Letter Directing the Acting Attorney General To Discharge the Director of the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
Dear Mr. Bork:
I have today accepted the resignations of Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus. In accordance with Title 28, Section 508 (b) of the United States Code and of Title 28, Section 0.132(a) of the Code of Federal Regulations, it is now incumbent upon you to perform both the duties as Solicitor General, and duties of and act as Attorney General.
In his press conference today Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox made it apparent that he will not comply with the instruction I issued to him, through Attorney General Richardson, yesterday. Clearly the Government of the United States cannot function if employees of the Executive Branch are free to ignore in this fashion the instructions of the President. Accordingly, in your capacity of Acting Attorney General, I direct you to discharge Mr. Cox immediately and to take all steps necessary to return to the Department of Justice the functions now being performed by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
It is my expectation that the Department of Justice will continue with full vigor the investigations and prosecutions that had been entrusted to the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
[Honorable Robert H. Bork, The Acting Attorney General, Justice Department, Washington, D.C.]
Note: The text of Acting Attorney General Bork's letter discharging Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, dated August 20, 1973, and released with the President's letter, is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 9, p. 1272).
Richard Nixon, Letter Directing the Acting Attorney General To Discharge the Director of the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/255452