LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Conrad Black had intended to be on a book tour now, selling his Richard Milhous Nixon: The Invincible Quest, but as Judge Amy St Eve ponders what she will sentence him to on November 30, he’s confined to Chicago and Florida. “As it is now,” he explained in Conradese, “my geographic limitations are not conducive to a massive book tour,” the Irish Independent reports.
The judge will now have on her desk a demand from the prosecutors that Black and two of his co-defendants forfeit $16.9m (e12.5m) (including Black’s Florida house) in what they consider ill-gotten gains, though the jury found them guilty of misappropriating only $3m (e2.2m), so she has plenty to think about. So does Black. Does he, I wonder, re-read what he wrote about Nixon’s downfall and draw comparisons with his own?
“The great puritanical conscience of America, irrepressible, no matter how overlaid by the mawkishness, cynicism, and pecuniary baseness and vulgarity of some parts of American life, had been roused to end his presidency.’
The similarities are certainly there, for Black’s downfall followed a puritanical outbreak of anger over fat-cattery that punished people by changing and implementing the law retrospectively. Black believed Nixon to be more sinned against than sinning and clearly believes himself not to have sinned at all. ‘The Inferno’ is the title of the chapter dealing with events up to and including Nixon’s resignation: Black’s enemies take note that the next and last chapter is called ‘The Transfiguration’.
Black sees few similarities between their personalities, however. “Nixon was in many ways a morose and very solitary figure,” he said last week, “and I’m not. I get on quite well with people. We all have our down moments but in general, I’m quite equable.” And in a moment of unBlackian modesty, he reflected, “He was a great historic figure, and I am just who I am. The comparison falls there.”