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Garment, Leonard


GARMENT, LEONARD (1924– ), U.S. lawyer and counsel to President Richard M. *Nixon. Garment was born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Law School, he was admitted to the bar of New York in 1949, and later to the bar of the District of Columbia (1967). Garment was a brilliant law student, graduating first in his class (summa cum laude). He financed part of his education by playing tenor saxophone and clarinet with a leading popular jazz band of the time in the company of such artists as Billie Holiday and Woody Herman.

He joined the prestigious law firm later known as Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, and Alexander, becoming a partner in 1957 and head of its litigation department. In this capacity, he worked closely with Nixon, handling the trial work on his cases. Nixon admired his ability, and in 1969, as president, appointed him as his special consultant concentrating on civil and human rights, voluntary action, and the arts. In this role, he termed himself Nixon's "odds and ends man." As a result of the Watergate scandal, Nixon appointed him as his counsel, replacing John Dean, to represent the administration in matters relating to the congressional Watergate investigation.

Garment, a Democrat by political affiliation, was regarded as one of the "liberals" in the Nixon administration.

After Nixon's resignation, Garment continued to move in Washington legal and political circles. He served as assistant to President Ford in 1974. Ford named him U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, where he served until 1977. He was also counselor to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations (1975 –76).

Garment was a frequent contributor to the New York Times' op-ed page. He wrote his autobiography, Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon's White House, Watergate, and Beyond (1997), and the highly controversial In Search of Deep Throat: The Greatest Political Mystery of Our Time (2000).

[Julius J. Marcke /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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