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and he would shrink from this crying cause huge responsibility shrinking from impeachment probably arises from remoteness of contemporary presidents from the difficulty of visualizing advances of this administration for at the situation is more easily can see they put in warhol a local firms a letter of robert the weeks in the ann arbor news that this well i think i would like to paraphrase it suppose you're a mayor approved a plan by which the chief of police in your city of illegally that your phone open your mail burglarize your apartment your office or your house suppose you're meyer director jerome town police and fbi agents that that all of the local reporter covering city hall director the fbi to investigate a newscaster for the local radio and tv stations suppose you're a mayor with no knowledge of a burglary from a local judges drawing a case in which that knowledge is important suppose you're my are secretly taped conversations helen his office in your city all between himself and citizens like yourself as well as public officials then when a confirmed court order required him to turn over nine of the states refusal they then reversed
himself then announced to the tapes containing the most critically important hero did not exist before your mayor tripoli's wealth while serving as mayor in your city suppose that your mare played back in owen comeback for several years ago the kind you can legally dubious deduction for turning over its official papers to the local historical society support your mayor directors usually use of the taxpayers' funds to make major improvement on to private homes in their support for mayor twice selected personally as mayor pro tem a man who had bribed delivered to him in city hall then resigned allegedly to avoid going to jail suppose your hair selected and supervises trusted top officials of his administration and man who were indicted convicted or pleaded guilty including the city attorney the citizens of your town wouldn't be complacent should we all cities elected officials the one standard of conduct but havel or less than the president inaction will say to the president and future presidents one of practically no i meant that improprieties will put up with in the white house
the founding fathers wisely made impeachment constitute a remedy they did not want to make it easy to get rid of presidents but they were determined to make it possible if we wish to restore the historic system of accountability of presidents the manger duan of the times the band if we do not hold muster nixon in his successor accountable except once every four years we license an imperial presidency usher in a new and i believe ominous time for our republic we transform the balance and character of constitutional order impeachment may have agreed with consequences refusal to impeach will have disastrous consequences the transcripts of diminish the president's image not a moral man surrounded by underlings who betrayed him that of an amoral man who compound his troubles by withholding more than a year the shocking truth about the mess he and his administration were in the show the lack of concern for morality a lack of concern for my principal a lack of commitment the
ideals of public office and make the transcripts a sickening exposure richard nixon is yours to the point of being inhumane his devious is vacillating he is profane he's willing to be led the display dismaying gaps of knowledge he is suspicious of his staff his loyalties an animal is greatest concern is to create a record that will save himself and his administration had dedication to grant principles of americans have a right to expect from a president is missing from the transcripts i do not know how one of sound mind can read the transcripts and continue to think mr nixon the pella standards and dignity of the presidency which he proclaimed himself as a candidate in nineteen sixty nineteen sixty eight to nineteen seventy two and bob's here is not a question of democrat republican liberal or conservative on a conspiracy by his enemies to get the president in the words of an old senatorial friend than presidential defender <unk> nixon took a principle role in a shabby immoral and disgusting
performance this is a matter of right wrong telling the truth or not telling the truth perhaps an all missouri saying is appropriate at the large love the liar he'd heard you know that the issues here are broader than criminality and individuals and that may be indispensable and reprehensible without being crumble legal constitution parliamentary history shall unofficial may be removed for failing to do his job of erroneous analysts praise for his office losing his ability to govern effectively distinguished gentleman from new jersey with a salmon mention james madison and on may nineteen seventy nine and the debate in the congress concerning our constitution with madison said quote i think it absolutely necessary that the president should have the power of promoting his subordinates from office it will make him in a peculiar manner responsible for their conduct and subject them to impeachment himself if he suffered them to perpetrate
with impunity high crimes are misdemeanors against the united states or neglects to superintendent and that goes to check their excesses it is true that standard this action may tempt opponents seek removal of a present for political or otherwise inadequate reasons as some believe they did with andrew johnson but that risk must be accepted the ultimate arbiter of the people public reaction today is clearly revulsion republican politicians defector mr nixon and roll with the evidence against mr nixon is in his own words made public in his own direction there can no longer be a charge of railroad out of office by vengeful democrats or a hostile press the fundamental questions have been answered filling in gaps in the transcript only make the case stronger a silver moment you're present united states march twenty first nineteen seventy three and possessed a normal standards one of your assistance comfy office he says that restaurant to remember margaret the watergate we're spending your campaign money did they
terrify him with the men got that we're going to pay their legal fees what would you say what would you do would you examine all your options would you say that would be perfectly legal as mr nickson has subsequently set of such payments are would you say something like this that money was raised to re elect the president of the united states nobody in this office is going to use it to support a murder you know a man who is not a crook is not necessarily an honest man we do not have to find that it makes him guilty of a crime in order to find him unfit for this high office ask yourself the question what would i have done i learned was given to me by people who believed in me and wish to secure my reelection are being used for burglars what i have said that would be perfectly legal and kept quiet for forty days ask yourself what you think richard nixon swore that occupy the highest office in the gift of the people and it's their office it's hard not to appear silly
or dishonest when circumstances conspire to make you play two roles or speak about the same subject from opposing points of view so what the president nixon and the watergate it's reasonable for mankind on the government to insist that one year of watergate is enough it is reasonable for a man suspected jail build fences to do what he can to keep the prosecution being able to prove what suspects that an administrator and suspect are while it's hard to say anything about the appearance of self serving a dishonest as a result businesses forever saying contradictory things for instance he's cooperating fully with the committee and a special prosecutor even while he is denying documents and the ninety eight that the prosecutor in this committee seek it was a way out you can plead fifth amendment a president granted during a congressional inquiry and added this the fight that he's presumed innocent until proven guilty and you have grabbed the best defense he might not you know the
president spoke a lot about lone order in his day but nixon said of miami beach and sixty eight it's time for some honest talk about probable on art united states if we are restoring respect lawn this country there's one place again we're going to have a new attorney gerald nine states a new one that we had three when every fifteen minutes he says that's because as i placed you know that our attorney general will be directed to watch a war against organized crime this nation government can pass laws with respect for lonnie nixon says can come only from people who take the lawn their hearts and minds i'm not into their hands with nixon said in sixty eight i believe in a system with the appropriate cabinet officer gets credit for what goes right and the president they blame for what goes wrong mr nixon said in sixty eight i believe in any system of government providing a methodist peaceful change there's no cost of five breaking the law or engaging in violent nixon said in seventy three march fourteenth the only way that i'm in america's away climate that's our people without pity as nixon's head and seventy one one final point to
talk about wait wait let me tell you what happens when you build a real pleased they began talking about and you can talk the sitting room you don't talk on the telephone that nixon said you're talking a bathroom as a matter fact a year about going out talking biden i walked many times in gardens well i have to talk about something confidential you can't even talk that's the way it works with nixon said i'm simply things that my friends are police states but we don't want that happen in america and a lot of that was we are going be sure that not the fbi or any organization engages in such activity it goes on on this committee will all yours to become lawyers we took the same old lapolla consternation richard m nixon took the written congressmen and congresswomen we took the same multiple accounts the constitution which richard m nixon took if we're to be faithful while polls support the constitution we must find him play for laughs and he is the time of the gentleman has expired and the committee will recess until ten o'clock tomorrow morning
so ns tonight's opening round of the impeachment debate before the house judiciary committee first such a day to take place before a congressional committee involving a president in more than one hundred years their work so dramatic and significant moments tonight during the opening round of discussion involving the thirty eight members of the judiciary committee both of these involved a republican congressman from illinois the first came when gop representative robert mccrory of illinois who has been regarded as a fence sitting gop member indicated that he is now tending toward voting for articles of impeachment that involved and one article of abuse of power
then a bit later just a few minutes ago we heard an impassioned speech by congressman tom railsback also from illinois who almost assumed a prosecutorial role and detailing many of the events that that have that tended to implicate the president in the watergate case railsback stopped short of saying that he would actually vote for impeachment forty seven that gave her a rather strong impression that he may well vote for impeachment this could mean that at least three republican members of the judiciary many are now prepared to vote four articles of impeachment but we still have to hear from eleven of the eighteen gop members who are yet to speak and it is entirely likely that some of the members some of the republican members who have not yet spoken also will indicate that they will vote for impeachment as we've said before most of the democrats have indicated that they are ready to vote
for impeachment and in the eyes of many people the judiciary committee when it does wind up this debate will approve a resolution of impeachment will embrace two or perhaps three articles of impeachment against the president i did think gm that tonight the debate was conducted on a rather high level i think that most of the members who spoke were aware of the historical impact of that they were having as this was taking place on american television allowed recall it struck me courses the obvious nine of the differences in the style of these cells thousand these various congressmen some of them took the statesman statesmanship approach others became prosecutors of those big for instance our congressman son of new jersey spoke almost like a like an and they after dinner speech you're almost an informal type of of style i think that once again no you yet to be struck with a basic
concept of local criminal justice when you're listening to a criminal trial or you have to go people who who hear the same evidence and come up with two entirely different conclusions was all this time i was the parallels the measure didn't have time to i decided they're just different i think all of us we're still on the air and disrespect from what you said you've made a very deep study of the evidence you feel this point at least you're leading for impeachment of the president what i what i wanted to convey is that so there are some very
very serious questions which i have to be you really have to be answered in it i hope by also conveyed my concern that the you know the white house has really not cooperate in other words it's very clear to me after i really did study the evidence not work right it's very clear to me that some of those tapes that but we've subpoenaed with bipartisan support some of those tapes had overwhelming republican support that they are relevant i just hope i meant when i said i hope i wish that the president would come forward with whatever he hasn't and be candid and now and let's get this thing will work let's get to the truth that's what the american people are with this then a warning that you were issuing on public television here this night issued a lot of mornings i'm not sayin a position one anybody i moan whine number of thirty eight members on the committee that
happens to be deeply concerned i would like to give the president the benefit of the doubt as having difficulty getting giving in you know realistically think that there's any chance now in fact he's been ordered to turn over the sixty four taped conversations to the special prosecutor i think the year the committee and asked him at the same time to make at least of those make copies for us and again to go even further and again to turn over the other materials as well we'd just been talking about thank you carolyn helen lewis our capitol hill reporter who has been on the scene or what have we learned tonight well we had eleven members who spoke up there were six members all democrats who indicated rather plainly that they will vote for impeachment we had two who indicated that they will vote
against impeachment and they were both republicans and then we had three who also were republicans who indicated that they could vote that they could that in say definitely that they could vote for one or more articles of impeachment now john is that a total a toto board which we have rigged up here in our studios to get views on iraq conception of how the committee does lineup and how the vote may proceed and just what may happen when they do finally get around to voting articles of impeachment jim hall loved this ward reflects where they the best guesses were at least or when the day began the day as to where overall for ice for impeachment nineteen votes that's a tinder pa eighteen democrats and one republican congressman holt in maryland will announce yesterday that he would actually vote for impeachment the nays are republicans seventy five maybe nays are republicans and the seven maybe eyes for impeachment of break down briefly three southern democrats and four republicans now what i want to
do now with though your help paul and carolyn sell to say if we are to me we need to make some changes based on what happened today that people we heard tonight i would think that the eyes will remain the signing any disagreements that the people we are denied kastenmeier edwards brooks out donahue and hyundai are they are looking for in their positions of the note changes there would literally go on congressman laureate or earlier this evening you indicated that you might very well vote an article of impeachment on the president to lay on the grounds that he has refused to hand over evidence am i correct in summing up that that's the way you're leaving yes i feel very strongly that the president to comply with the subpoenas and actually for asylum requests and uncensored he refused to why i feel that some actions and they recommend that it is a valid wrong the president of the anasazi find the congress by
refusing to provide the information we have we require in connection with an investigation now since the supreme court that decision it seems to me that that base that provides that added grounds for the service to propose article and that deliver the materials you're a senior member of this committee you plan to go into some kind of negotiations with the white house perhaps to jerry ford to try and get that natural yes i was around a surprise they're white house at the embassy say clarence earlier announcement nor any other information for coming from their white house admitting clue a day or the mention of delivery of this material to our committee because it seems to me that that we have even a superior i know any information on the card mr mckay you know
can't get the material we require now if it could be forthcoming with a low period of a few weeks or months i would say definitely that we should be a delay any final report of the house of representatives in order that we know that for her information thank you very much well our intrepid reporter carolyn lewis's done it again she is just drawn from congressman know i'm on the hairy a further statement which now seems to imply that he most definitely is prepared to vote for one of the articles of impeachment i think you should change your cold war the audience mccloy as an hour when the day began was considered a maybe made are we say in putting down until maybe i this point right at least on the issue of iraq subpoenaed evidence like any more changes in the maze i'd say no other seven all republicans the two men who spoke that
night edward hutchinson and charles simon certainly can fund their positions and ended save somebody to make that demonstrated in a very graphic way the smoking gun carry a place that that he would vote for impeachment but the chances are you will not ok on the many native last won the atari and smith i would say smith would have to be classified as an analogy not i would were definitely try because he it very well said nothing except that candela cambodian bombing and that is not going happen to get off the ground in a serious ways to have that change that leaves so these three gentlemen david dennis wiley man and hurled froelich all republicans on the navy nays around them at eyes weir what about tom railsback is the only other one down here who spoke we just heard him again i guess you have to stay in that same category certainly did not say he was doubling down a vote for impeachment at least you know it gave strong indications any other changes that you would like fall i
think that there was a job ok now we would like to go back to barbara tuchman and ask you for your impression of tonight's debate i was struck by one remark in this very damaged and very hot and they were stunned when he just happened to say that the kind of conduct that the american people have a right to expect i think this is a very basic issue in this whole business what we expect abbott with a right to expect of our institutions and it seems to me we are in iraq where perhaps our institutions not only government are not working and the way that we have in the past expected and there i am as well i shouldn't
it dr lindau disease from middle ages i have a tendency lately the deal that all the time because it working on a new book on the fourteenth century but it at the moment it's so striking that i would like to make the comparison because the fourteenth century was a period which to put it in the words of them and the story was a bad time for humanity various reasons megan warren islands and disillusioned and i find it very similar to the twentieth and one of the fundamental trouble with was that institutions people had believed society organized in were working the way they expected you know in those days the political structure was based on the so called three estates which people pursuing god have arranged as a permanent us
permanent orders of i think the clergy ennobles handy and everybody out for columnist for the clergy was they cannot function with for the good of the whole that was the theory the clergy would pray for everyone and and that can make a clean way society and the divine and the nobles work would fight to protect protected search for it robert the oppression of the poor uphold virtue and them combat of tyranny of the commoners would work and that everybody really feels sorrow over by the commodities like new trade and commerce but the first to order is by this time there were simply not performing their functions
in a way that people have any confidence in because the church had become a friend who are mounting too long i eighty seven has nothing to do with tonight's except in the larger sense it has to do with it that being encouraging the church the whole iraqi from pope right down to trees to become held in contempt and corrupt and some yeah kind of degree of loneliness and monetary values that destroyed all spiritual power the nobility of the night so we supposed to fight to protect the people were doing anything but they were the real pressures they were i'm committing and violence that was destroying all woodson and all security and and it happens that quickly
and the confidence in the institutions of the orders of the side of his was simply disintegrating and this caused tremendous upheaval is a bold solution and the stress and violence and and psychological torment and people themselves then they were made because they saw no they no proper conduct on the part of their so called betters well i know it seems far fetched to relate this to use this is now added to the president that that's us here i think we are we have a very good reason lost confidence in the people we need most people look i don't want to look up to what we do and then as the president obviously well and more than that well we want to thank you for coming here and and appearing in taking part in our discussion on the stump the first round tonight and i must say that i certainly was
struck by that you're sitting in on this great moment of history as it took place we had eleven members of the judiciary committee who spoke tonight tomorrow we will hear more members and the debate will proceed tomorrow morning and it will pursue a girl with the president's most ardent supporter overweight gyms first first in order to follow them by john conyers problem one of the president's most severe is critics of the democrat from detroit michigan we'll also be back tomorrow night at seven thirty eastern time if the committee is still in live session as it is expected to be we will pick it up live and then give you a videotape replay at the filing of that well the daytime session which does begin at ten am eastern time again our thanks to barbara tuchman albeit an impact on jim mora he's
kneeling in washington you have been watching live gavel to gavel coverage of the house judiciary committee proceedings production funding provided by public television stations the ford foundation and the corporation for public broadcasting there's a web ad do you owe to unnamed and the
bit of a blip in the book in new moon
1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings
Reel 3
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 day 2 of the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Peter Rodino, Jr., on the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon.
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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: 1957611-1-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Preservation
Color: Color
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Chicago: “1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-24; Reel 3,” 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 3.” 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 3. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from