thumbnail of 1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 2
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ms bee gen allen from the artist fish for purposes of general debate on annapolis to fifteen french cyclist chairman i would like to congratulate you mr chairman for your friends throughout the past seven months of this investigation an inquiry and those mindful is i believe many of those here are that we literally started out from scratch that there were thousands approve professional and procedural legal questions to be determined largely by you at the outset of are angry i feel it was infinitely wise at the very outset gemma decided on a special inquiries that i've said before that the team of forty some lawyers assembled an assigned to conduct this inquiry perhaps make up the finest law firm in the united states one of the most worthwhile
fox in the early consideration of the applicable law and procedure has been that john doerr and albert jenna spoke to us with one voice range that they have a great legal talents on the complex issues that the committee face through these months of hearings in which we've heard thousands of words a memorable statement was made by mr genoa which is a tribute to this committee and the orderly process is a government under our constitution he said that no matter which way you ladies and gentleman of the committee vote the institution of the presidency will have been preserved and i thank you for the job during this investigation each member is not available in the hundreds of pages of presidents without the opportunity to read the debate of the constitutional convention we had been briefed by our staff and by counsel for the president on what
constitutes an impeachable offense we have also received brief from law schools from across this nation to appreciate the standard this number will bring to bear i should like the state of my test of individual fans must have three elements first about the defense must be extremely serious second that it must be an offense against the political process or the constitutional system of our country that is one that is recognized as such by the broad majority of the citizens of this country i think also that every member has a right to consider what is best for the united states and its people for is our great institutions and the people that the constitutional provision regarding impeachment is designed to protect yeah and applying a test of what is best for our country it would do damage to the constitution and the law its way through a show of
judicious deliberation yet to avoid an impeachment be unwarranted or through partisan anger mask a drive to remove a sitting president from office is such a removal is not warranted by the evidence i respect that a member may consider as well the trauma of impeachment will visit on this nation i also maintained that a member may just as well consider the implications of cotton and see what the evidence itself certainly must be clear and clear to the ultimate jury this is simply because he is the president of all the people now what exactly are the constitutional duties of the president when the president assumes office is required by the constitution to take an oath of office in which he vows to faithfully execute the office of president he vows not
only to perform the duties of president but to perform those duties faithfully the faithful to walk or to whom i would suggest that the president is required to keep faith with the public's trust that was placed in his position the public welfare and interest must come first in his conduct the office the vigilance is required of him is to protect and advance the interests of the people thus and considering impeachment question before us we must judge whether the faithful most of which has been sworn in about to buy the president in his oath has been honored and we must judge whether any lack of playfulness which may have characterize the performance of the presidents duties it is such a breach of trust a secondary that is required of a president is also contained in the oath of office each president must swear to the best
of his ability he will preserve protect and defend the constitution of united states the president is required to safeguard the constitution to the best of his abilities in assuming office of president affirms that he will safeguard the structures which comprise the essence of the government and the values which comprise the very foundations of our society it is his responsibility to exercise his powers to ensure the liberties and constitutional rights of the people they're dubious honor the president by the constitution is that the faithful execution of the laws the keynote as before his playfulness ms natalie maines but like any ordinary citizen the president was debatable but also underscores that the branch of government which the president is relied upon to put into execution the lawyers themselves
in this charging these obligations of president is expected to use all possible diligence and saying that wasn't executed foley family and just life is responsible for carrying out the enactments of congress and the supervising the four a and impartial administration of justice the individual who occupies the office of the president to his great land therefore serves as the protector of the people and to use a phrase from jewish history that the guardian of that sacred wrestler will our constitution here the issue is the constitution and assessing the thickness of the presidents remain in office the congress becomes a conscience and protectors of the state and many i've been impressed with our long deliberation i hope that all are aware of the gravity of this proceeding the need for us to have been exhaustive and each of us on this committee bring to bear his very best
and many around our nation have communicated to us thoughtful and provocative way others on both sides of the question has more likely or threats of political reprisal to have a shortcut or deny expressed direction of the constitution is that the less helpful for no member of this committee can in conscience shirk his oath of office to defend the constitution of the united states i am a republican in these proceedings i've attempted to discipline myself in partisan neutrality the matter before us is really larger than party is more important than the continuation office of any member of this committee what is best for america that is within our power to ensure that has not changed in our two hundred year history it is that the constitution and the laws be enforced failing justly and impartially it is that our people know that the rule of law applies equally to those who
govern as well as to the cover and the question is raised by mae is anyone virtuous enough to decide the weighty issue before us it is suggested that we as politicians are all too tainted with corruption on our imperfections you decide on the sense of what a helicopter that is suggestive that we're already guilty but civic and righteousness is collected in politics at this thesis if i and my colleagues can no longer separate us since from those of others we are no longer capable of making any worthwhile judgments whatsoever at the elephant is the day i find myself into trouble over evidence of presidential complicity important justice and the alleged abuse of part of that great office reviews of enormous party united states government to invade an intentional private lives of individuals every member of this committee and the congress must evaluate the facts in the light of adherence to boil
devotion to the constitution and the great institutions of our land if the evidence is clear that our constitutional duty is no less clear mr chairman i want to you california's recognize the balance of power gentlemen has five minutes and forty seconds remaining with respect to one charge and the president of using the irs in the language of the proposed articles that either president corruptly endeavor use the irs in a discriminatory and improper manner the only evidence before us after a million dollar investigation those incidents would form the basis of the trial
twelve of them involve no presidential conduct whatsoever twelve of them have nothing to do with the president although i am prepared to admit they show an effort on the part of john being and occasionally an unsuccessful it on the part of early on to gain access to irs information no evidence that all ladies and gentlemen presidential involvement in both well the only incident connecting the president and effective it is the evidence of september the fifteenth nineteen seventy to be the backdrop for that he recalled having testified to the development of the enemies list so called that's his characterization of that list a list was developed in nineteen seventy one for some purpose but nothing was done nothing was done in nineteen seventy one at all but on september the eleventh nineteen seventy two john the gop list
apparently at the direction of ehrlichman johnnie walker's waters of the irs and requested that audience be made on those persons on the list he said any the evidence is that he did not act or silica presidential instructions at that time that evidence isn't conflict but the park and many speculated that it might and in response to the careful examination of my colleague from a lot of history of that whether or not that speculation was justified on the basis of any announcement of john green john being required to the congressman it is pure speculation on my part and i prefer not to speculate a lot we now move to the conversation itself on the fifth the day of september and i want to ask you all as conscientious
reasonable men and women at what point if president nixon corruptly abuse the irs given the backdrop of course of a thorough congressional examination of this whole manner in which it was determined without equivocation that the irs did not abuse the rights of american citizens the meeting of the fifteenth will recall was in the white house the oval office between alderman in the present the discussion commences and they're pretty clearly is a reference to mcgovern people kennedy people and being working closely with respect to a plan and you know what the president said and the only thing that you said yeah and that's all that really think that those of us who have listened to take really know that that seems to be a habit of the president as others are talking to say yo yo
yo now that some evidence but i've looked at the evidence necessary to justify the meat of the conversation for seeds and john dean and there is a reference to possible presidential involvement of the fbi that rather of the irs when they tell you what the evidence is a lot of people because someday someday there are there are i think we shouldn't forget the way some of them have treated as well as john been talking to the president the president says great funding continues and he says that they've been asking for they meaning the unfriendly people within the administration who are not responsive to presidential
instructions and the president says you know we have never use these agencies in the path of things are going to change now in the past we've been and i'm not voting for cycling but i'm fairly characterize unions in the past we have inspectors for regulations so as not to involve the bureau not to involve iran's and horror among the reasons that you and your damn regulations for getting us from doing that the play's villain all out evans's on one thing and that is the evidence of presidential involvement in this serious charges of abuse of the irs i want my colleagues here to go back and review that page carefully and ask themselves if it carries with it the force of clear and convincing evidence justifying an impeachment of the president of the united states on the basis that he has endeavored to corrupt the irs has
recognized me gentlemen from california mr wally for purposes of general debate not to exceed spirit a fifteen minute long joint mission so perhaps the word the most of almost everyone confronting this enormous decision and their ability to make a decision that will be perfect in august that but i also want to make it as clear as i possibly can but i accept that responsibility and i think it is part of the genius of the system that fallible human beings are called on to exercising judgment of this enormous individuals will tolerate this country after having such long hours and weeks
we have h participated in i think there is no one on the committee who's not aware how enormously fragile the liberties of this country are and how deeply subject to abuse they are one of those who exercised break our indiscriminate and it is with that recognition that i find myself quite willing to accept this responsibility and indeed anxious to reform those responsibility in the manner that i mean that must be performed in that manner is to state my conclusion prior to my case from authors the last time his nation have an opportunity to be exposed to the condition of the presidency and at that
time i think the general perception of the country was that the executive branch of this country and the president in particular was in deep deep trouble that there was something seriously wrong with the highest levels of our government and that there was something seriously lacking and the moral makeup of those who occupied those positions and the question that most of the people in the country was posed constantly persistently and simple even eloquently by senator baker when he said what does the president know and when did he know it and that the conclusion of that hearing that question it was to left greatly unresolved though the doubts among the frustrations of the anxiety is that resulted from not resolving that question precisely and the reason that was left unresolved was because of the failure of the president of the united states to provide the answer
to those basic questions what does the president know and when did he know what we now know what the president knew and when he knew it because of events that have i've heard subsequent to be ervin committee hearings with which the nation had great familiarity and those events were contrary to the president's desire he was finally forced by law and by the anger and the wrath literally the american people to relinquish the most vital evidence of have been withheld the tapes of his conversations the best evidence of what the president knew and when he knew it but in the process of obtaining that evidence there was almost a constitutional crisis you recall because the president in his consistent and persistent efforts to obstruct the pursuit of truth in the mainstream of those questions fired actually won't cost the special prosecutor
caused the dismissal of the attorney general of the united states and that the attorney general of the united states because they too recessed in following the remedy is available to them under the constitution of finding the answers to that question the country rejected that attitude on the president's party and he can see that and he didn't really was the tapes but did you really wish some of the tapes we later learned the vital information on those things most vital most instructive you know june twentieth conversation two days after the june seventeenth break in the democratic national committee the conversation between the president and holland's top advisor was not existed on that tape was in the president's custody and that eighteen and a half minutes was the race the rangers' offense was inescapable
that the president had been erased because it was so devastating the incriminating subsequent to that i introduced a resolution of them each month alleging that the president had obstructed justice october twenty thirteen by his dismissal of crops and his refusal to turn the tips over to the proper investigative bodies thereafter this committee convened to examine the question what does the president know and when did he know the next great avalanche of evidence involving that question with forthcoming when we pursuant to our subpoenas have a response inadequate know it might be of the edited transcripts began the best evidence that was available the conversations of the president to indicate what he knew and when he knew it in terms of watergate that avalanche of evidence as awkward as it later he was determined to have been as the fashion as a leader was determined
to have been by the elimination of vital portions of those tapes and transcripts steele was enormously helpful in answering questions what did the president know when we know now we are where we are today has there been one iota of them one shred of evidence exonerating minutes poker tour in its effect introduced on behalf of the president by the president or anyone else since the senate committee hearings went but when senator baker asked that question there has not been an iota of evidence the president has had it within his power in such evidence exists to bring it forward and to exonerate him from these charges and to exonerate the nation and that we still but has not done so in
response to my friends on the other side of this committee who suggest the evidence does not show that the president has done anything that simply is not so there is a mountain of evidence showing that the president has acted to obstruct justice hush money alone would be sufficient to demonstrate that he says but before we analyzed that what my friends fail to argue is there is a not the duty on every individual in this country and particularly a precedent and that is to respond when there is placed before you information that building compelled to act upon and there's president have that opportunity countless times pursuant of the transcripts that we have obtained edited or not or he was tall of perjury on behalf of his subordinates where he did nothing about that well he was told of efforts to conceal evidence where he did nothing about that or he was tall of
obstruction of justice on behalf of this high a subordinate where he did nothing about to this day there is not one single instance with this president has come before any authority with evidence or with his understanding of evidence to ask for clarification the saddest part of it was the president's own the world and in the march twenty second take when he was talking about president eisenhower and he said this was involved his jerry wonders how this thing was falling apart and he said about president eisenhower quote that's what i somehow that's all he shared the only cared about crimes he's sure he was clean up in the fun playing in the autumn thing that i don't look
at it that way we're going to protect our people if we are uncool that is the saddest end of the combat support and that entire paycheck page of the transcript that the president democrats a standard of conduct that eisenhower upset for his subordinates and we don't look at that way and he doesn't he looked sad and that's necessary to cover up when the president set in that same conversation i want you all to stonewall let them flee the fifth amendment cover up or anything else of that will save it save the plan that's the whole point then he said there's my friends on the other side pointed out on the other hand i would prefer you do it the other way i mean aside for them all the argument as if as to the fact that he probably was referring to
it has been a plan for mitchell to come forward and take all the blame and thereby get the president and has been all about the voters examine his words to determine what they do do and what he didn't do from march twenty second day they come forth that baby's cry or did they tell all or did they stonewalled them and they cover up or did they do anything to save them from march twenty second to this very day they are doing anything to save the plan including the last day of evidence that was submitted that this committee nurse to say where i'd gone through all the tapes that we're still not provided us pursuant to our subpoena and came up with one shred of exculpatory evidence takes that the president had heretofore said one
nation now the president means of determining what you say that the defendants would put the money to what she was playing to the german its legality or illegality that is the question the question is for what purpose it was paid up to what purpose it was put and common sense that the president of the united states does not condone payment of over four hundred thousand dollars to seven people our planet dec jail cell because they have committed a burglary unless you want something from them that isn't compassion that isn't a charitable institution particularly one that stunned surreptitiously covertly fingerprints get away from the money that was a cover up to buy their silence and that succeeded in buying their socks
there's really maybe deeper the deeper that this country was a jeopardy to the extent it hasn't been in the past two years and you can look at the evidence in this case in the totality of what confronts us in this case without understanding that unless we fulfill our obligations as these fallible human beings in this genius of the governmental structure our obligation our duty is to impeach this president this country might get about doing its business the way it should do you select the standards that have been set for this country since its beginning i recognize the gentleman from iraq this demand for purposes of general debate not to
exceed fifty mid may on as chairman it you wish to express my appreciation the un and the ranking member and the staff members on both sides for the monitors to show me since the environment first undertaken in october i do recall that i was for a considerable period very critical of the long delays experienced in getting this inquiry under way one says that was fully recruited an organized i think i should do do we recognize that the kids that were very long and hard and in a highly professional manner what happened you are permitted themselves to or were ordered to waste a great deal of time and money on matters which are quite irrelevant to impeachment all
all these are matters which will undoubtedly provide a great deal of political press corps the mail in many campaigns the law well mr chairman a lot of those members of this committee who did not prejudge the case against the president ron paul has not been an easy one the possibility of being applied either the second impeachment of a president in the nation's history just passed the extremely distasteful to any but the most partisan members of this committee extreme partisans who have always opposed the president bitterly may indeed feel that they now have the best of both for us creative all out in their accusations and animation of the president they can demand the family of impeachment trial and removal from office with a vengeance
but for most members of the committee sobering prospect of impeachment brings no joy whatsoever and i must say that it is especially repugnant to those of us who have been political allies of the president in happier days and for whom a pro impeachment vote may be construed by some as an abandonment not only of the president of the united states but of the republican party as well this is of course an erroneous concept because the regular republican organizations were systematically excluded from the committee for the reelection of the president and had no part whatsoever in the watergate debacle or the cover up no vote by any member against any one or more of the proposed articles of impeachment
should be interpreted as an endorsement for approval of what went on at the white house is whether they vote for impeachment or not i think that most members of the committee will strongly condemn many unwise improper and in some cases downright illegal acts which were committed by officials at the committee or at the white house but in any event i want to emphasize that as members of the house of representatives i really transcends all partisan political considerations we must reach our decision fairly hands well a relevant evidence and suppliers we humanly can it's very obvious
officials who fell so far short of the accepted standards of gravity and devotion to duty have already been indicted or have been found everyone i know by many of my colleagues now certainly people are the starry example which was set by the chief executive himself or his fellow citizens and it's personal as well as his official conduct and responsibility it is not whether we condemn ended for presidential action or inaction no matter how disappointing it may have been the question before was the president guilty of treason bribery or other pipelines and misdemeanors which are the only constitutional grounds for impeachment covering recent weeks the
majority staff have drafted and circulated more than twenty five alleged rounds of impeachment most of what clearly that not need these constitutional standards under the us it is hard to avoid the conclusion that in drafting such omnibus articles majority staff of thrown in everything including the kitchen sink in an effort to justify spending of more than one and a half million bucks and the accumulation of these so called statements of information some thirty nine volumes of them than what much of the information can being there and being quite irrelevant to the issue of impeachment and very repetitious but i have no doubt that these thirty nine violence and more to come are going to be expensive reprinted in increasing numbers and sent to every law school college
and high school in the country not to mention the democratic campaign reporters at the appropriate facts as a valuable source of material and campaign literature at any rate only a relatively small number of the proposed articles of impeachment which have been floating around are still included in that resolution which was presented to us at the outset of this debate and his novel forts and i will try to avoid a discussion of the issues which have been dropped off so as not to consume time and then asked unnecessarily it seems to me the strongest case which have been made on the obstruction is said to have been made against the president is the obstruction of justice charge as it relates to the alleged watergate cover up and i have been listening intently and will continue to be
most interested in what my colleagues have to say on this as it seems to me that this is the only real possibility which remains a vote for impeachment ruth here up until this time almost all of it is purely circumstantial i'm willing to listen and to be persuaded in our remaining deliberations as i listened to mr doerr and his argument for the prosecution it seemed to me that he pointed no direct evidence of presidential involvement in the cover up but had to arrive at his conclusions of presidential involvement by a series of insurance is piled upon other influences and i notice but every time that he made and influence it was an entrance and
favorable to the president of the united states nine witnesses were called testify on various phases of the watergate cover up some of them at the request of the president others at the request of the committee i think it is fair point out that even in the case of those requested by the president from a council and members of the committee examined even those witnesses outside the school it circulated that he used that word after the events of last evening but that they were dropped a bombshell which would blow the president's defense right out of the water well that bombshell never exploded as we listened to the testimony of those nine witnesses and eight of them in fact
testified unequivocally that the president had no knowledge of their illegal activities and was not involved in the cover up they remained unshaken on this point under rather strenuous cross examination by a number of members and by step only the witness can be testifying here in this hearing room for the first time and he had an impression in the conversation on march twenty first andy gill president at a desire that payment being made and of course he had testified that time for aid several times during the previous year after a year of examination in a number of forms you suddenly came up with a very different version of the march twenty first conversation i don't think anyone on the committee and i think the fact that the credibility of this evening is very much for example up and there'd be any
doubt in any of our mind whatsoever that he lived was really significant number and this whole issue of the watergate cover up i intend to continue listening carefully to my colleagues looking for any evidence which may have a stately and to reserve judgment on this and the other remaining issues until all that may have been concluded and we began to vote on each of the remaining nights i was impressed by the concern shown my my good friend from online history all that all four the effect which these proceedings may have on the youth of our country i believe you suggested that our young people do not feel if they find young people do not feel that we're receiving fairly they will be alienated to such an extent that their reaction to president
lyndon baines johnson will seem tame by comparison ickes who would like to say to our youth and to all the citizens of our country i asked them to leave they're in comparing these two presidents and the sort of investigation and for me that they are under law never before in history has many presidents of the really intense investigation of his first all public life with proven experienced a richard nixon as that is the sad as either i believe i will correctly referred to it as the spam as more than two million dollars on ads watergate investigation the house more than one and a half million dollars on this judiciary committee investigational two dozen lawyers at the senate committee another two dozen hear no or as public interest law
firms and most of the investigative reporters of the country and then working full time trying to uncover any possible irregularity on the part of the press if we are indeed interested in their way let us recall whether any such investigation was ever life of any time against lyndon johnson a man who came to congress in nineteen thirty seven with no resources a congressional salary of ten thousand jobs and until they became vice president in nineteen sixty one but never received a salary of more than twenty two thousand five hundred bucks yet during his years in the house and senate the vice presidency and the presidency he acquired a multimillion dollar empire based on monopolistic licenses granted by the federal government and the lucrative television and radio industry johnson family for many years now the only
commercial station licenses radio television licenses in a highly populated houston area is really nirvana for johnson with a powerful majority leader of the united states senate went great influence over the fcc which deny repeated application to prospective competitors who want to share in this lucrative market with a tremendous province me lean from this government control industry definitely has branched out into other investments which were also dependent to some degree i'm government and for us lbj left the white house a very wealthy man well as the ever investigated in a manner that richard nixon has been investigated or investigated at all i wonder what the reason being that for all but four of the thirty two years that he was in public parks is it the democratic party control both houses of the facts and during much of that time he was the highly influential leader of
that party whether any this position on the part of that congress has banned over four million dollars or any amount and investigating the majority leader of the vice president or friends there or not has expired but there are not richard nixon must be an only if we find him to leave iraq won't happen at all right very reason or other high crimes and misdemeanors recognize thee gentlemen from alabama with flowers and purposes the general debate not to exceed fifteen minute as the files before considering directly the subject matter and the chairman a couple finds that i would like to not much it fourth of all add up like a great import to the people and the congress in the constitution is the manner in which these proceedings have been
conducted somerset for the most part they've been fire like that's an understatement for what few exceptions and i'm talking about the unfortunate and grossly over emphasize leagues the proceedings event scrupulously fire with jim you deserve a great deal of this credit of the rest of the committee and the entire staff also religion with a great deal of pride the phone number love our bar association richard gill montgomery my defined contribution of the same number of inquiries i'm an imagineer few of the important procedural ruling which contributed i think to the furnace of which as it first the president's council was allowed to participate in the entire process cross examine witnesses and presenting evidence and legal arguments and the president of iran this was only as it should be actually as was the decision to call all of the witnesses requested ballots like
claire and the members of the committee that with a committee chairman appreciate that courts of applause crawling with drones the most direct my remarks dear to those of the press that are here and elsewhere before slip back into anonymity with the rest of my colleagues on the side of the temple many of you will become a real political comedy and hesitating way owsley friends last month instead of merely a byline of commentator or even and i go mine but also years is not intended in any way to be and writer or bitterness called honest then you better than i ever have before and what's your problems aren't getting the news and getting it out about feelings were mostly well over slavery lesson i
bow my dear friend from new jersey and that assignment you know the press have a unique role in our society you're protected by the first amendment because you're so protected in because of you're growing influence you have a great roi responsibility asset that i have that each of you look inward we'll hear all had to look inward in recent months and decide for yourself if you have treated fairly with the president because i'm way that the perspective of middle america does not receive equal time anomaly that you ladies and gentleman all the press rwanda about his remarks if you're very interested in saving the street another problem of brain and make no mistake my friends here and out there it is a
terrible problem the alternatives are cleared to vote i think the president of the united states on a more the proposed articles of impeachment or to vote against him and there is no good solution among these alternatives we do not have a choice that only represent anything bizarre awake of nights at least on the lives of the never go to sleep lately wondering if this cannot be some sort of drawing impeach the president of the united states the chief executive of our country our commander in chief in this cruel and volatile world that we live in in nineteen seventy four the people that i represent this divided and most americans i thought i really want to support the president sure that we want to support the constitution and the best interests of the country but in so doing we also hope that we can support the office of the president say and that citizen
along us who occupies that at any given time but unfortunately there is no bad dream it is the terrible truth that will be upon us here in this committee and the next few days and then there's the other side of it is what a week for you oui and running for cover and the very fabric of our constitution a standard of conduct and our highest office that morris is impeachment this is indeed a terrible george we have to money as we all this committee suffer through these plans will reflect on the word attributed to teddy roosevelt about the man in the arena martin was with him so things about the most are troubling to all people who fear that
the government can encroach on the freedom of the people the institutions of this country have been set up by the people to serve them to carry out those functions that are necessary to make people unafraid society created to serve the interest of one man or one group of man or the local chain of anyone such institutions as the fbi the form of justice the cia and surely the internal revenue service are given great power because the people for congress and at those institutions to guard and protect them and their liberty yet they have been evidence before us that the white house had an organized effort to get the arias to all the unrest and images of the administration the government and its role the tax collector must be above any political use cannot be honest from a pile of money and a political advantage the power of the irs reaches into every light and it's a chilling thought that
it might be a political instrument to get the end of the poem my friend tom railsback all of this let's my opinion of the republicans use of the irs to get your image is a frightening prospect in the state in nineteen seventeen we have elements of the white house leaking tax information contrary to all in an apparent attempt to affect the governor's gambling year at the notice that the fbi the nation's beliefs we use foul balls or disagreed with the administration and then some evidence that the cia refuses to cooperate with sustenance there was sort of a private police group to break into a doctor's office and possibly figure out other activities for fun for political gain an even more troubling there's evidence that when the justice department and the fbi sought to investigate the watergate burglary and the feel and burglary the president and his associates systematically misled those audiences without the truth from them and for a fall through
and then most prominently in the spring of nineteen seventy three assistant attorney general peterson you of roland acting attorney general says the findings have recused himself met repeatedly with the president told the president what the investigation has shown that through the involvement of haldeman ehrlichman being in others you're supposed to help in dealing with the investigation and it doesn't assure him that the information would be kept confidential under investigation what happened is that the structure a plan to defend themselves and the president did not give peterson the information that he himself already hate in fact by peterson's testimony when he asked the president if he had information about the break in youthful know even though the president had been told the fact that the minute you know power the president says a public trust is like our lives and the people must be able to
believe that loughner president yet this and that was before this shows that the president has given a solemn public assurances to the papal involving the trust and faith appeared powerful office and those churches were not true but we're designed to mislead the people and mislead the agencies of government who were investigating the charges dismissed next man if the trust of the people in the words of the man on friday people cannot know that their president is candid and truthful with them and i'll say the very basis of our government is on the mind if i was chairman of the problem of the basic relationship between the president and congress estimating up like a struggle to reach the truth yet when we have requested then something that certain elements that we all felt almost almost felt was needed it's been accused of doing
but you know and i rushed to recognize in and don't follow the problems which i insist that we must do let's not forget the year today or any day during the proceedings that they exist for the most part because of what human beings did our fight over the in contradiction of their duties and responsibilities under our system obviously americans a nation with many false but it's also a nation with hope so where's that only the most foolish of the most pessimistic we're finally realize we've all made mistakes i know a problem might some on the future so the moment they've won with important and even sometimes tragic consequences but my friends and my fellow countrymen we're not always foyle and it's important to be aware of our successes as well and all that and there's been no other notion of the mud for all people one of the slain
time extending a helping hand the freedom and generosity and compassion to a world in heat that's a simple want to remember these accomplishments and performance of them have been accomplished in those last six years under president nixon we might otherwise be persuaded to abandon those values and those institutions that are as possible largely for these achievements and they're also outside of that hopeful for the problems that said oh oh many times that we can make great progress in improving our society and still not have anything that little less unless we concern ourselves with underlying values if we believe and nothing my friend that we don't have a sense of moral purpose and there's little possibility of automation or we have individual citizens reaching the highest of which were capable in the tradition of this mission a world that's far more about his liberty justice were convicted of individual individual responsibility and many more
not no leslie our problem is that the five fourth of those that we prefer it and to make them will be in modern times you know always like bike through the preamble of the constitution a sparse office we all know we the people of the united states and surely amazingly there's no more inspiring stories been we the people of the united states that we the public officials of the united states not we these artifacts are so when educators that we've educated toe with a grownup so important that one of twenty five not leave the privileged places or whatever but they're certainly the people we're acting in our communities across the nation can pull all fragmented society together again at the grassroots of our complex and mechanized industrialized nation we can mr feinberg of america where
you are you know like we change people speak to one another once again and trust and mutual respect we share a common objectives and working toward a common goal can bring our nation to at the top of that and wellbeing we can provide a so in character so widely believe in on the line you know we are the people of the united states and we can do these things and we are in this room are the representatives also of the people of the united states and even more particularly in this case the representatives of the representatives of the people we have and also have that no one else can do it for us mr morris you're right i can't ever forget who i am and where i come from and where i'm going but and i had that i cannot forget that i must get up every morning for the rest of my life and live
with my decision here only terrible alternatives to listen to the debates in all of interlocking as mambo that they don't vote as i am convinced mr martin moran based on a prosecution but within me i do recess one very keen to pause briefly now on our replay of today's proceedings and that videotape coverage of the house judiciary committee's impeachment debate will continue sharply we really don't washington week in review yell i think he doesn't think that living in a world of self delusion but i think they genuinely believe that
washington week in review reports on its becoming increasingly doubtful whether the senate will have time this year to try the impeachment trial washington week in review discusses foreign affairs this here goes washington week in review lots of the major national and international events of the week from washington and that's washington week in review that the proposal is bleak it's
been we need to speak it's b fbi it's
b amtrak's coverage of the house judiciary committee's impeachment very continues as we go back to the house judiciary hearing around each member of the committee is taking fifteen minutes to present his opening remarks and then they will come to where i recognize the gentleman from maryland is the argument for purposes of general debate that period of fifteen years ago it was the chairmen more than a century ago i'm going a time of great national trial
abraham lincoln told trouble in really divided nation we cannot escape history we of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves no personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation they were again faced with an actual trial the american people are troubling divided again and my colleague emily know for our lives we cannot escape history but the decision we must jointly many will itself be tested and tried by our fellow citizens and my history itself the magnitude of our mission is awesome there's no way to understate its importance norton mistake it's me
we haven't achieved the strongest weapon in the arsenal of congressional power we personally members of this committee have felt that way and i perceived its dangers the framers of the constitution during an executive too strong to be contained and constrain from injustice are subject to approve a raid the congress with the power to bring the executive into account and in parallel removal for acts of trees in bribery or other kinds of fire oren and misdemeanors the first responsibility facing members of this committee was to identify or an impeachable offenses the constitution doesn't define the person and switchers bars
do not give us any real guidance as to what constitutes an impeachable offense from each of us in our own conscience in our online her own heart afterwards daddy had to decide for ourselves what constitutes an impeachable offense obviously it must be something so reverse that it warrants the removal of the president united states from office i don't agree with those that say impeachable offenses anything that congress wanted to be and i don't agree with those who say that it must be an indicted war criminal offense but somewhere between is the standout against which we must measure the president's conduct there are some who say that he should be impeached for the wrongdoing of his aides and associates i don't confirm that i think we must find personal wrongdoing on his part of we're going to justify his impeachment
the president was elected by an overwhelming mandate from the american people to serve as their president for four years and we obviously must be very cautious as we attempt to overturn this man an historic proportions of this the liberation act after memory decides what to his mind constitutes an impeachable offense he then had to decide what standard of proof he would use in trying to determine whether or not the president united states had committed an impeachable offense now someone said that we're now used to a grand jury and a grand juror only find probable cause that a criminal defendant who committed an offense in order as an american trial but because of the vast ramifications of his impeachment i think we need to insist on a much higher standard our council
recommended clear and convincing proof that's really the standard for civil liability that where a preponderance of the evidence i think we have a higher standard than that when the question is removing the president of the united states from office so i came down myself to the position that we can have no less a standard of proof that we insist on when a criminal trial is involved where to deny an individual liberty we insist that the case against him be proved beyond a reasonable doubt i say we can insist on no less when the matter is of such over overwriting import as this impeachment proceeding i started out with a presumption of innocence for the president because every citizen of this country is entitled
to a presumption of innocence and my fight for fairness or on this committee is obvious to my thirty seven friends and colleagues who i think will corroborate and i was as outspoken as every member any member of this committee in calling our very fine staff to task when i thought they were demonstrating bias against the president when i thought they were leaving from the record part of the evidence which were exonerating of the president i fought with the chairman and a majority with some of my colleagues on the aside insisting that every element of fairness be given to the president and his council should sit in our deliberations and offer arguments and evidence and call witnesses and my friend from alabama mentioned that are the flowers you also have to confess that most of these concessions to fairness were made
only after a partisan dispute and debate which is what our whole legislative process is about are in the congress so i don't want to concede any one on this committee at any position of fighting man to get a fair hearing on the evidence and while i do have some individual specific objections to isolated incident incidents of unfairness i think on the whole proceeding has been fair on republican party loyalty in personal affection and precedents of the past was all i think before the operator of men's action the law itself no land not even the president of the united states is above the
law for our system of justice and our system of government to survive we must pledge our highest allegiance to the strength of the law and not to the common frailties few days ago after having heard and read all the evidence and all the witnesses in the arguments for our own staff and the president's lawyer i do and i felt that the debates which we began last night were more or less pro forma and i think they've so far indicated that i feel that most of my colleagues before the debate began and made up their minds on the evidence and ideas fasano reason to wait before announcing the way i felt and how i was going to vote i read and re readings have been tested the massive information
and then i came to my conclusion that richard nixon nix and has beyond a reasonable doubt committed impeachable offenses which in my judgment are sufficient magnitude that he should be removed from office now that announcement was met with a great deal of criticism from friends from government officials from colleagues in congress i was accused of making a political decision if i had decided to vote against impeachment i venture to say that i were also been criticized for making a political decision one of the unfortunate things about being in politics is that everything you do is give an evil or political motives my friend from alabama mr flowers said that the decision we make
is one that will have to live with the rest of our lives and for anyone to think that this decision to be made a political basis with so much at stake is something i've personally reason it isn't easy for me too align myself against the president whom i gave my enthusiasm support and three presidential campaigns on whose side i stood in many a legislative act whose accomplishments in foreign and domestic affairs are consistently a lot but it's impossible for me or condoned or ignored
a long train of abuses to which he does object of the presidency and the people of this country constitution and my oath of office the man that i bear true faith and allegiance to the principles of law and justice upon which this nation was founded and i cannot in good conscience turn away from the evidence of the evil that is to meet so clear and compelling my friend from iraq as the main details some of the allegations against our administrative duties and i don't in any way question why i agree with them that was wrongdoing of our previous presidents maybe all presidents but i was not in a position where i had to take less than where i approve or disapprove of blatant wrong and i am in a position
my friend from new jersey mr salmon last night he wants to see direct proof and so my other friends on the side of the house or the same thing but i submit that what they're looking for is an arrow to the heart and we did not find any evidence and arrow to the heart we find a virus that is that the creeps up on you slowly and gradually and phillips obviousness is so overwhelming that it stands for direct route i think it's a mistake for any of us to begin looking for one second saw one word or one document which compels us to vote for or against impeachment it's like looking at a mosaic and going down and focusing in on one single trial in a mosaic and say i see nothing wrong and that one little piece of this mosaic we have to step back and we have to look at the whole picture and when you look at the whole mosaic of the evidence that's come before us
to me it's overwhelming beyond a reasonable doubt let's look at the president's own words he uses the word overall and cap on the bottle and the plan and containment he's concerned about like what witnesses have said and what they will say he's concerned about where the investigation is going now let's focus in on the thing everybody talked about the campaign let's look at this as reasonable and prudent and then what did mr hunt in ten his payments and demands had been relate to his wife before her death after his wife he had to make them directly so what did he do the caller calls in to make demands that we have a transcript of what he said this is a long haul thing and the stakes are very very high and i thought that you'd want to know that this thing must not break apart for foolish reasons we're protecting the guys who are really responsible but at the same time this is a two
way street and as i said before we think that now is the time when a movie should be made and surely the cheapest commodity available is money and then he went and he talked to our courses lawyer bittman and tibetan and he told him the same thing that commitments were what were made and he would blow it up the whole finalize the money with a tool and then he went and saw o'brien the attorney for the committee to re elect the president and he said to him that he had to have sixty thousand hours to legal fees and seventy five thousand dollars for family support he said he didn't get it he would reveal a number of sunni things that he had done for the white house and things didn't happen soon he'd have to review his eye options the man that was making those demands that over two hundred thousand dollars in the bank that you collected from his wife's insurance so i ask my colleagues on the committee but with the reasonable and prudent man assumed that he had in mind it's obviously intended to blackmail the white house well now let's go
inside the white house they talk about this can we raise a million dollars you know is this the way to go whether the other demands from how the payments made in the past he's the president's own words he says well can we canada for the cuban committee the way we can live before indicating argue about the previous payments made users' own words and then that he says wasn't that handover the cuban committee and john peters well no not exactly that's not the way it was in the presence as well that's the way it's gonna have to be business and urging to conceal the truth or is it not so the payment was really doesn't matter to me whether the president approve it before it was made a conspiratorial hallway lawyers know can get in on the conspiracy any point even after the facts so it's a material whether or not a point in time we said okay i approve it you play it the fact is
appalling to me is the president when his whole idea was suggested to him didn't you write is indignation rise up and say get out of here you're in the office of the president the united states how do you talk about blackmail and bribery in keeping witnesses silent this is the presidency of the united states and for a lot of his office and pick up the phone and call the department justice and tell mom isn't obstruction of justice going on someone's tried to buy their silence of a witness our president didn't do that he sat there and he worked and worked to try to cover this thing up so it will come to light and the fbi is conducting investigation so he says publicly i will cooperate with the investigation and the prosecution but privately all his words from telecom for a conclusion he didn't cooperate with the investigation or prosecution and it's already been said by sondheim reviews and called the nose in and he said initially lappin eventually it's
not going to go any further i know i have to keep a secret he had no sooner hung up the phone when he was telling the defendants about whom is damaging information was made what they could do to counteract the case that the prosecution had against them i could go on and on and on surprise that some of my colleagues for packer a prayer is a man who did many things wrong he was loyal to his leader but at some point his conscience father and he wanted to tell a president the united states that his aides were destroying the presidency gentleman has expired after a taliban detainees were destroying the presidency instead of the president saying will give me more information about this i want to know if my
age or doing anything wrong i wanna know and pat gray says in his testimony there was a perceptible applause and the president said that you just continue to conduct your aggressive in our investigation he didn't have to know because he already knew me consistently tried to cover up the evidence and obstruct justice and as part of the union joe's expired and recognize the gentleman from south carolina mr mann purposes in general are very very not to achieve fifteen minutes spin that you know and it's important to me that the american people have respectful especially as we have all along and allow work in private the
news media has done the best job of trying circumstances to glean what we were doing and yesterday and today the american public is getting its first look at what that committee was going well among other things we were doing about forty notebooks of of websites taking testimony that now feels about ten and vitamins and they still want the public was all in the press i would imagine that the photos and solar which are going on and even somewhat surprised that the recognition about a moment here today and yesterday they for saving seven conducting an ma basically fire senate
with objectivity with that designation by the president's counsel in i was impressed by what a witness had to say and his lawyer before the committee last week our review of charles colson said about the objective get the committee behind those closed doors last week i do want to say though that that didn't quite expect committed to be operating the way it is and i suppose because i have been in the senate working for senator and i've been around congressional committees a long time i really have been deeply impressed by the questions you address other notes about noticed if you keep taking by the fact i think every one of you looking at at this long view in your historic role as you see here and i think you have all the disney real restoration of faith in the constitutional process because i
think every one of your taking its job seriously without regard to the cameras outside and are really trying to comfort just conclusion for the country and i just thank you for having me and as lawyer mr shapiro i represented witnesses before congressional committees for something like twenty years sometimes perhaps isn't that is that as these with passions perhaps as nicely on this time this is the most impressive committee performance has never been my pleasure to witness both in terms of the treatment of the witness and the attention of the members of the committee in connection with the questions that were asked and the kind of consideration the chair to show and other members of the committee and to the witness and the council and the same as a sales fall apart from the steeples and counsel i want to separate that you are very impressive people and i think you're doing a very impressive job
now one of these people if they are talking about this committee is not a group of volunteers it is the judiciary committee and the house are representatives in everything on this committee is probably think it is we have different we have different classes conscious or unconscious different philosophies but i'm persuaded that the search for the truth is paramount in the jobless rate and many jazz the courage to vote for the truth because like beauty it is empty and the conscience of the security it's a big country and we
represent a cross section of the country and that is with some concern that i have nowhere over these weeks of the detractors of this committee those who attempt to discredit this community for whatever motivation those who would find the fields of the motion that are based largely on a confusion that exists in the country today concerning the separation of powers and concerning the role of a representative in this government files do you get in the united states people still going through they're going through elected representative in his power to in the world where our involvement in foreign trade and foreign affairs the
president out front as the symbol of our national pride and has the air of offline and here we have in the house representatives four hundred and thirty five boston is speaking on behalf of different constituencies with no public relations man employ about us representatives and i wonder if the people still do want their elected representatives to fulfill their old to preserve protect and defend the constitution of the united states do you want us to exercise their duty and responsibility of the power of impeachment whether that means conviction the political equations below some of the
things that caused me to wonder well the phrase that keeps coming back to me oh it's just politics or let him who his without saying fans the first though always so martin i wrote it we would accept they asked corps of wrongdoing on that we were the sabbath the system that we have is incapable of sustaining a system of wall because we are perfect and there has been one perfect for the truth about country as bell because
you're here with us but we have built our country on the constitution and that sustained contemplates and that system has resulted in him including that system above their own political careers that system has been dependent on battlefields and i'm very curious we've already over the role of an engineer austin in how he
voted and we also know that about twenty years later he said that he would hope that his vote would not be construed as being in variation on their constitutional power of impeachment and that a proper time also featured a sun congress would have the courage to fulfill its duty how much of like lieutenant oliver jones we are not doing this how much i would've liked to her has been let's do it would go to the country
and i've expressed and pretend i'm entitled to any thoughts and arguments of my colleagues on the committee i'm entitled to that time remaining tomatoes don't even want a vote i do not have that everyone agree with my vote all our hope that before they disagree that they would recognize my role and their responsibility
to know the facts wow this is big compliance with all sincerity and conviction because that means that this verdict and i used the wrong word because i would not true egotistical exercises from the senate of the united states of trying a proper place and let us not only as dramatic fall into the trap of saying we are determining the guilt or innocence of the present we are determining whether or not the american people are entitled to a trial and an open forum which you have not had these
pants nine eleven we actually spent six months so let us not do certain to the final judgment perform our function to determine whether or not as clear and convincing evidence of unspeakable conduct a plan which the president of the united states shelby called upon to have the opportunity ought to explain his conduct consistent with requirements of milford and consistent with that most important of all function which all americans looked at him to see that the laws be faithfully executed and in that respect we're faced in the future with a very very serious problem one that perhaps a president that
This record is featured in ““Gavel-to-Gavel”: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television.”
Series
1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings
Episode
1974-07-25
Segment
Reel 2
Producing Organization
National Public Affairs Center for Television
WETA-TV
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/512-t727941t7w
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Description
Debate of the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Peter Rodino, Jr., on the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. Includes approval of the third article charging contempt of Congress and rejection of two other articles which dealt with income taxes and the bombing of Cambodia. This is day 7 of the Nixon impeachment hearings.
Broadcast
1974-07-25
Asset type
Segment
Genres
Event Coverage
Topics
Politics and Government
Subjects
Nixon, Richard M.; Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Media type
Moving Image
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Credits
Producing Organization: National Public Affairs Center for Television
Producing Organization: WETA-TV
Reporter: Lehrer, James
Reporter: Duke, Paul
Speaker: Rodino, Peter W.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2402928-1-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Preservation
Color: Color
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Citations
Chicago: “1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 2,” 1974-07-25, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 26, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_512-t727941t7w.
MLA: “1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 2.” 1974-07-25. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 26, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_512-t727941t7w>.
APA: 1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 2. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_512-t727941t7w