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Acting Atty. Gen. Robert H. Bork announced yesterday that Houston trial lawyer Leon Jaworski will be the new special Watergate prosecutor.
President Nixon promised full independence for the new prosecutor and gave his personal assurance that he will not fire him, should the need arise, without getting approval from Congressional leaders of both parties.
President Nixon also announced the nomination of William B. Saxbe as attorney general to fill the post vacated by Elliot L. Richardson '41.
Bork described the choice of Jaworski as "perhaps the best we could get for this very important position of special prosecutor."
Bork said Jaworski would have "the full cooperation of the executive branch in the pursuit of his investigation." He also said that it was "absolutely clear" that Jaworski would be free to go to court to press for additional tapes and presidential papers if he deemed it necessary.
At a news conference in Houston, Jaworski said, "There are no restraints. I am not prohibited from taking any action I might feel should be taken."
President Nixon's promises did not satisfy Sen. Adlai Stevenson (D-III.), and Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.), sponsors of separate bills providing for a court appointed special prosecutor.
"We've relied before on the promises of the president and the Congress has been burned," Stevenson said. "There can be no independent prosecutor without congressional action."
Jaworski is a senior partner in the Houston law firm of Fulbright, Crooker and Jaworski, where he has worked since 1951.
An experienced trial lawyer and prosecutor, he was chief of the Nazi war criminal trial section of the U.S. Army after World War II. He was president of the American Bar Association during 1971 and 1972 and was a friend and adviser to former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Jaworski said he would begin work Monday with the staff left by his predecessor Archibald Cox '34. If he encounters an impasse with Nixon on any phase of the investigation, Jaworski said, the dispute will be presented to the senior majority and minority members of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees for determination.
House Speaker Carl Albert (D-Okla.) said consideration of House legislation to provide for a court-appointed special prosecutor should continue, despite Jaworski's selection. He said he was uncertain, however, what effect the appointment would have.
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