Friday, June 4, 1971 - 5:14pm - 5:17pm
Richard Nixon, Homer Ferguson
White House Telephone

President Nixon: Hello?

White House Operator: Judge Ferguson for you, sir.1

President Nixon: Yeah. . . . Hello?

Homer Ferguson: Richard?

President Nixon: Yes. How are you?

Ferguson: Homer Ferguson.

President Nixon: Yes sir, Homer. How are you?

Ferguson: I don’t mean to bother you.

President Nixon: That’s all right. It’s all right.

Ferguson: One thing I put the call in after you had made that talk the other night, and I wanted to tell you how excellent it was.

President Nixon: Oh, well, thank you very much. Thank you, yes.

Ferguson: And all of these to the press, I think have been great.

President Nixon: Well, thank you. Thank you.

Ferguson: And, now, I wanted to again call your attention to Cobbs as a judge.

President Nixon: Oh, yes, the man you left your—

Ferguson: In Virginia.

President Nixon: Yes.

Ferguson: He’s an excellent lawyer, as I explained to you.

President Nixon: Right, right.

Ferguson: If you want any further news I’d be very glad—

President Nixon: Right.

Ferguson: —to do it.

President Nixon: Right. I got it and I’ve . . . In fact I’ve talked to Mitchell about it too.2

Ferguson: Yeah.

President Nixon: OK—

Ferguson: Now, I’ve . . . and I know that Byrd3 has endorsed him and Holton4

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ferguson: —has endorsed him.

President Nixon: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Ferguson: Now, another thing is, I’m serving as a senior judge, you know, the law provides for that.

President Nixon: Yes, sir.

Ferguson: And I wanted you to know that, and it’s perfectly all right. I . . . I’ll continue until your new man goes on.

President Nixon: Oh, great. Good. Good.

Ferguson: So that—

President Nixon: And I’ll . . . Have you talked to Mitchell yourself about the other fellow?

Ferguson: No. Should I do that?

President Nixon: I wish you would. It—

Ferguson: I’ll do it.

President Nixon: Give John a call, John Mitchell—

Ferguson: Yeah.

President Nixon: —and just say you and I were chatting and I asked you to call him about it.

Ferguson: Yeah, I’ll do that.

President Nixon: And because he . . . then when he comes in I won’t see him . . . see, I’m going out to Tulsa in the morning—

Ferguson: Yeah, well, I’ll see you—

President Nixon: —but I won’t see him. Just give Mitchell a talk—

Ferguson: I’ll see you Monday then.

President Nixon: —call. Swell.

Ferguson: Now, I’m awfully sorry to bother you—

President Nixon: You’re not . . . You didn’t bother me.

Ferguson: —I know how busy you are, but—

President Nixon: That’s all right. It’s alright.

Ferguson: —but I did want you to know—

President Nixon: Sure.

Ferguson: —that as far as me continuing as a—

President Nixon: Mm-hmm.

Ferguson: —senior judge, it was perfectly all right.

President Nixon: Great. Great. Well, I appreciate that, and I—

Ferguson: And as I told you, I hope that someday, that soon, after I’m not a senior judge, that I might fit in somewhere else.

President Nixon: Right. Right. Well, you’re still full of beans [laughing].

Ferguson: [laughing] Well, I—

President Nixon: That’s right. Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Ferguson: [laughing] You know I fear retirement.

President Nixon: Yeah. I don’t blame you a bit, anyway.

Ferguson: [Laughs.]

President Nixon: You know, when people get to the point they don’t have anything left, they don’t fear it—

Ferguson: Yeah—

President Nixon: —but when you’ve got something left.

Ferguson: —I know that you and I are—

President Nixon: Yeah. Yeah.

Ferguson: —eager to work—

President Nixon: That’s right.

Ferguson: —and therefore, I wanted you to know that.

President Nixon: Good. Good.

Ferguson: So senior—

President Nixon: Well . . .

Ferguson: —judge just fits in fine.

President Nixon: Good.

Ferguson: All right. Thank you.

President Nixon: OK. Bye. Bye.

Ferguson: Bye.


1 Homer Ferguson was a senior judge on the United States Court for Military Appeals. (↑)

2 John N. Mitchell was the attorney general. (↑)

3 Harry F. Byrd Jr. was a Democratic senator from Virginia. Congressional Bioguide. (↑)

4 Linwood Holton was the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. (↑)

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.