What had to happen for the Watergate scandals to end Richard Nixon’s career? And was his downfall inevitable? In the final episode of Slow Burn’s first season, Leon Neyfakh assesses the president’s desperate final campaign to save himself—and the people and institutions that finally brought him down.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Richard Nixon liked, Spiro Agnew, because you presented himself as an uncompromising champion of law and order in nineteen sixty eight
Agnew as the governor of Maryland when Riots Bro
that you're in Baltimore after the assassination of Martin Luther King Agnew put them down by bringing in thousands of national guardsmen. And U S army soldiers. We are local police state police
but relies troops on the sea
we know now has never been more than the mob is no ally of civil rights.
Really. Six thousand people were arrested over the course of four days. Six were killed.
When it was all over Agnew, invited a group of civil rights leaders to the state office building in Baltimore. He proceeded to give a speech
in which he chastise them for being anti white radicals. It isn't
evil conditions that cause riots but evil men. He said a cannibal.
The only alternative to white racism is black racism.
next in Jos, Governor Sparrow, Agnew of Maryland for his vice by them
Nixon's running maiden. Nineteen sixty eight one of Agnes primary
was to lure in white. Southern Democrats and the leaders of the southern delegation said there were absolutely delighted to have one this victory. The recruitment of these
acted voters was known as the southern strategy in person
that strategy during the sixty eight election mixing took full advance,
Jabez future Vice president's knack for stirring racial resentment, it was the perfect division of Labor Nixon, kept his hands clean
or Agnew said everything Nixon silent majority wanted to hear when Watergate hit Spirit
new applied his over the top rhetorical style to defending Richard Nixon
times the presidency is like being a jackass caught in a hailstorm
to just stand there and take it
President election has been standing there and taking it ever since Senator Urban has been doing, is rain dance and at Washington Committee rules in July nineteen, seventy three,
bureau, Agnew, that pillar of law and order found out that he was
under criminal investigation involved or possible charges of bribery, extortion and tax evasion. He and some of his closest political associates, our under scrutiny, in an investigation of an alleged kickback scheme involving building contracts that are possible.
Said Agnew. It started taking bribes and nineteen sixty two
continue to do so, as vice president. Here is journalist, Elizabeth drew
Watergate for the new Yorker
the vice president sitting in his office.
For in the executive office. Building next to the wild with people
up with these envelopes, full of cash
at this point
clearly and unequivocally
I am innocent of the charges against after
of negotiating with prosecutors as well as White House lawyers. Agnew pleaded
no contest under the tree
Of his deal he would serve no prison time, but he would
after resigned vice presidency
Book Washington Journal, it was withdrew rights.
The vice president's ouster caused a frenzy
since capital that the rest
were louder than usual, that the city felt drunk
We were kind of on a high we'd, never been
anything like this before and we don't know where we're going on to
started, doing research for the show I hadn't
idea that Nixon's vice president was forced out of office during the climax of Watergate in a bright
scandal that was totally unrelated to water. Yet it was just this separate
controversy that happened to unfolded
exact same time as
other even more consequential controversy, but how so
could it be really think about the past year we ve had
process for five major news stories every day
those stories, don't feel separate. If you like,
Having some plots in the same chaotic, narrative,
Agnes resignation, which came ten days before the Saturday night massacre is part of the world
gate story. Nothing
was it served as an accelerant hoping to it
the fire storm and ultimately pushed Richard Nixon towards its downfall
worked in two ways: first was practical and political
while Agnew, as vice President Nixon regarded him ass, his impeachment insurance.
Idea. Was the Democrats wouldn't dare try to remove Nixon because
did they get Agnew, were they hated even more when Agnew's
faced with the relatively inoffensive Gerald Ford that bit of
In theory, no longer applied act.
Forced resignation did something else too. It made the puzzle
Letty of Nixon himself being removed from office, see much less far fetched
Here's Nicole Hammer story
the universe you Virginia, who studies concern
If politics, it still
probably. You seemed crazy to think about
President resigning, but
Just had this incident, where a vice president had been forced to resign and
and here I know the unprecedented path. Some
becomes easier to imagine other unprecedented things happening.
Had to happen for Nixon's removal from office to go from unthinkable to possible to certain
What prompted Nixon's enablers protectors to abandon him once and for all, and despite
any scenario in which Richard Nixon couldn't survive Watergate. This is slow burn. I'm your hosting Leon, Nate locked up the value of the high representative begin today of a president.
A huge challenge that taste the countess Olenska high crime. In his demeanor, though I had fixed up as a bloody Democrat Burgos Republic episode, aid going south.
Elizabeth Holtzman really didn't want to be in the House Judiciary Committee in nineteen,
many to the thirty one year old Democrat from Brooklyn had just unseated a guy who had been the chair of the committee for almost twenty years. Holtzman thought her constituents would prefer.
Have their new congresswoman focus on other things you want to see.
The people who are responsible for the selection process?
I got nowhere and when they put me on the house, Judiciary Committee, my heart sank and I said
This is not an auspicious beginning here. I am I first legislative effort
It's been would go on to serve for terms in Congress and later
become Brooklyn district attorney, but first she added
You can be sure that I will never scratched didn't Claude to get on that committee.
I had had an inkling of impeachment, but I had no inkling and the powers that be had no inkling.
The president, then no inkling either then impeach. It was going to happen, remember
Nineteen: seventy two: when Nixon was re elected, very few people,
cared about Watergate the cover
had been so successful that
nobody understood that the press
the United States, could be involved five months after the
the great the Watergate Nixon was real.
By landslide at the time
the second inauguration, his approval rating stood at sixty eight percent, the Senate hearing for breath.
Ass in the spring and summer of eighteen, seventy three by August Nixon's approval rating
plummeted to thirty one percent,
two months later, Nixon fired
I shall prosecutor investigating Watergate enforced
The attorney general and his deputy after that mixes up
reading, was down to about twenty five percent.
It didn't come out of nowhere when, on November fifteen nineteen, seventy three Congress voted to
Kate, one million dollars to staff a formal impeachment inquiry. The house had it
glorified on money requested by the committee for a study of impeaching. The president, the reporter
wrestling describe this as a deceptively bureaucratic procedure when that earn.
Three paragraphs in the papers. In fact, present pointed out
It was hugely significant one of the first concrete steps the government had taken towards impeachment
would have been an unimaginable fantasy scenario was now.
She'll government operation, but a significant government budget.
Money would be spent on lawyers and researchers, just like
and what are the committee members
This house committee would have a professional staff that work behind the scenes, but where is the
The hearings have been a televise spectacle. The house would mostly conducts its business in private
for the second time in our history, a committee of the House of Representatives begins debate on articles which may result in the impeachment of a president, not since the impeachment
Andrew Johnson in the last century. Have we been faced with a situation like this there?
thirty, eight house members overseeing the impeachment inquiry twenty one down
rats and seventeen Republicans together
Pour over the evidence against Nixon talk about how it should be interpreted and FF
really, at the very end, hold a public hearing to presented
pollutants the american people, after that
the thirty. Eight members would vote on whether to recommend Nixon's impeachment to the full house of Representatives and while the high
could carry out the impeachment. With a simple majority vote
actually removing Nixon from office with Denmark
the Senate to conduct a trial and vote to convict with a two thirds majority. That was the basic roadmap beyond that, though, the protocol for impeachment was
fuzzy Congress had unimpeached president more than a hundred years.
No one really knew how the process was supposed to work.
Here again is Elizabeth drew there was a book
by man unravel burger unemployment
a very obscure booked up until then, if I ran to the bookstore to get it because nobody knew what to do or how to do it or what it would be.
And so this was the huge challenge that faced the Congress Raoul,
this book was a highly technical legal treatise that happened
published just a few months before the Watergate Breakin in, but
we give November in eighteen. Seventy three a bookstore
Georgetown down had sold out of it three times:
described in one newspaper editorial sitting on some of the most fashionable coffee tables in Washington
The horsemen and a number of colleagues read the book to
they really were starting from scratch:
we had to learn about the car
The additional requirements for impeachment
constitution, says president
can be impeached for treason,
bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours.
I went to Harvard LAW School and no one ever taught us what
crime. Misdemeanor was so well
a high crime, exactly where the framers
constitution referring to a specific category of criminal offences. War was
my crime, just a really bad thing that a president shouldn't do even though
not necessarily illegal holtzman thought. The answer is clear: the four
Where's obviously, could have been making reference to the? U S criminal code, because there was no: U S criminal code when they wrote the constitution, the high ground
Misdemeanor was really a political crimes, not a norm.
Crime. It's not like shooting your wife for your husband or run
somebody overcomes you're drunk, but it's an abuse of power after
waiting themselves with the legal theory behind impeachment. The committee members said about evaluating the evidence. There was quite
material to cover, including everything.
Send it Watergate? Hearings have generated, testament
some grand jury proceedings and the way
those tapes that I've been subpoenaed by the special prosecutor's office according
Jimmy President's book how the good guy
Finally one there was so much
paper in the house, judiciary, committees headquarters, but the official architect for the capital adequacy
and workers to reinforce the floor.
The lawyers on the committee staff spent months organizing all this paper into big black binders these by
It contains so called statements of information which the committee members would read through and discuss the state.
Have information were written in a deliberately straightforward style with zero analysis. The first one
really just said that on January twentieth, nineteen sixty nine rich.
Dixon was inaugurated as the thirty seventh president of the United States. Later
There was juice, your stuff, including data,
about how it Nixon Foot soldier had delivered thousands of dollars and hush money to one of the Watergate brokers by leading on
envelopes full of cash inside airport lockers, even Elizabeth Holtzman
never thought highly of Nixon in the first place was floored by the immoral behaviour describing the statements of information.
As we heard more and more of the statements of facts at the staff presented to us
all of a sudden I felt ass though our sinking into quicksand there
There was no bottom to this that the nome,
of instances of
criminality of misconduct of abuse of power were just endless.
We were just sinking sinking sinking in this matter.
It was a really kind of awful feeling.
It's been- was part of the committee's liberal wing on the opposite side.
Were ten or so hard core Nixon loyalists in an interview conducted me
or the impeachment inquiry had probably got started. The senior
wicked member of the committee said there is no evidence,
justify impeachment, but there is no doubt that the Democrats will do their best to find some.
The Nixon lowest had their own way of looking at the evidence. One of them
Charles Wiggins from California, said after listening to the tapes, but there wasn't
when anything implicating the president and spitting on the street.
Is going to have rough guy. Any illusions about bipartisanship partisanship have already gone. The way ahead, shapes up is fierce and bloody. Democrats verses. Republicans
All this partisan rancor created a problem for the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, a new
The Democrat named Pierrot Dino
Ro Dino believed that this impeachment inquiry had to be a bipartisan endeavour.
The committee was gonna, recommend impeachment there had to be democratic,
and Republicans on board with the decision Rhodesia.
Sense was that if you
on a partisan action here. The country will never accept it
and so it can't be just the liberals, or does the Democrats versus the Republicans? You need
start a civil war
should that members of a political party would ever support their own guys. Impeachment sounds like a nice,
a dream, but the House
Sherry Committee, Circa, nineteen. Seventy four could not
the easily divided into two opposing sides.
There were liberals in the committee you like was withholds. Men who oppose
Nixon and wanted him gone, and there
so conservatives like Charles Wiggans, who appeared to be dead.
On defending him. No matter what the evident said, but did you
sure committee also included some members whose politics were harder to pin down by today's standards.
For political, misfits somewhere conservative Democrat
so represented districts and the south, where Nixon was popular. Other
for modern Republicans, who didn't always vote with Nixon in.
Clearly have any loyalty to him,
where these guys we're going to come down on impeachment was not at all obvious, including to them.
Just to give you an example of the kind of person were talking about Walt flowers endemic
from Alabama represented a district that
sixty six percent in favour of Nixon nineteenth
flowers was also supporter of the notorious segregationist Governor George Wallis, who
genuinely undecided. In the question of impeachment. At one point,
flowers went down to his home district in Alabama and talk to
judgments about what they thought should happen to the president.
After three terms in Congress. He knows a great number of these people by name has respect for their opinions about impeachment Watergate
I say I entreat you: might get off his bag and go to work.
Another, ambivalent congressmen was Hamilton fish, junior Republican from New York.
And had won his district by large margin in nineteen. Seventy two, but fish frequently broke with the president and his constituents were pulling.
Fifty fifty on impeachment fish
make up his mind about Nixon's guilt until just before the committee's work, wrapped up for
once in the meantime fish fly
bars and the other undecided members didn't really know about each other
the nature of ambivalence, people who feel
aren't usually very good at banding together for their cause, as
his MID July, fish believed incorrectly. That turned
that he was one of just two Republicans seriously considering voting for impeachment. It was a very quickly
feeling fish said later? I,
question my judgment. If everybody else had decided against impeachment Committeemen
like fish were a tougher spot than someone like Elizabeth Holtzman. In my dear
dragged it was a democratic district, so I wasn't gonna pay a price for going for impeachment their distress,
since voted for form, Nixon
and they're gonna vote to impeach him to overturn, went their constituency voted for. I was gonna, be hard boat
undecided congressmen were wild cards, precise,
because they are unsure how they vote they held the power
committee would move to impeach Nixon or choose to. Let him slide for
period in nineteen. Seventy four that made them
important politicians in America more after the break.
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code slow burn. While the House Judiciary Committee weighed the evidence, Richard Nixon was thinking about how to save as presidency. He decided that
best chance of political survival lay in the south, with a conservative
White Democrats, who lived there and still kind of liked him the calculus was this: if Nixon Cookie,
all seventeen Republicans in the house, Judiciary Committee. Behind him. He would need to pick up
Just two of the southern Democrats that would make
impeachment vote, a tie, an inquiry would be dead,
and if the matter did come to a full house vote Nixon's only her
prevailing. There was winning over southern Democrats the present
standing in the polls is slightly higher in the south and in the rest of the country, and so six years after
putting Spiro Agnew as part of the southern strategy to help whew segregationist,
Nixon set off on his final campaign good evening
Next I was on the road today making us with
approval rating near record lows not just for him, but for any President history Nixon
What a natural Tennessee Huntsville
Alabama and Houston Texas in Nashville
he appeared at the grand or opera and he played God bless him
gonna piano years. It was
Who, who is there
Did the strangest thing he approached the piano like it with his hands on her phone as if they were paused, while in the air, like you, just answered a lion or something it was really weird
as president in deep trouble, and he was
clowning around, and it was. It was kind of out of body experience
in Alabama mixing, appeared in front of some forty thousand supporters alongside the States Governor George walls
Nixon addressing the crowd here
in the heart of deputy way. Buying
Heart of America is good the character,
a strong, and we are going to continue to be right back
Washington, the vice around the White House, was tightening. Remember
how's Judiciary Committee was just one of the government bodies that had Nixon in its sights
the other one. You remember from previous episode, the Watergate.
I shall prosecutor's office having
Five, the Saturday night Massacre, the team of young lawyers assembled by Archibald Cox, was now what
for a new boss?
his name was Leon Jaworski and he ended up
Uprising, the members of Cox's army, who had initially doubted him when Jaworski was
fronted with evidence that the president had engaged in criminal activity. He was aggressive,
we flinching in pursuit of the case
after listening to the tapes Nixon it handed over in response to the cock Subpoena Jaworski went,
after the White House in MID April of seventy four and subpoenaed sixty four more.
The White House has until Monday to answer Georgie Subpoena. At the same time, the White House is concerned about
you were skis. Nineteen. Seventy four subpoena kicked off another legal battle over the oval office, tapes,
Once again, the Nixon White House refused to obey the special prosecutor subpoena
and once again mix
tried to sell the courts and the public on a compromise. On April twenty ninth nineteen, seventy four
Nixon announced in a televised address that he would be releasing not the tapes themselves, but twelve hundred pages of transcripts
They include the relevant portions of subpoenaed conversations that the report- that is a that relate to the question
what I knew about Watergate or the cover up and what I did about now. These transports would be edited other, but on the other hand, there are the
a lot of them. Nixon underscored this point by making his announcement alongside an imposing stack of fifty green binders when the train
were published by the government printing office the next day.
They were an immediate sensation
transcript shores of all and all for almost two hours. The president debated the wisdom of fresh money payments for Howard Hunt and in the end his answer was yes. First
papers and news networks highlighted the most salacious bits. Dana
I'm not talking about documents. You see I'm talking about something we could spread, as
You say at a March twenty seventh meeting. He said I somehow
feel I'd like to resign. Let agony
be present for a while. He d love it.
Administration, made some desperate attempt to spin white house
better John Mclaughlin, a Jesuit priesthood,
on the whole Mclaughlin group said that the relentless vulgarity in the transcripts was
form of emotional drainage,
clearly suffering not suffering? Was beautiful. Lochlann said the mortal
suffers more believable. He becomes to me.
This line of reasoning did not catch on most
Reaction was more in line with that of Senate Republican leader, Hugh Scott, who said the Watergate, transfer,
revealed a shabby disgusting, immoral performance by all in vain
and you never heard him him, meaning the president's say. What's the right thing to do,
the country once the right thing to do under the law. It was always kind of
You get away with this, and how can we stone wall here, and it was just you know,
eggs, thieves, conspiring and plotting and scheming newspaper
started printing, the transcripts in their entirety in huge inserts and special sections. The present
tape, transcriptions had become an instance best seller. They should have a trivial came out with a special forty four page section today with all of
A quarter of a million words in the transcript Tribune had that on the street
Then one day after the transcripts were released the times in the post, both package, the transcripts paperbacks
became instant best sellers,
three million copies in print just one week after the transcripts were released and
our staged a marathon reading before long everyone,
making jokes about export have deleted. The prudish free
is that the Dixon administration had used to make the transcript seem. A little less horrible
than a hundred years. Historians may look at it and ass back. A ninety
Seventy four, what an expert
deleted, was going on exports
We're not the only thing the Nixon team had deleted. The press
had also omitted or altered a number
criminal exchanges. Remarkably, he even did this with transcripts of tat.
That he had already provided to the special prosecutor's office and which the House-
Sherry Committee members had already heard in one of the two
prepared by the White House. Nixon
quoted as saying that he had been advised to use flexibility in order to get off the cover up lying on the tape members.
Many could hear him saying that the administration should use flexibility in order to get on with the cover up, here's holtzman,
is almost laughable that the
President release these transcripts, which were so crude in the sense that they were not sophisticated efforts to protect him. I mean yeah, they changed the words they deleted words. They tried to create transcripts of wood exonerate him, but we had the tapes and those tapes could be public. So what were they think it an hour?
crazy, several men
the committee took such offence at this third rate, active deception, that they shared the discrepancies with the press. There have been
his recently that parts of the country
version differ widely from the transcripts released by President Nixon
report of an omission in the presidential transcript concerning the payment of hush
Nato Watergate conspirators and there is
you're wasting your time, a White House spokesman
due to the leaks as evidence that the committee was running a partisan witch hunt, Pat Buchanan,
here too, the president suggested the journalist
to look into who is doing the leaking,
and why is a news story? It's news and information. American people have a right to know, and I think the obligation is on the part of the national press to run down the source of those leaks
one of the White House. His hopes in releasing the transcripts, had been to get the special prosecutor's office off the president's back and to avoid a supreme
court showdown over the tapes
but Leon Jaworski was not satisfied. Edited trend,
did not count as evidence, and, furthermore,
twenty of the sixty four conversations that I've been subpoenaed were reflected in the transcripts mixes.
Refusing to hand over the rest on May thirty
first nineteen. Seventy four, the tapes case made it to the Supreme Court
during oral arguments. A lawyer for the White House tried to make the same points about executive privilege in the separation of powers that people had been
ring for nearly a year
justices, were not buying it at eleven o clock this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States
unanimously against the President of the United States
July twenty. Fourth, the court ruled eight zero, but the president had to turn over.
A piece of evidence that Leon Jaworski had asked for the time.
The Supreme Court's July. Twenty fourth ruling was uncanny.
I've been the same day. The House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to begin its public hearings debating a resolution recommending wrote, but the House of representatives. Does it
Richard Nixon, president of the United States or high crimes misdemeanours. So I started
Will your average Wednesday.
By this point, the committee have been examining Evans behind closed doors for about three months there
Complaints in the media about how long deliberations were taking
But these were real deliberations.
Undecided wildcard, you really did struggle to make up their minds anyway
agonizing decision, particularly for Republicans
because Dixon had a base. It was rapidly deteriorating
still had one and they
and convince themselves if these were high crimes of manders and what would be the precedent if you weren't, held accountable
and what would be the political consequences for them if they vote,
to impeach the man.
It was only about a week before the hearing started that
different members found each other and started talk.
Awesome themselves about the case for impeachment,
there were seven of them turned out three concerns
Democrats, including wild flowers and for model.
Publicans, including Hamilton fish there
Group of seven, would be referred to as the fragile coalition, though some called it.
Unholy alliance, when the pub
hearings began also
revealed to their colleagues and the forty million people watching at home how they are planning to vote each one.
Come to the conclusion individually and then, together that Richard Nixon had to be impeached here,
is wild flowers delivering his opening statement. What if we fail to increase
Do we in grey or ever in the very fabric of our constitution, a standard of cod,
in our high stop. Is that in the least, is deplorable and at worst is impenetrable.
The most celebrated speech of the impeachment hearings came not from any one in the fragile coalition.
From a little known Democrat from Texas, aimed Barbara Jordan in her
ten minutes statement. Jordans,
oak and mournful tones about the stain that Richard Nixon had left in the presidency. Shares
him as a man swollen with power and grown tyrannical
but would made Jordan speech. Stand out was the way she framed it as an ethic
American Jordan said she understood
that when the constitution was written, she
not considered full human being
I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, just left me out by mistake.
Through the process of amendment in
rotation in court decision
have finally been included, and we, the people Jordan's point, was that, despite
history, he still believe in the constitution,
felt sorrow at seeing its averted by Richard Nixon
today I am an inquisitive all
hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the sullenness this that I feel right now. My
even the constitution is whole. It is completed its programme
and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator.
The destruction of
On the night of Saturday July, twenty seventh committee chair
Peter Road Dino called for a vote on whether the press
It had obstructed justice as part of the Watergate cover up and whether the
institution require that he be impeached for it.
Mr Erdogan I so much.
Already the committee voted for impeachment the process
Four continue with a full vote in the house.
calling the role for the vote. You could hear it Peter
drop? It was so quiet and so everyone
had the sense of the occasion
Here they were voting to hold the presidency in contempt of the constitution.
Mr Prodi, known
The final tally was twenty seven in favour and eleven against the eight votes included the
Republicans and three Democrats in the fragile coalition plus two more republicans on top of that.
The unthinkable had arrived with by partisan support
the committee would be recommending impeachment
I just remember it's just
feeling very uncomfortable and sad.
Anybody relished it. I don't think anybody took any pleasure in it. I don't think one single Democrat danced
and down with joy
In that way, it was just a very sober moment.
Minutes after the committee's vote
The sergeant and arms for the House of Representatives rushed over to Peter Road. You know someone had called.
Capital police. He said and told them
Plain heading straw
for the building where the vote had just taken place. The plane, I suppose,
we just taken off from national Airport, it was being flown by car.
Cause pilot routine
hurry to clear the hearing room. Then region
It was office and looked out his window, the play, never came.
New York Times reported that, as Regina left the committee's headquarters that night he broke down in tears
under different circumstances, richer
x and might have still had a sliver of a chance. He was possible, if unlikely, but the
The House of Representatives could reject the recommendation. The Judiciary committee, the Senate
who could decline to convict Nixon getting
Two thirds majority is never easy, but Nixon's defeat at the Supreme Court
but the president knew the sixty four tape that he now had to provide to. The special prosecutor's office
before tape that he now had to provide to the special prosecutor's office contained definitive proof that-
had participated in the Watergate cover up from the very beginning that proof was on. A tape
from June twenty third nineteen seventy to less than a week.
After the Watergate Breakin captured.
Station between Nixon and his chief of staff each hour Haldeman
it became known as the smoking gun tape Nixon could be.
Instructing Haldeman to enlist the director of the CIA unconvincing.
FBI to stop investigating the break him
the FBI. In said, that's
go any further into this case period. Dixon said: that's the way to put it, do it straight
Dixon, had listened to this tape and he kept its contents
grant from his lawyer and its closest aids
finally told him what was on it in the way it is.
He did so knowing that the game was almost certainly over on Friday August, second
presidents man began the excruciating process of telling the White House is most loyal defenders, but the newly discovered evidence
told Charles Wiggans Republican, who had insisted the president wasn't even guilty of spitting on the street.
We can set the June twenty third tape had to be made public immediately. If the White House didn't do it, he would President Nixon stunned the country today by admitting that he held back evidence from the House Judiciary Committee, the President issued a statement about the evidence he kept secret, saying this was a serious, active omission or what,
I take full responsibility and which I deeply regret. Your following Monday, Bob Woodward and Karl Bernstein
reported in the Washington Post at the White House was
Truly some new and damning piece of evidence in response to the Supreme Court ruling.
Charles begins when on television and announced through tears that he could no longer stand at the President. I am prepared to conclude that the magnificent public career Richard Nixon must be terminated in voluntarily, and I shall support
Those portions of article, one of the bill of impeachment, adopted by the Judiciary Committee
Which are sustained by the end of August is nineteen SAM,
for facing certain impeachment and removal from office. Richard mixed.
Informed, the country that he was quitting. I would have preferred to carry through to the fence
Whatever the personal agony of would have involved.
I have never been a quitter
the leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as president, I must put the interest
Of America first therefore,
I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow and then just like that he was gone.
So a happy ending right. The system worked
investigate itself politicians chosen
with over party affiliation, the president's missed
these were exposed and he was forced out of office as we ve heard. None of this happened
gently, but I've been wondering since I started working on the show is: could it have
and in some other way,.
Was Nixon's ouster the inevitable result of checks and balances working as intended.
The country does get lucky when I look back at the time
line of Watergate when I take stock of everything that happened
tween breaking on June seventeen nineteen. Seventy two
Nixon's resignation. Two years and two months later,.
All I see our moments when things could have gone in a different direction. The washing.
Post could have assigned the story of the breakin to reporters were less aggressive than Woodward and Bernstein gave
or could have chosen not to write a letter blowing the whistle on the cover up John
He could have decided not to turn on his boss
you could have had a worse memory. Nick
could have decided not to install taper quarters in the oval office or
and it Watergate Investigative could have not found out about them or mixed.
To destroy those tapes as several
good bye to do. Oh
Democrats could have not had a majority in both the Senate and the House, that's a big one going through that list
It makes me think that it wasn't some law of nature or even some law, politics that prevent
Nixon from getting away with Watergate. It makes me think that if a few
things had broken a little differently
you could have served out a second term put the whole or
behind him. On the other hand, even if
thing about Nixon's downfall, preordained that doesn't mean it
just a random outcome, either
The system really did work or more accurately there were people.
Inside the system, who did what they could as a result. Above
interconnected institutions, the press, the courts, the Department of Justice Congress. All of them
their part to bring about the ending that we now take for granted. Even if we did you get lucky
Is that still an argument for hope?
I Gerald Hour or two solemnly swear that I will faithfully actually give that I will.
I fully accept the office of President of the United States, the Office of President of the United States.
Day, Richard Nixon resigned Gerald Ford
sworn industries replacement
Ford would become Nixon's. Vice president, after Spiro Agnew's resignation about six months earlier had long been
unabashed defender of the president, and he continued
Jim form unequivocally until the bitter end
remember that back in nineteen, seventy two when forty
ass minority leader. He made himself very you
What are the president by helping to squelch congressmen right patents, early investigation into Watergate on September?
nineteen seventy four four,
Nixon one Morgan turn,
by these presents to grant a fool,
an absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon.
Odin extended to any and all crimes that Nixon might have committed during his time in the White House, for just
by saying the country couldn't afford to go through any more years of scandal. Who is bad
Seven Nixon's top AIDS have been indicted back in March, if prosecutors,
after Nixon himself
The nightmare we just never end when
and got his pardon. He told his wife
That was the most humiliating day of his life. Three weeks later
former president sold the rights to memoir for two point: five million dollars.
That's it the first season of slow burn thanks for listening,
stick around for some news about what's coming next
slow burn has been a production of sleep plus slaked membership programme,
I shared some of the amazing stuff I found while researching the series two and seven bonus interviews with people who watch that I'll go down this week,
I've got an interview with a family from New Jersey. Two brothers were kids during Watergate, and their sister was in her early twenties. These three were so obsessed with the Senate. Watergate hearings they made
Entire scrap book about it and they made there
and drive them to Washington. They could see the hearing.
Person now there
grown. The conversation I had with them shows just how personally people took the story, how profoundly it shapes the conception of the world.
On Wednesday or be doing one last facebook chat about Watergate honestly plus group page and is more to come for plus members, including apart.
Ask version of a slow burn live show at the Watergate. Hotel thanks to
Of you who have joined over the past few months,
you're, not a member, yet
find out more sleep. Dot com slush, slow burn
slow burns produced by me and Andrew Parsons are script that
Josh, the being Gabriel,
is the editorial rapturously plus the armor
Her slow burn by Teddy Blanks chips are theme. Music is bad.
To the old House by Nicholas Ostrom
thanks to the NBC News Archive.
Presidential Library, museum and Mama.
Admit it lanting regional, moving image archive the ADI
you heard in this episode.
The full list of books particles
I commend areas used to research. This episode on our show page
as usual, were grateful to slates chow to Rachel Withers June Thomas and Steve like time we all
wanna. Thank some other people who have been instrumental in making this show what it is,
it Turner and Jacob Weisberger, believing the project Jeffrey
for producing asleep, plus episodes justly
Africa, pushing them with me terribly.
For designing the perfect artwork
Evan Vila Jason, the embryo
credit? Well for all their help in the studio
Andrea, Linsey Jason De Leon for advice on how to write script thanks
Eric Miranda from NBC Archives, Ryan, petty
from an Ex library.
Andrew Maiden, MIKE Pascal Mary Wilson, Andrew Newman
and Rigour BAR and Katy Waldman Mark
Marylin Williams, Dan trader better,
thanks to a bluebell for naming the show and to forest Whitman
But the idea
special thanks to my wife, Alice, Greggory Gregory, putting up with me for the past five months:
enjoyed, slow burn, leave us rating and a review and apple podcast. It helps me listeners by Michel
as for what's next well, this feed will be quiet
Little bit but make sure you stay subscribed will be.
Later this year with slow burn season. Two.
The impeachment of Bill Clinton.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-22.