Ken Hughes

Fast Facts

  • Bob Woodward called Hughes "one of America's foremost experts on secret presidential recordings"
  • Has spent two decades mining the Secret White House Tapes
  • Expertise on Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Secret White House Tapes, abuses of presidential power, Watergate, Vietnam War

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • Governance
  • Leadership
  • Political Parties and Movements
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Bob Woodward has called Ken Hughes “one of America's foremost experts on secret presidential recordings, especially those of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.” Hughes has spent two decades mining the Secret White House Tapes and unearthing their secrets. As a journalist writing in the pages of the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, and Boston Globe Magazine, and, since 2000, as a researcher with the Miller Center, Hughes’s work has illuminated the uses and abuses of presidential power involved in (among other things) the origins of Watergate, Jimmy Hoffa’s release from federal prison, and the politics of the Vietnam War. 

Hughes has been interviewed by the New York Times, CBS News, CNN, PBS NewsHour, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and other news organizations. He is the author of Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate and Fatal Politics: The Nixon Tapes, the Vietnam War and the Casualties of Reelection.

Hughes is currently at work on a book about President John F. Kennedy’s hidden role in the coup plot that resulted in the overthrow and assassination of another president, Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam. 


Ken Hughes News Feed

When Woodward knew he was coming to Kent State on May 4 he requested that Ken Hughes look for anything related to Kent State. Hughes is a researcher at the Miller Center, and Woodward requested him because he considers Hughes an expert in secret presidential recordings. Hughes, who discovered the Kent State-related section of the recording, said Nixon never expected the world to hear the tapes.
Ken Hughes KentWired
Like Donald Trump, Richard Nixon tried to stonewall congressional investigations into crimes allegedly committed in the White House. “Why, we’ll just let it go to the (Supreme) Court. Fight it like hell,” Nixon said. But the stone wall crumbled under pressure from the public, Congress and the courts, and its rubble formed the foundation for an article of impeachment.
Ken Hughes Houston Chronicle
“The Mueller report makes a very strong case that Donald Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice,” says Ken Hughes, an expert on Nixon and abuse of presidential power at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
Ken Hughes TIME
Regarding both Nixon and Clinton, “there was political will to hold the president accountable for obstruction of justice,” said Ken Hughes, an expert on Watergate with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. “In both cases, Congress rose to its responsibility for ensuring that the president is not above the law, and now there seems to be a great hesitation to do that.”
Ken Hughes ThinkProgress
Mueller makes clear it's up to legislators to determine whether Trump obstructed justice.
Ken Hughes The Hill
Contrary to the summary that Attorney General William Barr gave Congress last month, the full Mueller report did not leave it up to the attorney general to decide whether President Trump obstructed justice. That question is up to Congress, just as it was when obstruction of justice formed one of the bases for impeachment proceedings against both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Ken Hughes The Hill