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Rehnquist revelations

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Washington, D.C.

The FBI investigated witnesses who testified against former Chief Justice William Rehnquist during his two confirmation hearings, newly released files reveal. In 1971, when Richard Nixon nominated Rehnquist to the Supreme Court, and again in 1986, when Rehnquist was named chief justice, the FBI gave presidential aides a preview of the testimony of witnesses against him. One concern in 1986 was Rehnquist’s 10-year dependence on the sedative Placydil. Documents reveal that Rehnquist was hospitalized in 1981 to withdraw from the drug, and during his hospitalization doctors reported that he hallucinated, imagined CIA plots against him, and attempted to leave the hospital wearing only pajamas and a bathrobe. Rehnquist died in 2005, and the FBI released its file on him in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

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