Leonard Garment dies in NYC at 89

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NEW YORK (AP) - A lawyer who was a friend and adviser to President Richard Nixon as the Watergate scandal unfolded and who urged him not to destroy tapes has died in New York City. Leonard Garment was 89.

Leonard Garment, acting White House Counsel, briefs the media at the White House on President Nixon's statement about the Watergate affair in Washington D.C. on May 22, 1973. AP File Photo.

His wife, Suzanne Garment, says he had been ill and died Saturday at their Manhattan home.

Garment and Nixon met when Nixon joined the law firm where Garment was a partner in 1963. The two men became close, and Garment went to work in the Nixon White House.

As Watergate unfolded, Garment encouraged Nixon not to destroy the tapes of his conversations. He left the White House in 1973.

After leaving the White House, Garment became a high-profile Washington lawyer. His clients included televangelist Oral Roberts and financier Marc Rich.

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