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FG 17 (Department of Justice)

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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Department of Justice, subject file FG 17, are a subseries of subject category FG, pertaining to Federal Government Organizations. FG 17 consists of approximately 3.6 cubic feet of originals, drafts, and carbon or photostatic copies of official letters and memoranda; newsclippings; handwritten notes; presidential schedule proposals; White House routing slips, transmittal memos or withdrawal forms and official reports reflecting the interactions of the Nixon Administration with the Department of Justice, the House and Senate, the courts and the general public.

The collection is divided into eighteen subcategories, arranged chronologically or by FG or ST (States and Territories) numbers, corresponding to the bureaucratic units composing the Justice Department. Every subgrouping of FG 17 is divided into "Executive" and "General" designations. Items in the Executive file include correspondence between the President and his staff, Cabinet members and other Administration officials, Senators and Congressmen, Judges and Supreme Court Justices, foreign officials, and foreign or domestic VIP's. The General classification includes, but is not limited to, correspondence between the President or Administration figures and Senators, Congressmen, and private individuals and are often related to private, particular issues or interests. Folders with the designation ".../A" deal with recess appointments, nominations, confirmations, swearings-in, firings, resignations and retirements of Department of Justice officials.

Some documents in FG 17 were withdrawn into parallel file units, first into Central Files' "Confidential Files" and later by a unit set up by the Nixon Administration, originally referred to as "Document Control", later the "White House Special Files." While the Confidential File maintained by White House Central Files has been reincorporated into the subject files, the White House Special Files: Central Files remains a separate collection containing a parallel FG 17 subject category for the years 1969-1972 and a Confidential File for 1969-1974.

Topics in the FG 17 include criminal and civil law enforcement, internal security, and other legal matters subject to legislation or judicial review. Specific items of interest include firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus, Administration drug law enforcement policies and the Ash Council on Executive Reorganization, the "war on crime", FBI operations and controversy surrounding Director Hoover, antitrust law enforcement, consumer affairs protection, the President's Task Force on Organized Crime, immigration law enforcement, activities of the U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshalls, parole and prison reform and cases before the Appellate Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

White House and Executive Office correspondents in FG 17 include the President and advisors H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Geoff Shepard, Ken Cole, Egil Krogh and Leonard Garment. Justice Department personalities include Attorneys-General John Mitchell, Richard Kleindienst, Elliot Richardson and William Saxbe; Assistant Attorneys-General William Rehnquist, Henry Peterson, Stanley Pottinger, Thomas Kauper, Antonin Scalia, Ralph Erickson and Stanley Pottinger; other figures include Solicitor-General (later Acting Attorney-General) Robert H. Bork, Special Prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski, Judge John J. Sirica, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and DEA Administrator John Bartels and Charles Rogovin (Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration).

FG 17

Items considered in the FG 17 subgrouping include the firing of Special Prosecutor Cox, the appointment of Special Prosecutor Cox, the appointment of Special Prosecutor Jaworski and separation of powers questions arising from the "Saturday Night Massacre"; calls for the impeachment of President Nixon; the restructuring of drug crime penalties and the reorganization of federal anti-drug efforts; the "Wounded Knee" confrontation; export controls enforcement; a possible constitutional amendment to levy export duties; "Law of the Sea" negotiations; emergency regulatory powers assumed by the government during the oil crisis; and the Presidential impoundment of funds allocated by Congress.

FG 17-1 ATTORNEY GENERAL (AND STAFF OFFICIALS)
FG 17-2 DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
FG 17-3 ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERALS

FG 17-1, 17-2 and 17-3 are the records of the Attorney General (and Staff Officials), the Deputy Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney Generals. In the 1971-1974 White House Central Files Filing Manual FG 17-2 and 17-3 are deleted and their material incorporated into an FG 17-1, thereafter designated "Attorney General and Staff officials."

FG 17-4 THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE

The Community Relations Service, or FG 17-4, contains records of the local outreach programs of the Department of Justice, including requests for Justice Department officials for speaking engagements and memoranda and correspondence relating to CRS's role in negotiations in the Wounded Knee confrontation and the effects of budgetary cuts and RIF's on Justice's community outreach programs.

FG 17-5 THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATAION

The Federal Bureau of Investigation files, FG 17-5, concern federal law enforcement and internal security matters such as surveillance operations on radical organizations, civil rights activists and anti-Vietnam War groups; federal law enforcement issues such as airplane hijackings and police killings; controversies surrounding the role of Director J. Edgar Hoover; background checks of Administration appointees and requests for FBI speakers to various groups. Memoranda and correspondence reflect disagreement as to the role of the FBI in the investigation of drug trafficking and organized crime and reflect changes in FBI policies and practices subsequent to Director Hoover's death in 1972.

FG 17-6 THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE

FG 17-6 contains memoranda and correspondence dealing with the Administration's policies regarding immigration law enforcement. Specific subjects include "special" consideration for certain immigration cases, allegations of corruption at certain INS offices and bureaucratic rivalries regarding cross-designation of immigration search authority to drug agents in border areas.

FG 17-7 THE LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE ADMINISTRATION

The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration folders concern Administration efforts to aid local jurisdictions in combating street crime through Federal revenue sharing. Specific topics include the use of block grants versus revenue sharing funds; local requests for funds for information, technology, training support and jail construction.

FG 17-8 THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AND DANGEROUS DRUGS
FG 17-16 THE OFFICE OF DRUG ABUSE LAW ENFORCEMENT
FG 17-17 THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL NARCOTICS INTELLIGENCE
FG 17-18 THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION

The records of these four agencies reflect the Administration's attempts to unify the government's drug law enforcement activities, which were split among the Department of Justice, Treasury, Commerce and State. Topics include the President's Advisory Council on Executive Reorganization's (the Ash Council) Reorganization Plan #2, which created the DEA as a successor agency to its three precursors on July 6, 1973; also mentioned are specific drug investigations, including the "French Connection" arrests and jurisdictional disputes arising from such operations.

FG 17-9 THE BOARD OF PAROLE

FG 17-9 concerns specific parole cases, drug treatment for parolees, ex-offender employment and rehabilitation and peripherally, the role of women in the government (a number of the Parole Commissioners were women).

FG 17-10 THE BUREAU OF PRISONS

The records of the Bureau of Prisons contains mention of issues such as model prison construction, prisoner rehabilitation and drug treatment for inmates and penal reform.

FG 17-11 THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL

FG 17-11 involves cases in which the U.S. Government is a party to a legal case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and contains references to the role of Solicitor-General Bork during the controversy surrounding the resignations of Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus, the Voting Rights Act of 1970, challenges to the Selective Service System, the State of Louisiana's oil escrow accounts system and the protocol for appearance of DOJ officials before the Court.

FG 17-12 UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
FG 17-13 UNITED STATES MARSHALLS

The U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshalls folders concern Administration policies on the nomination and training of individuals to be U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshalls, specifically nomination of Ivy League school graduates for U.S. Attorney slots, special orientation conferences for new appointees and regulation of conflicts of interest in appointees to these jobs. FG 17-12 and 17-13 are subdivided by FG (Federal Government Organization) and ST (States and Territories) numbers.

FG 17-14 THE ANTITRUST DIVISION

The records of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division concern case-by-case enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act and related anti-monopoly legislation, specifically at issue: the consideration of permission for oil companies to expand "horizontally" into the coal industry.

FG 17-15 THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL

FG 17-15 concerns the formal legal advice the Attorney General offers the President and his Administration as well as informal legal opinions issued on court cases of interest to the Administration, its appointees and other organs of the Federal Government. Issues addressed in FG 17-15 include the constitutionality of the President's firing of the Special Prosecutor, the government's role in mediation of strikes, the Consumer Affairs Act of 1969, the equal time rule, anti-airline highjacking measures and prohibitions on the publication of the sermons from President Nixon's church services.

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