Professor Theoharis became an advisor to the committee, which investigated the legitimacy of intelligence operations of the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency in 1975 and 1976. He researched classified material sent by the FBI to presidents in the archives of several presidential libraries, including Truman, Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
“They have access to FBI records, unrestricted access,” he told Ms. Medsgar and Ms. Hamilton, the church committee and its counterpart in the House, led by Representative Otis Pike, a New York Democrat. “And it’s a different ballgame.”
And it was the same for Professor Theoharis. He deployed the FOIA, which was strengthened by Congress in 1974, to topple the sensitive “official and confidential” files of Hoover and his top aides, along with those designated “do not file”, which were removed from the FBI’s central records. was kept, possibly from being securely disclosed.
Professor Gage said, “That absurd ‘don’t file’ file was one of those things that Ethan drilled, and he got a lot of information that way.”
Professor Theoharis wrote several books about the FBI, among them “The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Inquisition” (1988, with John Stuart Cox) and “From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover” (1991) , which was reprinted. Professor Theoharis’ remarks accompany the agency’s memos.
Reviewing “The Boss” in The New York Times, Herbert Mitgang wrote: “Unlike some other recent Hoover biographers, the author does not apologize for the excesses of ‘The Boss’. He has the goods.”
Professor Theoharis thought that the portrait of Hoover as a gay cross-dresser had emerged The 1993 book by Anthony Summers, “Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover,” was distracting from the seriousness of Hoover’s unchecked authority.