After resigning the vice presidency in disgrace in 1973, Spiro Agnew looked for ways to earn money and capitalize on his former position. Agnew, for example, worked with J. Walter Jones on a number of business deals, including the solicitation of business in Saudi Arabia. In 1976, they secured three construction contracts in Saudi Arabia and Iran for a Jones company, with Agnew making an $80,000 commission on one.
On August 25, 1980, Agnew sent the letter below to the Saudi Crown Prince, Fahad bin Abdulaziz, asking for money to help him counter what he said were efforts by Zionists to destroy him. He claims they framed him to get him out of office so he would not succeed Richard Nixon and adopt policies less favorable to Israel. The letter contains anti-Semitic remarks such as his claim that Zionists control the media. He also proposes a surreptitious way for the Saudis to fund his fight against the Zionists.
About a month after he sent that urgent request for financial support to the Saudi crown prince, Agnew sent a letter thanking him, apparently for positively responding to his request. He adds that he plans to try to develop business in Saudi Arabia that will “give me the resources to continue the battle against the Zionist community here in the United States.”
The letter below has the original spelling and grammar errors.
August 25, 1980
His royal Highness,
Prince Fahad bin Abdulaziz
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Because of urgent problems at home, I regret that I am unable to prolong my stay in Taif to meet with Your Highness as planned. However, at the request of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahab, I am writing this letter to explain my principal reasons for my urgent request to see you. My necessary departure is to a great extent caused by the same difficulties that face me at home.
Your Highness is already familiar with the unremitting Zionist efforts to destry me. These well organized assaults began after my official visit to the Kingdom in 1971, and they have accelerated since the publication of my book, “Go Quietly, Or Else” this year.
During the time I was under attack from former attorney general Elliot Richardson in 1973 , the reason for their need to drive me out was stated by Richardson on several times. He said that I could not be trusted to act properly in the Middle east – meaning the October war, which was raging at the time. Nixon was helpless at the time because of his own Watergate problem, which I was not involved in. Therefore, I was framed and driven from office. The reason was that the Zionists in the United States knew that I would never agree to the continuance of the unfair and disastrous favoring of Israel, and they had to get me out of there so that I would not succeed Nixon – who they knew would be forced out also.
Since 1974, the Zionists have orchestrated a well-organized attack on me – the idea being to use lawsuits to bleed me of my resources to continue my effort to inform the American people of their control of the media and other influential sectors of American society. They have filed four major lawsuits, one of which I have already won after a four year battle and it cost of over $50 thousand dollars in legal fees. Three remain open, the latest being a 17 million dollar libel action filed by a lawyer alleging that he was damaged by my book. I am sure that this damage suit was encouraged by the Bnai Brith. The net result of all these actions, and other complaints arising out of 1973, is that I have been financially disabled. I do not have any resources left to continue the fight and they are near to attaining their objective to silence me.
In conjunction with the publication of my book, I have made numerous television and radio appearances. I have taken every opportunity to speak out against the catastrophic U.S. policies regarding Israel. This has spurred my Zionist enemies on to greater efforts.
I need desperately your financial support so that I can continue to fight. If I had the resources to take the offensive, I believe my enemies, who are the enemies of all decent people, would abandon their efforts. If I could mount a counter-offensive, they would see that I am able to fight back.
What I propose is to request from Your Highness a three year, interest free loan – in the amount of two million dollars. The loan would be made to Agea Management and Investment Company, a Lichtenstein corporation owned by trusted friends. I would have the use of the interest from the loan for three years. The entire principal would be returned after the three years. The company would pay me therinterest as consulting fees, which would have no connection with Saudi Arabia. The U.S. would not be able to embarrass or investigate in anyway because the Swiss laws of secrecy would prevent any inquiry beyond my legal receipt of the interest as consulting fees.
If Your Highness is willing to help me, but this method is not suitable, I would be grateful for any other ideas that would give me about 200,000 thousand dollars a year for the next three years. I do so want to continue my fight against the Zionist enemies who are destroying my once great nation and impeding the peace efforts in the entire Middle east.
Tomorrow, I shall be in Riyadh for only one day at the Inter-Continental hotel. I would be grateful if someone could contact me there. If that is impossible, please let me hear from you via ambassador Faisal Al Hegelin in Washington or in direct contact to me at my Maryland Office, 301-752-1152.
Finally, Your Highness, I want to offer my services in assisting you to make a direct an informal contact with Mr.. Ronald Reagan, whom I think will be the next President. This contact should be made prior to the election, if it is to be most fruitful. Reagan and I are good friends, and his wife, Nancy is a good friend of my wife and me. She has an impact on his thinking.
Should Reagan be elected, it is entirely possible that I will be given a quiet O.K. to do some secret diplomacy. He respects my knowledge of foreign policy, and my five years of experience in the middle east and Asia. Although he has had great Zionist pressure on him, his is a fair-minded person who can be educated to the true facts.
My sympathies to His Majesty, King Khalid and to Your Highness on the tragic air accident in Riyadh.
My congratulations to Your Highnesses on the clear and courageous call to Jihad . The action of the Israel Knesset on Jerusalem had to be the final provocation. Your Highnesses affirmative action stirred the world.
During my nine day stay in Taif, I have been the recipient of Your Highness es hospitality and the people at the Al Hada Sheraton have been most courteous. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
As always, I stand ready to help in any way I can. Please be aware that this cry for assistance is genuine and not exaggerated. The Zionists have me in a most difficult position, and I need help urgently without delay period
With great respect and warm personal regards, I am,
Spiro T. Agnew
Sources: Transcript of the Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, (February 21, 2019);
Alan Duke, “History Uncovered: Secret Letter Shows How U.S. Vice President Got Saudi Payoff For Anti-Israel Views,” Lead Stories, (November 28, 2016);
Dan Fesperman, “A little help from his friends Success: Despite the scandal that ousted him from public office, Agnew became prosperous as a broker of international business deals,” Baltimore Sun, (September 19, 1996)