Evidence suggests Nixon wanted to thwart Vietnam peace talks

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Former President Richard Nixon had long been accused of derailing peace talks in Vietnam to boost his chances of winning the 1968 election — and newly uncovered notes support that claim.

An author working on the former president's biography found the notes in Nixon's presidential library and shared them with The New York Times.

The writing isn't Nixon's but a campaign aide's. That aide wrote down a conversation he supposedly had with Nixon, who said they should secretly "monkey wrench" the Vietnam peace talks then-president Lyndon B. Johnson was working on.

Nixon was running against Johnson's vice president, Hubert Humphrey. Polls at the time suggested Humphrey was catching up to Nixon in the final months of the campaign.

If a peace deal was secured under Johnson's tenure, some say it likely would have helped Humphrey's chances in the election.

According to the aide's notes, Nixon told him to have a campaign ally convince the South Vietnamese not to agree to a peace deal until after the 1968 presidential election.

On Election Day, Nixon won the contest handily with the Electoral College, but was still polling less than a point higher than Humphrey.

More than 20,000 Americans were killed between the date of that note, Oct. 22, 1968, and the war's end, roughly seven years later.

The author that found the note told The New York Times, "Potentially, this is worse than anything [Nixon] did in Watergate."

In the Watergate scandal, it's not clear if Nixon instructed burglars to wiretap phones inside the Democratic National Committee's office, but there was evidence that he tried to cover up the effort. Nixon resigned from the presidency before he could be prosecuted.

See photos of the former president:

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Richard Nixon
Vice President Richard M. Nixon (2L) talking to crowd. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
RICHARD NIXON (1913-1994) 37th President of the USA with wife Pat at White House on 12 June 1971 at daughter's engagement
Georges Pompidou and President Richard Nixon at palace
Nixon and Paine at Apollo 12 Launch
Security Officer's Log of the Watergate Office Building Showing Entry for June 17, 1972, Page 1/2
President Nixon Meets the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the Lawn of the White House
US President Richard Nixon delivers welcome speech in front of the White House in Washington in honor of the Soviet leader
Nov. 10, 2011 - Yorba Linda, California, U.S. - An old photo of Richard Nixon, from right, daughters Tricia, Julie and wife Pat waits to be hung at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda...//ADDITIONAL INFO: Tim Naftali, who stirred controversy while overseeing the conversion of t
Jun 05, 1974 - Cairo, Egypt - RICHARD NIXON (January 9, 1913 Ð April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States (1969Ð1974), having formerly been the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953Ð1961). A member of the Republican Party, he was the only President to resign the office as well as the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the Vice Presi
Aug 05, 1969 - Malacanang, Philippines - RICHARD NIXON (January 9, 1913 Ð April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States (1969Ð1974), having formerly been the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953Ð1961). A member of the Republican Party, he was the only President to resign the office as well as the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the
A half length portrait of Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat, 1950. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Politics, Personalities, USA, pic: circa 1950's, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Richard Nixon of California, pictured with his wife Pat and his two children Julie, left, and Tricia, Richard Nixon, (1913-1994) was the 37th President of the USA, but resigned in 1974 after the Watergate scandal (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
circa 1930: Members of the Whittier College football team with Richard Nixon wearing the number 12 shirt. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1754: President Richard Nixon (USA) toasts Zhou Enlai the Chinese Prime Minister during a state banquet in Beijing in1972. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
Vice Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon making a speech on TV. (Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 1953: William Knowland (L) and wife, and Joseph Martin (2R), joining Richard M. Nixon (R) and his wife (C), during the Governor's Reception. (Photo by George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
1953: Richard Nixon with his wife Thelma (Pat) Ryan and his two daughters Julie and Tricia during his first year as vice president. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A portrait of the American Vice President Richard Nixon and his family, (from left) daughters Tricia Nixon and Julie Nixon, and wife Pat Nixon, United States, mid-20th century. Richard Nixon later served as the thirty-seventh President of the United States. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon riding with Syngman Rhee during his visit. (Photo by George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon and his wife (R) with Attorney Gen. Herbert Brownell Jr. on his daughter's wedding day. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Vice-President Richard M. Nixon (L) watching his wife Pat Nixon (2L) cut her birthday cake. (Photo by Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon at first formal press conference in White House. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon (R) with Malcolm S. Forbes and his wife, Nixon aiding Forbes during campaign for governor. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon addressing delegates at Sheraton Palace Hotel during the International Industrial Development Conference. (Photo by Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Vice President Richard M. Nixon (R) and his wife carrying a child. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
gina lollobrigida, richard nixon, pat nixon
President Richard M. Nixon and Dr. James C. Fletcher, NASA Administrator.
U.S. President Richard Nixon during Press Conference Regarding Middle East Crisis and Watergate, 1973
Elvis Presley poses for a photo with US President Richard M. Nixon in the Oval Office at the White House December 21, 1970 in Washington, DC.
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), 37th President of the United States, Smiling Portrait, 1969
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