Analysis: Nixon's Victory In Defeat
Larry King Live - talks with Bob Woodward 2 part (39:27 min. VXtreme)
Burden Of Proof - Watergate Aniversary 3 part (18:09 min. VXtreme)
John Dean on Inside Politics (5:51 min. VXtreme)
'Toonist Bill Mitchell checks in on Richard Nixon (in a very hot place).
AllPolitics 'Toonist Bob Lang looks back at Watergate.
TIME Coverage 1973
Defying Nixon's Reach For Power
(TIME, April 16, 1973) -- The words tumbled out disarmingly, softened by the gentle Southern tones and folksy idiom. But they conveyed a sense of moral outrage. "Divine right went out with the American revolution and doesn't belong to White House aides ... That is not executive privilege. That is executive poppycock." With those words, North Carolina's Democratic Sen. Sam J. Ervin Jr. was stepping up the rapidly accelerating tempo in a showdown over secrecy between the U.S. Senate and President Nixon. If the president will not allow his aides to testify publicly and under oath before the Select Senate Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, Ervin vows, he will seek to have them arrested. The threat is not an idle one. The Ervin committee, which has full subpoena power, has solid legal grounds for contending that White House officials cannot spurn any such subpoenas. Since he hopes to begin televised hearings in two weeks, the issues is reaching a climax.
Ripping Open An Incredible Scandal
(TIME, April 30, 1973) -- The denials, the evasions, the secretiveness, and, yes, the lies, all had failed. The Watergate case was breaking wide open. A 10-month campaign by some of the highest past and present officials of the Nixon Administration to cover up their involvement was crumbling.
There was a very real possibility that some of these and other officials might be convicted of crimes and sent to jail. For several, at least, the charges may well include conspiracy to wiretap, perjury, obstructing justice and financial misconduct. The suspect officials hired attorneys to defend them, held furtive conferences with federal prosecutors and shuttled in and out of a Washington grand jury room, dodging newsmen.
As the pressure built up, Nixon's adamant refusal to let any of his aides testify before Sen. Sam J. Ervin's select Senate committee became untenable. Finally, last week, Nixon spoke up, calling a White House press conference. Looking tense and haggard, Nixon read a prepared statement announcing that all members of his staff will, after all, appear voluntarily before Ervin's committee if they are asked to do so. Nixon also declared that he would immediately suspend any member of the executive branch of government who was indicted, and would fire anyone who was convicted.
Nixon's Nightmare: Fighting To Be Believed
(TIME, May 14, 1973) -- He had made his move. He had cleaned out his staff. He had faced that nation on TV. But Watergate still kept growing like a malignancy. Within less than a week after Richard Nixon had solemnly denied any personal involvement and promised to see justice done, one of his ousted aides, John W. Dean III, threatened to implicate the president himself in a conspiracy to conceal White House involvement. And by last week, 17 of Nixon's associates and employees were under investigation by the Justice Department, the FBI, a federal grand jury and a committee of the U.S. Senate. Every day seemed to bring new details that beggared suspicions, including information that men on the White House payroll had broken into a psychiatrist's office with CIA equipment to obtain the records of Daniel Ellsberg to find out about his "moral and emotional problems." Next, Nixon ordered his aides not to answer any questions in regard to the taps on telephones of reporters and White House aides seeking leaks of government information to the press.
The Inquest Begins: Getting Closer To Nixon
(TIME, May 21, 1973) -- Two of the most prominent and influential former members of Richard Nixon's Administration -- Attorney General John N. Mitchell and Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans -- were formally accused by a federal grand jury of conspiring to obstruct justice, conspiring to defraud the U.S. and perjury. Mitchell and Stans became the first former Cabinet officials to be charged with a crime in 50 years, but the indictments were obviously only the beginning of a long inquest that would produce many more charges.
The Newest Daytime Drama
(TIME, May 28, 1973) -- The brisk young Nixon men, once contentedly anonymous, now slipped one by one into a central seat facing seven U.S. senators arranged along a green-felt-covered table. They braced as the red signal lights of the television camera blinked on -- and then they became instant principals in a fateful national drama in which the political survival of the president is at stake. The Watergate story was now being dramatized under the klieg lights of the crowded Senate Caucus Room and thrust into the living rooms of America. Figuratively, the testimony represented at least half a dozen sticks of dynamite that could blow the scandal sky high. The fuses were lit, and the first reached flash point as convicted wiretapper James W. McCord Jr. directly accused Richard Nixon of participating in attempts to conceal the involvement of his closest political associates in the sordid and still spreading affair.
Nixon's Thin Defense: The Need For Secrecy
(TIME, June 4, 1973) -- With ever-increasing force, the waves of Watergate had been slamming against the doors of the Oval Office. Neither the repeated denials of presidential involvement in the scandal nor Richard Nixon's all-too-general television address of April 30 had stilled the pounding of multiple congressional hearings, grand jury investigations or the press probings. Last week, seemingly cornered, Nixon simultaneously fought back and fell back by issuing one of the strangest presidential documents in U.S. history -- a 4,000-word statement that presented his defense. In it, Nixon cloaked his conduct in the claim that he had consistently acted to protect "national security."
Dean Talks: Guerilla Warfare at Credibility Gap
(TIME, July 2, 1973) -- Squeezing out Leonid Brezhnev's visit to the U.S., John Dean's impending public testimony makes the front page. As leaks spring to the press, both critics and defenders of Dean and Nixon engage in nasty combat over character and credibility. TIME reports that the White House has hired private detectives to investigate Dean's background further. Cites one source friendly to Dean, "They [the White House] can't call on the FBI anymore, so they've gone out and hired their own private eyes."
Can Nixon Survive Dean? Dean's Case Against The President
(TIME, July 9, 1973) -- Former counsel John Dean accuses President Nixon of being involved in the Watergate cover-up during a Senate inquiry.
John Mitchell in Defense of Nixon: 'Speak No Evil'
(TIME, July 23, 1973) -- Facing a room full of television cameras in the Senate Caucus Room, John Mitchell said where the president was concerned, his policy in effect had been "speak no evil," and the president had been quite ready to see and hear no evil. Countering John Dean's previous testimony, Mitchell claimed whatever he knew he never passed on to the president for fear it would make Nixon an accomplice to the cover-up or would cause him to "lower the boom" on all those involved and thereby expose their activities.
The Nixon Tapes: Playback Wanted
(TIME, July 30, 1973) -- As the Watergate scandal grows by the week it seems an ironic twist of fate will prove decisive in determining how the president's involvement is finally perceived. While Nixon is at Camp David drafting a letter refusing to turn over taped phone conversations pertaining to Watergate, Senate Select Committee Chairman Sam Ervin responds: "If the president does not release tapes of Watergate conversations recorded in his offices, I would inform the president that the committee was going to hold him guilty."
Historic Challenge: Battle Over Presidential Power
(TIME, August 6, 1973) -- Watergate goes beyond being an epic daytime whodunit drama and turns into a political and constitutional struggle of historic dimensions. As Nixon stands behind "executive privilege," Sam Ervin asks whether the president is above the law? To what extent can the executive branch maintain strict privacy in the defiance of the other branches even if that privacy may cloak a crime?
Adding Up Watergate: Can Public Confidence Be Restored?
(TIME, August 20, 1973) -- After weathering nearly three months of Watergate testimony, Richard Nixon seemed about to be given a respite, until another scandal erupted. Vice President Agnew, who had hitherto escaped the taint of Watergate, was officially informed that he was under investigation for allegedly taking kickbacks from contractors. With a mixture of shock and disbelief, many Americans wondered, "Who else? What next?"
Scrambling to Break Clear of Watergate
(TIME, August 27, 1973) -- Making no real effort to address the damaging Watergate charges, Nixon in his first address to the American public in three months pleads with the country to put aside the "backward-looking obsession with Watergate [that] is causing this nation to neglect matters of far greater importance." The president, with a Gallup poll showing that only 31 percent of the people approved of the way he was doing his job -- the lowest rating of any President in 20 years -- skirted Watergate and defined his mandate to control inflation, reduce the size of government, reduce the cost of living and to achieve peace with honor in Southeast Asia.
Richard Nixon Stumbles to the Brink
(TIME, October 29, 1973) -- Nixon refuses to yield his controversial tapes and documents to federal Judge John J. Sirica. Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox is fired and two other high-ranking Justice Department officials resign on principle.
Seven Tumultuous Days
(TIME, November 5, 1973) -- It was by any reckoning the most tumultuous week of modern U.S. political history. Individual Americans demanded Richard Nixon's resignation or impeachment in 275,000 telegrams that overloaded Western Union circuits in Washington. Nearly two dozen resolutions to at least begin impeachment proceedings were introduced in the House of Representatives.
The Jury of the People Weights Nixon
(TIME, November 12, 1973) -- For only the second time in U.S. history, the American people seriously confronted the possibility of the impeachment or forced resignation of a President. TIME conducted a nationwide survey which revealed while a few people are gleeful about the possible removal of an old enemy, the dominant mood was a growing sense of dismay, disenchantment, despair and a willingness to recognize if not approve that the president may sooner or later have to step down.
The Secretary and the Tapes: Rose Mary Woods
(TIME, December 10, 1973) -- Calling it "a terrible mistake," Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, said she apparently had pushed the wrong button on a recorder and erased four and a half minutes of a crucial Watergate-related conversation between Nixon and H.R. Haldeman, then his chief of staff. If Miss Woods' story proves to be untrue, the inescapable conclusion would be that at least one of the subpoenead Nixon tapes had been deliberately and criminally altered.
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