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are these any washington and black brings you dabble the gavel coverage of the house judiciary committee proceedings tonight impeachment of a july twenty four nineteen seventy four heroes and black correspondent june were good at july twenty four nineteen seventy four another one of those days of history and say the front page of a newspaper to remember what you had for lunch because in a few moments the house judiciary committee will begin its formal public debate and voting on articles of impeachment against president richard nixon only the second time in the nation's two hundred years that any move against the president has gotten thus far has been this serious and if that wasn't
enough in itself that comes tonight in an atmosphere punctuated by ruling earlier today from the us supreme court ordering the president to turn over evidence to a federal district court the vote by the high court was eight to zero and just a few moments ago president nixon said through his attorney that he would comply fully with a supreme court ruling to surrender sixty four watergate tapes and documents the judge johnson rico here in washington james st clair read a statement from the western white house saying that the president was quote of course disappointed in quote with the court's ruling saying claire read quote i respect the court and will comply in all respects and call it all ties together that is oliver walter a momentum toward a climax of a fateful two years which began when five men broke into an office building here in washington called the watergate i'm paul du beginning tonight and continuing for the next several days
gemini in the pbs system will be bringing new gavel to gavel coverage of the historic proceedings now taking place before the house judiciary committee in a way this is the moment of truth for the thirty eight members of that committee have now heard the evidence that listened to the tapes they read the transcripts that question john dean and the other witnesses now they must make their fateful decision it's expected the committee will recommend impeachment perhaps by a substantial margin in the past few days he members have been quietly meeting to draft language for at least two or more articles of impeachment we of course do not know the form that the impeachment resolution will take up the impeachment articles are expected to embrace at least three charges against the president that he obstructed justice in the watergate case that he is widely abused his presidential authority and that is showing contempt for congress by refusing to turn over evidence sought by the judiciary
committee our capitol hill reporter karla lewis has been covering the committee's deliberations low these many months and she's now standing by waiting expectantly outside the committee were fairly could you tell us precisely what the committee's going to do how it's going to go about its business tonight paula canadian set aside some ten hours for debate general debate and we expect that they'll use up some three of those hours this evening at the opening of the session chairman peter rodino will make a statement about fifteen minutes long and then you'll recognize the ranking republican edward hutchinson who will make a statement of his own during these opening hours no never will be allowed to speak for longer than fifteen minutes anyone who wants to use less time can yield the remainder to his colleagues plan is to recognize members in order of seniority alternating democrats and republicans under the rules adopted last night there could be some interruptions with one congressman asking another to you
on the whole these early hours a likely to be very solemn dealing with broad issues with an overview and very much formalized and structure the idea here is to give each member of the judiciary committee has momentum the spotlight is moment in court so to speak before getting down to the business of defining specific articles of impeachment brought back to iran with paul and me tonight to comment on the immediate as well as the long range effects of what's happening in that committee round is the distinguished historian and author barbara tuchman says tuckman is the author of several books and recent world history including the guns of august and the proud tower she has one too pulitzer prizes for her writings in history as a startling or your thoughts as we dare to embark on this judiciary committee debate our declassified in terms of history i think the first thing that and i'm thinking about is the opportunity
for the house of representatives were congress to re train the role that the constitution gave it and that has eroded so dangerously over the last thirty years i think get away in a sense it's the congress that is as much if not on trial at least facing aids and serious moment in its history as much as the president say because it seems to me that through its faults of omission over the last three decades is the congress that has allowed the abuse of power by the president and it's time we got it back and i hope i i think the significance for the american people is in the action of the house are first of all as much as what will happen
in relation to the presidency are you suggesting a rather subway mrs tubman that you believe that this is a kind of last chance for four congress to stop the erosion of its own power and to impede the flow of part or the white house which has occurred in recent years well i'm not given to very dogmatic statements about first last and remember now but i think it's a terribly important opportunity and i have been as an american citizen concerned by the tipping of power in the executive to the executive for so long and because i am not i think like most of us and not an advocate of one man rule and are iowa democratic system has been i think not through evil intent but through
circumstances tipping wayward toward one side in a way that has become a dangerous for the outcome of the democratic government does the assumption always is of course the story inside is different than the layman's eye what specifically are you going to be looking for tonight as you watch this debate in a particular kind of below the words a commodity or whatever well i was hoping to hear some statements of a sense by the committee that they represent the citizenry of this country to settle the house of representatives is it represents the citizens and i felt i know how was my capacity to be sharp i thought i was the like but i really was as surprised not shocked by the republican state until two days ago about or that yesterday about them was degenerate and he's not
carrying out the functions for his client because i really puzzled by the republican side they're equal aiding the retention of mr nixon in the presidency or with the book by yeah well let me let's get back to well let's go back to karen lewis from all of the chorus and this one will be whether to serve throughout the evening when there are breaks in the course of the close the program after carol oates first reaction from committee members to the president's decision a few moments ago carolyn i've seen the general reaction is a feeling of relief i think that the president by his action has avoided what you might call instant impeachment a feeling on the hill both in the senate and the house and that's a very significant was that if the president chose to defy the high court he would be instantly huge that they all generally agree would be an impeachable offense of the president has given them a feeling of relief now the real question that's rising now is the
timing if you noticed mr st clair said that this could be us time consuming process and that of course may be a tip off that the white house may seek to delight may say that you can't get together all the materials and of course this could affect the entire impeachment process of the members that we had a chance to talk to hear of all said that they want no delay in these proceedings that they do want the proceedings to continue and if new evidence is made available to the house judiciary committee or to the full house they can be inserted into the record so as far as we've been able to discern the general feeling is that this should not delay the proceedings now i understand that there have been some members whom that said that they may try to delay them but i think the general consensus is no they're just going to carry on regardless actually imagine there's another question which i would like to put you got an area still there yes i would like to ask you whether there is any any indication from some of the republican members perhaps that the president might now go a step further and end the turn over the tapes or
copies of the tapes or transcripts to the judiciary committee as well oh one of the leading republican members on that committee as you know is charles wiggins of california and he has suggested only today that that perhaps the white house might do this is there any indication that this might be done well we've had no indication of that but there was something very interesting that happened about a half an hour ago here that is before us think they're actually spoke so it's over half an hour the vice president gerald ford looking very very grim came to that hill and came upstairs just one floor above where i'm standing right now and he went into the office of congressman glenn davis and there met with a number of republican members of the house judiciary committee and nobody is saying exactly what the vice president said he was looking very very grim now it it may have been an offer of more information at this point i'm afraid we just can't tell there hasn't been time to pin that went down to work on it to carolyn though will be coming back to just a moment of like to say that the chairman of the committee of peter rodino is now taking his seat
and we expect him momentarily to bang the gavel which means that tonight's historic debate we'll be getting underway momentarily we see that most of the committee members now appear to have taken their seats here gen keane well i think we need to point out very quickly that in fact that these tapes and i can actually turn over to federal court there still could be a process by which it which is still undecided so how that will finally get to the house judiciary committee and i know that they're going to wait to have automatically mean that they're going to have to be the result of those along because i think the point that congressman wiggins was making he hoped the white house might turn to turnover
rates at the same time that he was providing the information for the one the courts as well in other words this would be an indication that the white house has now wilmington to provide more evidence to the judiciary committee and of course this would lend a great impetus i would go to the layman this particular process until states and not given to the committee that one way or another and they or they would go to step of creating a thing to say and the president's primary particular on the committee makes a strong effort tonight to lay on that says cisco has said there will be on how serious is lower store waiting for the proceedings to get under way and the fears that they will start momentarily and now apparently now is there is no waiting for the room
where the cameraman and yet just one more pictures always universities nationwide i planted ginseng and then follow seniority on a democratic republican nominating races were not on that is what they call it always gamble all that's holding pattern became a piece
do you know morse is a liberal democrat from new jersey a sure vote for impeachment there's john mound right now why are certain classes is the staff counsel for the democratic side it is right to
send us who is the new minority council replace an average enter a few days ago repeat to continue on the road they know is concern as your vote for impeachment committee on the war before it began allow me a personal right throughout all of the painstaking proceedings of this committee i have the chairman and guiding by a simple principle the principle that the law must deal fairly with every man for me this is the oldest principle of democracy is this simple but great principle which enabled man to live just really an indecency in a free society it is now almost fifteen centuries since the emperor justinian
from whose name the word justice is the rhyme establishes printable for the pre citizens of rome seven centuries have now passed since the english barons proclaimed the same principle by compelling can join in at the point of a sword to accept the great doctrines of magna carta the doctrine that the king liked each other subjects was under god and the law almost two centuries ago the founding fathers of the united states reaffirmed then refine this principle so that here all men are under the law and it is only the people who are suffering so speaks our constitution and it is under our constitution the supreme law of our land that we proceed through
the sole power of impeachment we have reached a moment when we are ready to debate resolutions whether or not the committee on the judiciary should recommend that the house of representatives about the article is calling for the impeachment richard m nixon made no mistake about it this is a turning point what ever read this i our judgment is not concerned with an individual what we have a system of constitutional government it has been the history of the good fortune of the united states ever since the founding fathers and that each generation of citizens and their officials have been with
intolerable limits fateful custodians of the constitution and of the rule of law for almost two hundred years every generation of americans has taken care to preserve our system and the integrity of our institutions against the particular pressures in emergencies which every kind of this committee must now decide a question of the highest constitutional import for more than two years there've been serious allegations by people of good faith and sound intelligence that the president richard m nixon has committed grave and systematic violations of the constitution last october in the belief that such violations have in fact occurred a number of impeachment
resolutions were introduced by members of the house and referred to our committee either speak on february six the house of representatives by a vote of four hundred and ten before authorized and directed the committee on the judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds of cheers to impeach richard m nixon president of the united states the constitution specifies but the grounds for impeachment shall be not partisan considerations but evidence of treason bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors since the constitution vests the sole power of impeachment in the house of representatives to force to the judiciary committee to understand even more
precisely what high crimes and misdemeanors might mean in terms of the constitution and the facts before us in our town the founding fathers clearly did not mean that the president might be impeached or mistakes even serious mistakes which you might commit in the papal execution of his office by high crimes and misdemeanors they may the fences more definitely incompatible with the constitution the founding fathers with their recent experience of monarchy and their determination that government be accountable and lawful rock into the constitution a special that the president and only the president must take at his inauguration and in battle the president's swears that he will
take care that the laws be faithfully executed the judiciary committee asked for seven months investigating whether or not the president is seriously abused there's power in violation of an oath and the public trust and body we have investigated fully and completely locked within our constitution and traditions would be grounds for impeachment or the pads and weeds we have a listing for the present patient of evidence and documentary form the tape recordings of nineteen presidential conversations and that the testimony of nine witnesses call before the entire committee we have provided a fair opportunity for the presidents council to present the views of the president for this committee we have taken care to preserve the integrity of the
process in which we are now engaged we had deliberated rehab inpatient rehab and fair now the american people the house of representatives and the constitution and the whole history of our republic the man that we make up our mind as the english statesman edmund burke said during impeachment trial and seventeen eighty eight it is by those tribunals that statesman who abuse their power are accused by statesmen and tried by states and not up on the niceties of a narrow jurisprudence but up on monday and large and solid principles of state around under the constitution and under our authorization from the house of representatives
this inquiry is neither a court of law nor a partisan proceeding it is an inquiry which mostly sell in a decision a judgment based on facts which must then for all time in his statement of april thirtieth nineteen seventy two president nixon told the american people that he had been deceived by subordinates into believing that none of the members of his administration for his personal campaign committee were implicated in the watergate break in and that none had participated in an effort to cover up that illegal activity a critical question this committee must now decide is whether the president was
besieged by his closest political associates or whether they weren't black carrying out his policies and decisions this question must be decided one way or the other it must be decided whether the president was perceived by his subordinates into believing that is personal agents and key political associates had not been engaged in a systematic cover up of the illegal political intelligence operation of the identities of those responsible and of the existence and scope of other related activity is affecting the rights of citizens of these united states or whether in fact richard m nixon in violation of the sacred obligation of his constitutional oh has used the power
of his iowa caucus for two leaders to cover up and conceal responsibility for the watergate burglary and other activities of a similar nature in short the committee has died whether in his statement of april thirtieth and other public statements the president was telling the truth to the american people or whether that statement and other states we're part of a pattern of conduct is i'm not to take care that the laws were faithfully execute but to win he their fateful execution for his political interests and none is in the hat there are other critical questions that must be decided we must decide whether the president abused his power in the execution
of his office a great wisdom of our farmers and trust in this process or the collective wisdom of many men each of those shows and the toil for the people at the great fortune democracy house of representatives has a responsibility to exercise independent judgment i pray that really chat with the wisdom that compels us in the end to be but decent man who seek only the truth let us be clear about this no official know concerned citizens now represented know a member of this committee welcomes an impeachment proceeding no one welcomes the day when there's been such a crisis of concern that he must resign whether high crimes and misdemeanors serious abuses of official
power or violations of public trust and in fact deferred lettuce also be clear our own public trust our own commitment to the constitution is being put into such as historically have come to the awareness for most people it's too late when their rights and freedoms on the law were already so far in jeopardy and the road it that it was no longer in the people's power to restore constitutional government by democratic means to let us go for lenders go forward into this debate with goodwill with honor and decency and with respect for the views of one another whatever we now this side we must have the integrity and the decent
will and the courage to decide right let us leave the constitution as for our children as our predecessors i now recognize the gentleman from michigan thank you must determine i certainly agree with me opening here statement on our continental on a statement in which i'm sure you hold strong and firm belief although i would disagree with parts of it i certainly wanted to say that i certainly compliment to finance opening several paragraphs we not proceed to consider the large mass of evidence are in material which was assembled during many moms and presented to us by committee
staff and by the testimony of witnesses who appeared before it's your next few days we'll be weighing the evidence and acting upon after a period of general debate we will be discussing amendments calling upon them and finding the end product of our deliberations will be manifest either we've held by minorities by majority vote have recommended one or more grounds for impeachment against the president for all of those proposed for adoption will have been defeated in our deliberations people have an unusual glimpse into the discussions of those charged with the decision making him a unique judicial process democrats ours is more of a political than a judicial function after all the the fact is that of course judges and jury is deliberating behind
closed doors but by the committee's action an opening these discussions it has in effect determine our function is more political and judicial i think the publishing all that until now the only decisions made by this committee have been procedural no matter as yet unresolved early in the inquiry the staff submitted a memorandum on what constitutes an impeachable offense within the meaning of the constitution but they can make it up no action on it it being recognized that no definition could be drawn which would be agreed to probably by most members dozens of those manic the committee has not resolved just bought an impeachable offenses as the staff assembled evidence many of us thought that the commission decide and give some direction the staff as to the scope of the inquiry
we thought the committee should direct the staff into those areas of inquiry in which the committee itself determined that there might be a merit so the time and effort that would not be consumed in frivolous or otherwise non meritorious l and patients with such a course of action would require a committed to make decisions of substance and know decisions were made the articles of impeachment which are to be exhibited tonight are like any legislative bill nearly of the local upon which the committee may work its will they will reopen two additions to the nation's amendments and substitution each member of this committee individually weighing the evidence against his own concept of what lawrence impeachment will come to his own conclusion on how we vote on the articles in their final four each of us has struck by the
enormity of the decision good recall on the make and i see at an estate on my personal view a vote for an article of impeachment means that a member has convinced that the article states an offense for which the president should be removed from office and that there is evidence which supports the charges beyond areas about unlike criminal jurisprudence were there is discretion in the court to make the symptoms that crime the constitution mandates that conviction on impeachment shall carry when that removal from office nothing less it seems to me then that ended permitting in my own mind rather a specific charge states an impeachable offense i would have to decide whether i thought the events charlie charge is insufficient gravity who are the removal of the president from office because of it in other words some offenses may be
charged for which there is convincing evidence and still such offenses may not in the judgment of remember is so serious as to justify impeachment and removal of the president i'd states markets earlier today the supreme court announced the president of united states is required by law to comply whether certain any sort of by and in the case of united states forces mitchell another eyes only subpoenaed material to the trial jobs for his private examination and the judge will deliver to the prosecutor only those portions which are relevant to the case returning the balance of the documentation that the president without disclosing its content since this committee has requested the tapes of the same conversations from the president and then subpoenaed him the question
arises whether our committee should proceed further until the availability of the additional elements to the committee is determined many members on the side mr chairman feel strongly that we should not we believe the american people will expect us to examine and weigh all available evidence before we decide the momentous and most difficult issue before us even now mr chairman we hope that the chair will consider whether in view of the events of today it ought not first to determine to postpone consideration of articles of impeachment until the evidence now become available through the court and be made available to this committee i recognize the gentleman from massachusetts mr cano and so onto the procedure will rival
what is going to be adopted i know that the committee report you off a revolution together with audible of impeachment impeaching read to them next take our population of illusion then a copy and also before recognize the gentleman from as it chooses the purpose of general debate on his resolution or not to exceed fifteen minutes in every other member of the committee will be recognized for purposes of that they not to exceed fifteen minutes following this have done those praising page that debate and the most reliable just go
through this committee have their roots in the most fundamental ways that a free man that no individual is above the wall and on july twentieth seventeen eighty seven the constitutional convention had before the great question call show me a remote log on impeachment mr dunham was a delegate to that convention all are lots of really in opposite they wanted an olympic windfall and the back of our constitution and what he listened intently
as hers benjamin franklin and then gave a matter of audio than the hawk a vertical and finally just the fall the question when all this to govern mr amount that his opinion had been shamed why the arguments presented in tibet oh oh oh the impeachment clause was adopted by the convention and became section full of water go two of the constitution of the united states and this all car when he was affected in the house of representatives and a radical one second to overcome not the film constitutional
law of revolution a gold three at a goodbye oddest thing with him was adopted by the house of representatives on february fight by award of mormon written tend to fall that revolution the record this committee to investigate fully and completely why there's a fish and raul things that representative to exercise his constitutional he's the president of the united states for the past several months ago also been spent this committee has been in haiti were fleeing gay in the capital and they're all this
presidential impeachment inquiry under the actual literally they should i believe that i'm shannon as well established it all riding motivational honestly decent say that i miss and objectivity to the satisfaction of the great majority of the americans that now and fruit well we're and iran all part of who went to a whale and fruit available block fracking posed by which we can make a great fight all pronounced the exact time and they
don't get it at all it's obama all the way he'll let me well what we tried to make the right measurements that is required in this narrow act all alien the middle mayans and confidences all the other committee members lee's other basic we thought five which each determines the substance and the probability all and then the evidence related to the federal allegations that and the cost of the official conduct of evolve president richard m nixon engage in certain
activities designed to obstruct that go on lawfully invade the constitution or it is all private seven to review his compliance with the duly authorized them properly flirt with a bayonet on to many of the camp to lose you lose executive agencies operational and political bennett and that president richard m nixon in iran diverse wait they ought to fulfil his constitutional obligation to insure all the faithful execution of all now we often constitutional
duty all each member of this committee if jamaican and potholed become a night and who were the right now the evidence before it was a reasonable judgment that richard m nixon and present them as seriously gravely purposefully and quote post that audio and an issue of pot and why the people of the united states in my generation we all thought that decision and the right to defend i believe the time has come to report to the pile
shuttlesworth allusion automotive impeachment all our other recommendations as we deemed proper i leave them almost not a i have heavily observe the witnesses who appeared before that well that letter that you have some a few oh come to on both sides and i have always studying all of rehab with the chairman i am most willing to listen to one before the debate that may develop on the impeachment than i am prepared to vote on this momentous question before and i and what
my vote will be conscientious weaker and what i want it in the back of my car like i'm a journalism and the gentleman as it flies that they're wily as fifteen minutes remaining move and wiley has fifteen minutes the chair as the state that according to the proceeding into going to the policy that we have adopted that no time with the razor and therefore i now recognize the gentlemen from illinois mr mccarty for fifteen minutes for purposes of that they don't i get arrested german iowa judge from the remarks of the gentleman from messages is that the nba has that come to a resolution of this slow momentous question that's before us
alas mr chairman let me express the view that this impeachment inquiry undertaken by our house judiciary committee has been both historic and honorable impeachment is of course a political process more political in the sense of governmental action and political in that it involves heart of the mentors and you it would be that grosses understatement on my part to suggest that watergate and all that that word implies as not cause serious injury to my party and the republican party and this is so despite the fact that no element of our established republican party organization was involved and no republican member of the congress has it in any way been implicated in this whole affair let me assert on the contrary that republicans even more than democrats are anxious to erase those blemish from our part i've heard it said by some that they cannot understand how a republican could vote to impeach a republican president
but mason to assert that that argument that means my role here it went in for that no matter what the high crimes and misdemeanors might have been committed that if attributable to a republican president and i have a republican and foreclosed on judging the merits of the case i cannot undo that invasion my role in that the online as a purely partisan matter what it enhance our republican party if despite the evidence and the weight of constitutional we as republicans on the side of the aisle decide to exonerate the republican president accused the y crimes and misdemeanors simply because he and we are republicans i see that line is leading to the republican party does that a viable two party system to my mind is an institution worthy of preserving second only to our constitutional system of checks and balances
preserving the republican party does not to my mind imply that we must preserve and justify a man an officer would deliberately and arbitrarily define the legal processes of the congress more cannot part of the enhanced deeply as republican members of the united states of representatives tolerate the flouting of our laws by a president who is constitutionally charged with say to the laws are faithfully executed as provided an article two we will enhance our republican party and ensure a viable two party system only have we are courageous enough and wise enough to reject such conduct even have attributed today republican president the essential question which we must answer is not what is best for our party and one of the best for our nation well the investigation has been far reaching and has in my opinion delve into some peripheral areas i cannot help but recognize that on the major subjects which have been investigated the work of the committee and of our committee staff has been both
objective and bipartisan i what i particularly to observe that we have an assisted by abel council and make a general observation that the members of the minority staff republicans that have contributed substantially to the overall work product of our inquiry despite our partisan differences i wear that you mr chairman alan general been very fair with the minority the american public need have no fear that the republican the interests i've not been a bully and appropriately served by our ranking member mr ed hutchinson michigan and by my other distinguished enable colleagues who sit on the republican side in this committee room i shall tread wants to the main subject of our inquiry mainly the numerous allegations of wrongdoing charged against the president of the united states all of which allegations we have investigated over a period of many months for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not president
nixon should be charged with the commission of an impeachable offense the most serious allegations and those upon which the president's accusers employees principal reliance go under the giant general title of watergate and the cover up our majority come from mr doerr in interpreting the information before us has its founder the thesis that the president organized and manage the watergate cover up from the time of the break in on june seventeen nineteen seventy two up until the present time while serious questions exist regarding the president's authorization our acquiescence in an obstruction of justice a conclusion which might be reached from examining the transcripts of taped conversations and other evidence that face is advanced by mustard nor that the president was in charge of a cover up from the time of reckoning is in my opinion unjustified in the light of the evidence presented to our committee our cavemen or a council the
abel mr sam harrison made an important an extremist significant point in his file submit summation of the watergate evidence he said mr dorff case of circumstances showing presidential involvement from the beginning is a very very weak one girl you cannot simply aggregate suspicions you cannot abrogate inferences upon inferences you can only aggregate facts watergate is a serious matter many in and out of the white house have been involved in this tragic episode when while homeless evidence has been bulldozed i question seriously that it is a clear and convincing nature that showed employees to indict the president on a charge of cover up or obstruction of justice instead the case against the president rests upon circumstantial evidence influences innuendos and a generous measure of wishful thinking on the part of some will would indict the president even without adequate growth of wrongdoing in the watergate affair now in the light of
today's supreme court decision there may be indeed other available evidence to the committee within the next few days or weeks substantial additional evidence from a white house tapes upon which this committee can better judge the guilt or innocence of the president in the watergate affair the doctrine of absolute executive privilege upon which the president and his council relied has been substantially rejected by the supreme court and that we can expect a hopefully that though we will get promptly and that without equivocation from the white house the additional tapes which you know we also subpoenaed and which are now under the president's decision to be made available to the special prosecutor and we also have the mechanism for accessing those irrelevant the parts which might not be appropriate for us to say all on the basis of evidence thus far received the case involving watergate has been less than convincing there are other subjects which the facts in which the facts are virtually undisputed
and we're the only settled on subtle question is whether not be an impeachable offense has been committed under the constitution which are made reference if the extremely serious subject of watergate results nevertheless in a weak case against the direct involvement of the president bush should not be construed to mean that there's no nor wrong going in the white house watergate and the alleged cover up involved the offense of obstruction of justice for instance payments of hush money in getting witnesses to commit perjury in others these offenses have been committed at the white house or by the president's most intimate aides and de france but the president does not personally and criminally liable because the evidence does not directly and personally implicated him nevertheless we may appropriately has as the president fulfill his obligation to seek to a faithful executioner was a solemn obligation imposed by the constitution this obligation is above and beyond that of other
citizens all of whom were required to obey the laws we may ask further is the office of the presidency and being operated in the manner contemplated by the constitution when under the guise of national security dissatisfaction with the head of the fbi or personal animosity against enemies we experience burglaries wiretapped wanting i'm awfully provided training and conceal and concealment of evidence misuse of the cia fbi irs and host of honesty it should not be hired for my solemn as midwest constituents republicans democrats and independents alike to see and understand what's troubling me believe me it's also troubling than the question remains whether these acts and omissions of richard nixon as president art of the approval or denounce if in these respects the president has to be denounced and that the president has to be called to account for such acts and omissions impeachment is the appropriate and constitution in designated vehicle
for bringing these specific charges against him what about the offenses committed by all and when ehrlichman colson wrote be in another there is substantial authority for attributing their misconduct to the president been a strictly legal sense and require him to account for their offenses but there's a higher constitutional obligation to see that such criminal acts are not commit or condone a constitutional name and assume that the laws are away particularly in the president's own house which we call the white house after receiving evidence for weeks and weeks evidence which has been frequently peripheral as it relates to direct involvement of the president in watergate and other times i asked myself is this a new way to run a white house or a country finally the clearest and most convincing issue before us and one which is perhaps more fundamental to our inquiry is that of the committee's subpoenas in which we request information from the
president fundamental to the entire impeachment inquiry is his obligation to provide us with the information which require so that we can perform our role we do want a strong and the chief executive but we also want a year congress which is a given full recognition as well if the courts likewise it's an essential that the president respect that part of the constitution which rests in the mouth the sole power of impeachment the house judiciary committee as the designated human of the house of representatives is endeavoring to fulfill that role with honor and dignity consistent with our responsibility in this particular time in our history we demand they can is capable of exercising not only at low making authority but also it's a part of all the oversight function which includes that of the extraordinary authority of impeachment earlier this year the president promised full cooperation with our inquiry consistent with his responsibilities to
the office of the presidency but despite their pledge the only matures which we receive the ban have come from the ranger in from the special prosecutor except some of that accidentally caught for women or teens i'm a thirty we sent the president in a letter a letter advising him what the consequences were of his failure to comply we said in meeting our constitutional responsibility of the committee members will be free to consider whether your refusals in and of themselves might constitute a ground for impeachment the committee has taken the stand because of the president's non compliance with the committees the subpoenas in defiance of the powers of the congress and empowering our ability to preserve protect and defend the constitution of the united states in a sense it seems to me the president's failure to comply threatens the integrity of our impress impeachment process itself is action is a direct challenge to the congress in the exercise of that song constitutional duty
is that how the issues which are disturbing me as we approach this final phase of our simon under the house resolution authorizing this comprehensive anti pigeon inquiry which my colleagues and i have been conducting at which we must resolve deliberately and responsibly within the next few days i can i recognize for purposes of general debate only the gentleman from texas mr brooks not to exceed fifteen this committee has heard evidence of governmental corruption on a poll in the history of united states the cover up programs obstructing the prosecution of the movie directed his injuries wiretapping for political parties suspension of the civil liberties of every american that violations and personal enrichment had public
expects bribery and blackmail flagrant misuse of the fbi the cia and the irs at an individual has been convicted or pleaded guilty and six have been indicted for criminal activity is directly related to mr nixon reelection effort our activities which originated within the white house these individuals or not obscure government officials would include cabinet officers personal assistants the closest version led by the richard nixon never in our hundred and ninety eight years and we had evidence of such a rampant corruption in government we must decide whether this corruption attached to the president whether there is evidence that the president by his actions or inaction failed in his constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the
law we on the committee both republicans and democrats have taken our constitutional responsibility most seriously and have pursued the facts often without the cooperation of both were getting information an eggplant in the basic plan that mislead and divert us from the truth it is that constitutional duty to determine whether there is sufficient called bring richard nixon before the united states senate for trial and removal from all in resolving this issue we should put aside their legal is the jargon of our profession present to the american people in plain language abbott jumped as to whether there is evidence that richard nixon and brought disgrace and disrespect so the obvious approach we left immediately put to rest the argument that the corruption we have witnessed in the last five years is only an
expansion of what has always been done i do not share this view point of view of those who wrote that all presidents' allies have broken the law have compromised the constitution and enjoyed watching been accepted bribes it would not make bribery of virtual mall would be ground for overlooking such act by his successor there is no political game for anyone or any political party in this procedure if ever there was a time to put aside partisan view now is that there would be no democratic gains from removing a republican president and having him replaced by another republicans are good rather than an might well received a great outpouring of support from our people we must now report
to the house of representatives and the american people are conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence that richard nixon while serving as president at about eight years old of all these and as their guide jeopardized our constitutional system of government issued an odd place to be but it is our constitutional duty its performance may maine ignoring personal and political race relationships of longstanding that we as well as the president on trial for up a fully we fulfill our constitutional responsibilities our mike german to recognize me and in the accused of weeks the dying this resolution of this very difficult problem you're the remainder of my can recognize the gentleman from new art
was just there not to exceed fifteen minutes for purposes of the bodo mr chairman when eason john one of the committee i know that we all feel the way that the historic action we're about to hit after months of village an inquiry into the question of whether or nap the president of the united states should be impeached it is a solemn duty we have undertaken persona to the requirements of the constitution of the united states how we decide here how the house of representatives may decide if we recommend impeachment how the senate may resolve the issue of the marshall gold impeachment of the president are decisions which will affect our nation and one way or another for the rest of time i take this opportunity was chairman of expressing my respect for the other thirty seven lawyer members of that committee were born the grueling work of this inquiry for months and i take this
opportunity also to express my respect for and my thanks to the members of the impeachment inquiry staff and the regular staff members of this committee with a dedicated professional jobs each and every one of them has done during this historic project the massive amount of information documents testimony and legal precedents they have gathered isolated organized and presented with skill during these months of this inquiry are almost beyond belief the constitutional ability of this committee in regard to impeachment possibly they're out of the house possibly that it was always the same is a particularly sad one here and that it contemplates the possible impeachment and conviction of a president who has entered our direct participation in a better and the voice of war which was not of his making and who has trained a shell has done more than any person
now we're going to bring about peace and brotherhood in this world through his bold initiatives and establish in communication and bases for understanding with other powerful nations and other powerful people through as an issue those carried out by the painstaking and tireless worker dedicated aids and creating a climate for him the support of a real ceasefire in the middle east and now in cyprus where you can sell if this president has also been guilty of treason or bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors as it is dated in the past that it is the constitutional duty of the house of representatives to impeach him the constitutional duty of the senate if convicted to determine whether there are valid grounds for impeachment has been the beauty of this committee we have a resolution in articles of impeachment be for us
and we have four months examined mountains of evidence and listen to witnesses there is there no charge of treason so the question is do we think the president is guilty of the charges of bribery or other provinces what measure our standard of evidence is necessary for this committee to say he is or may be guilt i think it is something more than probable cause which is sufficient for indictment by a grand jury and something less than satisfaction beyond a reasonable doubt which is required for a conviction of a crime mr sequeira the president's lawyer has suggested a standard of clare and convincing proof must ignore the chief counsel this committee's impeachment inquiry staff appeared to endorse that stand except for one area i am not satisfied that there has been produced
before this committee clear and convincing proof of the president's personal involvement in actions which would be impeached the testimony is generally not solid and clear it raises in france after inference many negative ones against the president and some positive ones are in his favor but there is precious little solid hard evidence of his personal or personal impeachable mystery except for the area of the sacred bowing in cambodia the president's order between march eighteen nineteen sixty nine and they won nineteen seventy or i have not yet made up my mind i should have to vote against the impeachment of the president on the state of the evidence which we have same this is why i was delighted to day when the supreme court ruled eight to nothing that the president was delivered the tapes and memorandums opinion by special prosecutor jaworski
i really of the things that mr modi will at last have this material available for inspection so we can be german once and for all whether the president is guilty of impeachable offenses or whether he is now i think it is absolutely imperative that this committee making effort to secure those elements i believe that any other course in the present state of the evidence before this committee would be self defeating and not worthy of the upper which is already gone into this inquiry and investigation thank you mr chairman for recognize made and my understanding of reservation of time as of yesterday afternoon are still about a reserved about the wife like to advise the gentleman as i advise the gentleman from as it uses that was a policy of the committee a was enunciated yesterday that there is no reservation of time avoiding any
member i recognize the gentleman from wisconsin mr kastenmeier for purposes of general debate only and not to achieve fifteen minutes last richly eight months been engaged in this quest for facts evidence for truth and up to mali american people been very patient and german i want to commend you for stating tonight that we will proceed inexorably to a conclusion of these deliberations notwithstanding of the supreme court's decision for i do not believe the supreme court decision will have or should have any immediate effect on our committees deliberations it would have been helpful have this evidence before that we do
not we are prepared to accept the moment of truth and hopefully mr chairman we can conclude perhaps even this very week this being as far as the deliberations of the committee for many months is concerned a concluding episode i would like to take this opportunity to they might respect to our professionals to play with john thorn richard case from my home state of wisconsin and as well i would like to pay my respects to jenner from the neighboring state of illinois these and others who have so ably after last last month's i'm sure long after this matter has been put to rest that we are concluding in committee this week you can now order
that night secure in the knowledge that they have been faithful to their conscience and to the country indeed if those legal advisers to the president and former times had such a view the president of this proceeding in other proceedings might not have the necessary i would also say that as the general debate progresses as the articles of impeachment are offered the baby the specifics of the case against the president hopefully will mark but even them in the several days in and under the procedural imitation we cannot hope to be very much of a mass of evidence we've considered over these many months however
public is aware that these materials are now released publicly television radio newspapers newsmagazines have attempted to communicate what this massive evidence mean while we hear we'll have been a few hours your attention in terms of the discussion discussion of the implications of that the public release of the materials should help the public even more as beakman we've labored long and hard an effort to be fair the president and to those among us who must sit in judgment but may not share a common view is we now decide how to vote for or against impeachment it is not our duty to attempt to assess whether mr nixon
committed common crimes that is the determination which must ultimately rest elsewhere in my own case my decision has been made it included after careful consideration of all the evidence president nixon must be impeached and removed from office say this whatever the record of the administration may be in other fields not withstand those decisions not very lightly nor was it her school animals for the prize the process of impeachment as a drastic undertaking not only to the congress but for the country you cannot be taken care of i would also have so i have thought many times mr nixon with a leader of my party or instead of
mr johnson nor mr kennedy and had been charged with the same offense is what i freely and with as much certainty come to the same conclusion i have to answer yes i believe clear and compelling evidence does exists lee's inescapably only one conclusion president nixon's conduct in office the case history and the abuse of presidential power the abuses documented by the evidence gathered by this committee are numerous and will be discussed here an actor as they have in part been discussed before i will prove that some of the issues and charges which may not originally be in articles before us whether they are on the bombing of cambodia or the presidential
impoundment be fully consider and whether or not they constitute any final articles approved by this committee they ought to be considered as a pattern of a whole in terms of presidential disregard for truth and for all german it is important to draw a clear distinction between preserving the man and preserving the office mr nickson has consistently argued that this fight against a committee and the courts is designed to save the office in fact i would argue this fight is designed to save one person mr nixon impeachment is a one
way in which the american people and save themselves that they care enough about their institutions their own freedom in their own claim to self government their own national honor to purge from the presidency anyone would dishonor that office this power of impeachment is not intended to obstruct or weaken the office of the presidency is intended as a final remedy against executive excess not to protect the congress against the president but the people against the abuse of power by chief executive and it is the obligation of the congress to defend democratic society are against the chief executive who might be corrupt justice brandeis warned americans the dangers of official you a gallon quote in a government of laws he wrote existence of the government will be imperiled it fails to observe the law scrupulously
our government is a potent omnipresent teacher for good or for ill it teaches the whole people by its example cryin is contagious if government becomes a lawbreaker it breeds contempt for the law invites every man become a law unto himself it invites energy and will determine in my view richard nixon the strong disrespect for the citizens of that nation and has violated their constitution and their laws engaging in official wrongdoing societies was elected representatives mosque and condemned the scandal otherwise we will cease to have a government of laws i will therefore vote for impeachment of richard m nixon and i do this with the beliefs of the house of representatives will agree this trial in the senate will result in his
conviction and removal from office vacant chair the chair is going to be compelled to recess for a period of time in the chair will stake that day the meeting will resume at the call of the chairmen it's necessary that we do recess for a period of time they hammer it turned up during that era azar ends the first round of the impeachment very orderly ceo of the first round of tonight's a part of the impeachment debate before the house judiciary
committee john i would say that two significant things occurred during this opening portion first we've heard republican congressman robert wood illinois who indicated that he is ready to vote for impeachment on possibly to politicians at least as i read the republican congressman and the other significant revelation i thought was republican congressman henry smith of new york who indicated he will not vote for impeachment but he is only on satisfied about a one part of the evidence as it relates to the secret bombing of cambodia which is not considered fall a key area in terms of day in realistic terms at least a key area for impeachment which make it even more interesting it looks also adults you would agree with it looks like the push to stop the proceedings while this matter of the
of the tapes is resolved in court decision today is not really gaining momentum of course you can tell that but hutchinson of course the ranking republican said he favored there the court really didn't speak on an issue completely you mentioned it that obviously he would favor that i think henry smith also favored that and then course the democrats a bus for her party will follow the pattern at their worst oath to follow ms donoghue say news in favor of impeachment jack brooks is for impeachment and of course we just heard robert kastenmeier say he was so for impeachment in and so we've had no real surprises thus far and obviously everybody is reading these things to pick up little nuances for ships and changes us go to carlos so what she's picked up you know yes this is a nineteen ten report to you that the reason that they cleared the yemeni room that was that there was a bomb threat and that's probably why the meeting was summarily dismissed and if you noticed chairman
revealed a little bit of a title and he dismissed everyone there has been a bomb threat here at the impeachment proceedings and that's why the chairman has clear the room they're not going to move in and try to check out the threat and everyone was removed very very quickly back to eugene we can say on the world theo and now that there are people still the cameras of course are still on inside the committee room and other you see an officer and there are no uniform a looking around there are other family a capitol hill detectives who are also examine the room with a bomb threat we might mention jim that there was a there was a bomb threat when the senate watergate committee had its hearings and you remember on one occasion the committee room had of a player because of that public television coverage of the house judiciary committee debate on impeachment will continue and one moment reserve
1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings
Reel 1
Producing Organization
National Public Affairs Center for Television
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Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Live coverage of the beginning of formal public debate of the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Peter Rodino, Jr., on the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. This is day 2 of the Nixon impeachment hearings.
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Politics and Government
Nixon, Richard M.; Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
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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: 1957611-1-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Preservation
Color: Color
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Chicago: “1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-24; Reel 1,” 1974-07-24, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-24; Reel 1.” 1974-07-24. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: 1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-24; Reel 1. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from