NEW YORK — Leonard Garment, a lawyer who was a friend and adviser to President Richard Nixon as the Watergate scandal unfolded and who urged him not to destroy tapes of his conversations, has died at age 89.

Garment, who had been ill, died Saturday at his Manhattan home, his wife, Suzanne Garment, said Monday.

Latest Video

Garment and Nixon met when Nixon joined the law firm where Garment was a partner in 1963. The two men became close, and Garment went to work in the Nixon White House.

As Watergate unfolded, Garment encouraged Nixon not to destroy tapes of his conversations that came from a recording system Nixon had installed in the White House. The conversations involved Nixon and various officials and staff members in the White House.

When the Watergate scandal broke and the system came to light, prosecutors demanded the tapes to know what Nixon had said. The tapes played a major role in the erosion of Nixon’s public support and led to his resignation.

Garment left the White House in 1973 and became a high-profile Washington lawyer. His clients included televangelist Oral Roberts and financier Marc Rich.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.