87 pages of selected David Gergen White House files related to Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. These files were not available to the public until July 21, 2011. David Gergen worked as a presidential advisor for Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. This set also includes four documents from the files of William Timmons, Assistant for Legislative Affairs, also released on July 2, 2011. This set contains correspondences to and/or from David Gergen, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Alexander Haig, Pat Buchanan, Ron Ziegler, Ben Stein, Len Garment, Stephen Bull, and Ray Price.
In 1971, Gergen was hired to join the Nixon Administration as a staff assistant on Nixon's speech writing team. There he worked with Pat Buchanan, Ben Stein, and William Safire. In 1973, Gergen was named the director of the White House speech writing staff. Gergen became more visible to the public in 1985 when he began appearing on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. He later worked as the Director of the Center for Public Leadership, a professor of public service at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, editor-at-large for U.S. News and World Report and as a senior political analyst for CNN.
The files date from July 1971 to August 9, 1974. Most of the documents were created after the press had introduced to the public awareness that President Nixon engaged in a cover-up of the actions associated with the Watergate scandal. David Gergen writes in one memo, "Last night, after receiving an urgent call from reporter Bob Woodward that the Post was agonizing over a story that would implicate RN in a 'cover-up,' Len Garment and I meet with him privately in my office for some 90 minutes." In another memo written on May 5, 1973, Gergen summarizes the story Woodward and Bernstein had pieced together noting, "I was flatly told that it might never run because it is not well sourced at this point."
The documents that follow show the White House's attempt to navigate the waters that would eventually lead to impeachment. Gergen writes a plan to organize the White House communication apparatus to confront the flak from the Watergate investigation and to present President Nixon's case. Memos show that Gergen began writing President Nixon's resignation speech in early August 1974.
This set of documents ends with the three different resignation letter drafts President Nixon had to select from to end his presidency.