Public Papers include materials relating to Walters’ service as a government official, including his appointments to the offices of Assistant Attorney General and Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and his role in the Watergate investigations. Public papers are divided in sub-series according to offices Walters held.
Walters’ correspondence as Assistant Attorney General reflects his active involvement in reforming the federal tax system and his work on other issues such as tax fraud and sentencing standards in criminal tax cases. Walters’ work on several Civil Disturbance Teams is revealed in detailed accounts of missions in which he took part. The teams were formed of Justice Department representatives and sent to areas where a civil disturbance such as a demonstration or riot was expected. Correspondence relating to the nominations and appointments of judges also reflects Walters’ work with non-taxation issues. The bulk of this correspondence relates to Walters’ efforts on behalf of the failed nominations of Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court. Also included are letters regarding the nominations of other judges, such as Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court, as well as nominations of district court judges in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Much of the nomination-related correspondence concerns garnering support for Republican nominees. Included is a December 1969 letter from Spiro Agnew commenting on bias in the media.
Papers from Walters’ employment with the IRS include materials from his work with the Chief Counsel’s Office between 1949 and 1955. Papers from his service as Commissioner of Internal Revenue are focused on the re-organization of the IRS to be more efficient and taxpayer friendly.
Walters’ drive to make tax service efficient is apparent in handwritten notes about suggested reorganization of the IRS, in correspondence reflecting Walters’ reforms, as well as by a copy of a 1040A tax form from 1972, reintroduced by the IRS under Walters and featuring his “letter” to the taxpayer. His attention to taxpayer concerns can be seen in his correspondence with Vivien Kellems regarding her campaign against unfair taxation of single people. The operation of Walters’ administration is also represented by papers regarding the resignation of Deputy Commissioner William Loeb. A Democrat, Loeb’s appointment by Walters proved unpopular with the Nixon Administration. Also, Walters’ two resignations from 1972 and 1973 reveal an interesting aspect of the Nixon Administration. In 1972 all Nixon appointees were asked to tender their resignations, a request which Walters complied with, issuing a second resignation several months later. Commissioner’s Advisory Group correspondence and materials from 1973 to 2001 illustrate Walters’ continuing interest in the affairs of the IRS. The Advisory Group was formed of past Commissioners of Internal Revenue to discuss IRS issues and problems and to suggest improvements and solutions.
Watergate investigation files include documents relating Walters’ preparation of his statement before the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Investigations. Walters' handwritten notes from the Committee’s proceedings provide insight into Walters’ very public role in the investigation of the politicization of the IRS. Other items of note include correspondence about the release of the Nixon Oval Office tapes in 1991 and 1996 and transcripts of conversations discussing Walters and the IRS.
- 1918 - 2003
Library Use Only
From the Collection: 7.5 Linear Feet
- From the Collection: Walters, Johnnie M. (Johnnie McKeiver), 1919-2014 (Author, Person)
Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository
Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA