A Pumpkin Patch, a Typewriter, and Richard Nixon: The Hiss-Chambers Espionage Case
305 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 14, 2021
This is a history of one of the most famous trials in American history, as well as political scandal and a personal tragedy for the litigants. The article takes the reader through Congressional hearings in 1948, a libel suit, grand jury proceedings, two criminal jury trials, and appeals that ended only in the 1980s. The litigation strategies, evidence, legal rulings, and courtroom advocacy of both sides are examined in detail. Also described are what did not come out in the trials and the political impact of all these proceedings, as well as elite and public opinion about who was telling the truth.
Keywords: libel, grand jury, perjury, trials, famous trials, jury trials, Chambers, Hiss, Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, treason, Communism, espionage, HUAC, House Un-American Activities Committee, Nixon, Pumpkin Papers, Documentary Evidence, expert testimony, McCarthyism
JEL Classification: K18, K30, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation