Tyler Kent

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Tyler Gatewood Kent (24 March 1911 – 20 November 1988) was an American code-clerk at the American embassy in London who in 1940 "was caught with approximately 1,500 documents in his possession which had been copied or abstracted from highly secret communications passing through the embassy. A fervent anti-interventionist, Kent became convinced by what he saw coming across his desk that President Roosevelt was lying to the American people about commitments to Britain and other commitments relative to the war. He determined to collect the evidence – which included communications between Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (at a time when Churchill was merely First Lord of the Admiralty) – so that it could be presented to certain anti-interventionist senators and expose Roosevelt's secret operations to the light of day."[1]

Despite his diplomatic immunity, Kent was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released and returned to the United States after serving five.

"If Tyler Kent had somehow succeeded in making public his collection of intercepted documentary evidence, he would have unleashed an enormous public outcry for President Roosevelt's removal from office. At the very least he would have temporarily halted Roosevelt's campaign to get America into war. Roosevelt might well have been so discredited that Wendell Willkie would have defeated him in the 1940 presidential election. It is difficult to say whether the Kent disclosures would have been enough to bring about Roosevelt's impeachment. Certainly the documents provide proof of criminal activity sufficient to warrant removal from office. Congress would have been virtually compelled to begin at least preliminary impeachment proceedings. This much can be said with certainty: disclosure of the Kent documents would have dealt a powerful blow to Roosevelt's prestige and credibility. Tyler Kent might then have significantly altered the course of American and world history."[2]

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