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Extra info for Nixon, Vol. 2: The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972
16 IN FEBRUARY, the Internal Revenue Service began an extensive audit of Nixon’s tax returns. For Nixon, it was irritating, time-consuming, and expensive. At the same time the Justice Department, under Attorney General Robert Kennedy, was investigating a loan from Howard Hughes to Donald Nixon, with a view to developing criminal charges of conflict of interest. 17 Kennedy’s apparent abuse of power was a private problem; Nixon wanted to go after the President on policy questions. In March, he spent a weekend with Eisenhower in his winter home at Palm Desert, California.
Dr. Henry Kissinger, Harvard professor and on a retainer from Rockefeller as adviser on foreign policy, moved in different circles and saw it differently. . He was never invited by what he considered the ‘best’ families. 40 Nixon turned down far more invitations than he accepted. The Eisenhower men Nixon saw regularly in New York included Bill Rogers, Thomas Gates (Secretary of Defense), Gabriel Hauge (economic adviser), Herbert Brownell (Attorney General before Rogers), and Maurice Stans (Director of the Budget), among others.
M. Business in the firm immediately picked up, especially overseas, and Nixon the corporate lawyer was as instant a success as he had been as Nixon the politician. A major reason was that he was who he was and knew who he knew, but equally important was his ability and his penchant for hard, sustained work. In the short period he spent as an active lawyer, Nixon demonstrated that he could have reached the pinnacle in corporate law practice as well as in politics. New York State was Rockefeller’s base, but within New York City there were dozens of prominent Republicans, many of them former members of the Eisenhower Administration, who had no connection with the state Republican Party.