The scandal that shook the nation
Law '67, former chief of the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Watergate Task Force
James M. Banner, Jr.
GSAS '68, Historian and Author
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, please join us as Richard Ben-Veniste, former chief of the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Watergate Task Force, shares his first-hand knowledge of the origins of the break-in on the 17th of June 1972, the attempts of the Nixon Administration to stymie the investigation, and the legacy of the scandal in the US Political system.
Our host will be the historian and author James M. Banner, Jr., one of the original contributors to the historical account of the misdeeds of past presidents, a report commissioned in May 1974 by the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation and brought up to date in 2019 under his editorship as Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today.
Time will be allocated for Q&A.
Richard Ben-Veniste is a highly respected litigator who focuses on complex civil litigation and white collar criminal cases. He also advises organizations and individuals involved in congressional investigations across a broad range of complex and sensitive areas.
Richard first achieved national prominence during the mid-1970s, when he held the position of chief of the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Watergate Task Force. Recognized as both a knowledgeable and experienced counselor and as a skilled and accomplished trial lawyer, he has been a key figure in some of the nation’s most significant governmental activities at the intersection of law and politics. From 1968 to 1973, he served as assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he was chief of the Official Corruption Section, from 1976 to 1977, he was special outside counsel for the Senate Subcommittee on Governmental Operations, from 1995 to 1996, he acted as chief counsel (Minority) of the Senate Whitewater Committee, and from 2003 to 2004, he served as one of ten commissioners on the bipartisan 9-11 Commission.
Since 2009, Richard has served as a member of the Aspen Security Group, a task force created by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to provide analysis and advice to the secretary. From 2015-17, Richard served on the NSA Advisory Board legal panel, providing advice to the director of NSA and its Office of General Counsel. Most recently, Richard served as a legal analyst for CNN from 2017-2019.
Richard has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1975, The Best Lawyers in America since 1983, and Washingtonian magazine’s Top Lawyers in Washington, DC since 1992, when the list first appeared.
James M. Banner, Jr. holds a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Columbia. He was a member of the history department of Princeton from 1966 to 1980, which he left to found the American Association for the Advancement of the Humanities. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of many books and articles in American history, the discipline of history, education, and public affairs. They include To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789-1815; with Harold C. Cannon, The Elements of Teaching and The Elements of Learning; Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History, and most recently The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History Is Revisionist History.