Did Bob Haldeman tell you about his meeting with Agnew
Nixon: No. I didn’t see Bob and Agnew. What is it? He saw him?
Ehrlichman: Well, he saw him two or three days ago. And your Vice President
has problems of his own.
Nixon: With this?
Ehrlichman: No, something else, back when he was governor. Apparently,
there’s an investigation going on in Maryland, and he
asked Bob for help in turning it off.10
Nixon’s taping system later recorded an interaction involving the president
and Agnew. In the exchange, they appear to be plotting to interfere
with the investigation into Agnew by going to Senator Beall (whom they
helped get elected in 1970) in an attempt to get the prosecutor, Barney Skolnik,
removed from his position with the Department of Justice:
Agnew: Can you imagine a guy going into an in-depth investigation
and going into the county that I was in at the beginning of
Nixon: Who is the U.S. Attorney that’s handling it? Is it Beall?
Nixon: Well, is he a good boy? Why the hell did we appoint him?
Agnew: He’s got 30 IRS people in there snooping around. They’re
looking at everybody, every angle.
Nixon: Well, how can we get that word to him though?
Agnew: Glenn Beall’s the only way to influence this.
Nixon: The senator?
Nixon: Well look, has Glenn Beall been talked to? Well, Glenn Beall
better take a real deep … We helped him bury that one in
Agnew: He may say he gave me a kickback of some kind, came over
here, and handed me $50,000. That is totally ridiculous.
There are all kinds of rumours.
Nixon: Good God, isn’t it awful?
Agnew: But this man is …
Nixon: Well, can we destroy him?
Agnew: Somehow, get Glenn Beall or George Beall, the brother, to
realize that he’s – to get – go in there, finish up what he’s
doing. Get this thing over with, and get this guy, Skolnik,
who’s a Muskie volunteer, the hell out of his office.11