UNITED STATES ATTORNEY: An Inside View of ""Justice"" in America under the Nixon Administration by

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY: An Inside View of ""Justice"" in America under the Nixon Administration

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The subtitle is somewhat misleading: the real hero is neither Cox nor Jaworski--nor even Seymour himself--but the office of U.S. Attorney. The author begins with a history of the Justice Department from its founding in 1870 through the Teapot Dome scandals and the salad days of J. Edgar and the FBI, up to turmoil and aftermath of the Nixon administration. During this period, Seymour says, the U.S. Attorney has evolved as both agent and conscience of the judiciary, at once subject to the politically appointed Attorney General and independent in his prosecution of the laws. The bulk of the book covers the Nixon period, during which Seymour was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. While holding that position he supervised the indictment of John Mitchell and Maurice Stans for perjury and obstruction of justice, and had a hand in both the Pentagon Papers controversy and the Clifford Irving/Howard Hughes hoax. This is both an insider's and an outsider's account (the Nixon tapes refer to Seymour as a ""soft-headed do-gooder""), and indeed he comes on strong for clean government and effective law enforcement. There's a lot of material here--the politicization of justice, the relation of the law and the press, the many legal problems which cross a U.S. Attorney's desk, but Seymour is always cautious, legalistic and sound.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1975
Publisher: Morrow