PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: As the new Attorney General, I have today named Elliot Richardson, a man of unimpeachable integrity and rigorously high principle. Thanks for coming in. And we wait and we wait. He had to. What he, of course, wants to know is: how good a case is this? MADDOW: Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were officially sworn-into office for a second term on January 20th, 1973. Not sure what to expect. Democrats almost killed the Electoral College once. It was written by myself and Mike Yarvitz.

1976, Haig, Alexander M. “Inner Circles: How America Changed The World: A Memoir”, Grand Central Publishing, 1992, “Texts of Charge Against Vice President and of Grand Jury Criminal Information”, The New York Times (October 11, 1973), “Reporters Subpoenaed by Agnew To File Objections Today”, United Press International (October 10, 1973), “Resignation Ends a Court Test On Disclosure of News Sources”, The New York Times (October 12, 1973), “Closing In on Agnew: The Prosecutors’ Story” by Aaron Latham. Agnew, an outspoken conservative who loved bashing the media before he resigned in disgrace as Richard Nixon's vice president over a tax-evasion scandal in 1973, died Tuesday Sept. 17, 1996. So the President of United States, to put it mildly, is under a cloud. In Baltimore, Maryland, just days before that inauguration, a team of three young, federal prosecutors were preparing to unleash a blizzard of federal subpoenas, with no warning.

And here we three Baltimore federal prosecutors are being told that the next guy in line, the guy a heartbeat away, he's also under a cloud! Elliot Richardson had just become the new Attorney General of the United States in the Spring of 1973.

It turned out that Agnew was also getting paid off by a Maryland engineering executive named Allen Green. I mean, we've got good stuff and we know it. FEDERAL PROSECUTOR): And I think the general thinking was maybe we'd be able to find a corrupt Congressmen, maybe a State Legislator.

When he was Baltimore County Executive, Agnew had had the power to award local contracts. Bud’s job was to personally go collect the money from the companies that just got the contracts. Trump's wild promises are a national security threat. These conservative white men are voting for Biden.

You know, “what's the right thing to do?”. They had the evidence, by then pouring in. The festivities that day were a celebration of what had just been a political annihilation. The first voice you’ll hear is producer Mike Yarvitz: MIKE YARVITZ: What are your memories from that meeting, that first meeting with Richardson? JUDY AGNEW: Fun! But Elliot Richardson’s response to these young prosecutors who cracked this case was… keep going… keep digging… he told them that he would now directly oversee their investigation. These young prosecutors had discovered-- at the height of the Watergate scandal-- that the Vice President of the United States was committing his own crimes, on an ongoing basis, inside the White House. “RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon”, Simon & Schuster, 1990, London, Martin. Which meant giving a Presidential administration that was famous for covering-up political scandals… the chance to cover-up one more.

Here’s Barney Skolnik, one of these federal prosecutors in Baltimore who helped crack the case: SKOLNIK: The scheme, it doesn't even deserve the, you know, the appellation “scheme”. Right! We should. And George says, “Okay, now we're going to tell you why we're here.”. They realized they needed to tell the Attorney General about what they’d uncovered. LIEBMAN: The deal was the contractor would pay Hammerman. That Summer though, Attorney General Elliot Richardson also knew something else. Rachel Maddow presents Bag Man, an MSNBC podcast, transcript for Episode 3: Hang In There, Baby Here’s Barney Skolnik again, with producer with Mike Yarvitz. And then they waited... and watched... to see how he would respond: LIEBMAN: I remember watching Mr. Richardson-- Elliot-- very, very closely thinking, “Alright, is this where he's going to say good work guys? What began at that moment, in that meeting, with Elliot Richardson’s decision... was an unprecedented emergency mission inside the Justice Department to oust the Vice President of the United States before it was too late. NBC REPORTER: Anderson was cited on 39 counts involving more than $46,000 in contracting kickbacks. I'm your host Rachel Maddow. And that required him to scale-up his criminal efforts. They had the criminal scheme in their sites. But Elliot Richardson-- who had just gotten on the job-- decided that he had to take on that burden. I expect to be much more relaxed this time!

What those prosecutors brought to him that day was hard evidence that the sitting Vice President Spiro Agnew… was actively engaged in criminal activity.

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