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U.S. Judge Orders Nixon's Secret Watergate Testimony Released

Then-U.S. President Nixon (left) at a meeting with rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley at the White House in 1970
A U.S. federal judge, acting 36 years after the secret grand-jury testimony of then-President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal that led to his resignation, has ordered the release of the transcripts of that appearance.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth agreed with historians who had requested the release that the historical significance of the records far outweighed the need to keep them secret.

The government still has a chance to appeal before the documents are made public.

The political scandal over the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington prompted Nixon to leave office in 1974.

Nixon, who died 17 years ago, is the only president in U.S. history to have resigned.

He testified to a grand jury in California 10 months after he left the White House.

compiled from agency reports