A historical tape of former President Gerald Ford testifying in a criminal court case has been released to the public after a motion was filed by the Eastern District Historical Society – a non-profit organization - in a Sacramento, California federal court, according to the Boston Herald on Tuesday.
The reason Ford testified in the case was because he was directly involved with the crime which involved Lynette “Squeaky” Fromm being charged with a law regarding assaults on presidents – which resulted from her pointing a loaded gun at Ford in September 1975.
On the tape, Ford – the first United States president to ever give oral testimony as a sitting-president – spoke for approximately 20 minutes from Washington, D.C., about his recollections of the moment he saw a gun in a person’s hands as he was walking through a Sacramento park, heading to meet with the state’s governor. While he didn’t see Fromme’s face, he saw a gun coming at him through the crowd at approximately two feet away from him, pointed down by his waist-to-knee area. He recalled seeing Secret Service lunge at her while he was rushed away from the scene. The semi-automatic pistol wasn’t fired, and Ford was uninjured.
Fromme was part of the Charles Manson group who killed Sharon Tate and eight others in the late 1960s. While Fromme was never implicated, Manson began a life-sentence in prison which he is currently serving. Fromme was released from prison after the Ford incident in 2009.
Ford – who became president when Richard M. Nixon resigned in disgrace over the Watergate incident - lived until the age of 93, having died on Dec. 26, 2003.