thumbnail of 1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 6
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it's bright why didn't tell of the cancer that the president knew about this and with it the narrative invention five members of this committee is the only one with that in any way attempting to implicate president of the peterson though he says that i don't know and of the criminal justice division of the department of justice in answer to a number of questions and it's here again specifically to a question i've by mr sandman panic that there is no evidence there is no evidence to implicate the president of united states in any criminal action against come from the head of the criminal justice to visit and for the man who had made the investigation from a career ran an ad from a man whose reputation and
integrity are beyond reproach and yet lifted being fed up alive i can only say that i do not believe nicotine and i don't believe the american people will believe that today baca to a victory with the dean and the president at the vote on a true i have no difficulty and that we go well it is time to the table the morning of april fifteenth nineteen seventy three and what does a president say to mr they regard to effect the long before the grand jury don't go in that is the thing i have told everyone here tell it through don't know i understand what i say don't lie about me either ineffective at the iran go to a grand
jury about to testify or down a coma grew you're not claim executive privilege and do not claimed paternity my privilege ii way that the chairman and members of the committee that this sound like a man who wants to cover up what more can a president do but the town is that we get to tell the truth about the claim executive privilege or a break but they say that i listened with interest the opening statement i concur that portion of his statement in which you say but we must be oh fairly with every man's been in my whole life we adopt that principle it's bounded by you in our final and most crucial the liberation i look forward with interest to the discussion of that
take your articles of impeachment that maybe that four and i invite i invite those who proposed increase of film was still a hard facts in support of their position they have a duty and a responsibility to do so and i met with chairman will exercise my duty and my responsibility to consider the part that they can be shown it with chairman i was to yield about of my plan the gentleman from new jersey has a minute and five seconds remaining which rubio the dumbest allowed at the appropriate time i recognize me gentle it and texas means jogging purpose of general debate not to actually a period of fifteen minutes it was chancellor of german it on my colleague strangle in
thanking you for giving the junior members of this committee the glorious opportunity of sharing the pain of this inquiry this jam and you are a strong man and it has not been easy but we have tried as best we can to give you up as much assistance as possible earlier today we heard the beginning of the preamble to the constitution of the united states we the people a very eloquent beginning when that document was completed on the seventeenth of september and seventeen eighty seven i was not included in that we the people i felt somehow were many years that george washington and alexander hamilton doesn't have to be out by mistake approval process of another interpretation an organization i finally that included and we the people today i am an inquisitor war and i probably would
not be fictional and would not overstate the solace that i feel right now my faith in the constitution as whole it is completed his total and i am not going to sit here and be an idol spectator on the diminution of subversion the destruction of the constitution who can sell properly bibi and quizzical or the nation as the representatives of the nation of themselves as subjects all the jurisdiction or those open sewers which proceed from their misconduct of a public man and that's what we're talking about in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust it is wrong i suggested is a misreading of the constitution for any member here to assert that or a number to vote for an article of impeachment means that that number must be convinced that the president
should be removed from office the constitution doesn't say that the policies relating to impeachment are an essential check and the hands of the body of the legislature of things and upon the encroachments of the executive the division between the two branches of the legislature the house and the senate as signing to the one the right to work hughes and to be out of the right to judge the framers of the us constitution the various popes they did not make the accusers and the judges and the judge is the same person we know the nature of impeachment we've been talking about the world around is even designed for the president in his prime ministers somehow being called into account it is designed to rival the executive if he invaded the excesses it is designed as a method of national inquest into the conduct of public meant
the framers going to fight in the congress paul rick needy to remove the president in order to strike a delicate balance between a president and swollen with apollo and preservation of the independence of the executive the naked of impeachment a narrowly channeled exception to the separation of paul as maxson a federal conviction of seventeen at seven said that in the nie that impeachment the high crimes and misdemeanors and discounted opposed the term elements cake it is to be used only operate this community so it was set in the north carolina ratification convention and in the virginia ratification convention we do not force our liberty to a particular branch we need one branch to check the other
no one need to be a ranger north carolina navigation convention no one need be of rain at officers who collect old fashioned will pass with immunity prosecutions of impeachments well seldon it all that activity the passions of the whole community samilton in the federalist papers number sixty five we've identified with more less friendly are inimical to be accused it that mean political parties in that sense drawing all political lines goes to the motivation behind impeachment but impeachment must proceed within the confines of the constitutional term i crime and misdemeanors on the impeachment process it was woodrow wilson said that nothing short of the thousands of answers against a plane more on the land well suffice to give him speak
and effectiveness indignation somebody has taught all of roll party in fast maybe i think you're going to make sure that nothing else would be revoked we invade upon this process or petty reasons congress has a lot to do appropriations to triple helpings shows campaign finance reform housing environmental protection energy sufficiency mass transportation pattern that and not to be allowed to spend in the face of such overwhelming problems so that they were not being petty we're trying to be big because the task we have before us as of this morning any discussion of the evidence we are told that the evidence which pope wants to
support the allegations of misuse of the cia by the president is then we're told that the evidence is insufficient what that recycle all the evidence and this morning did not include is what the president did not on june twenty third nineteen seventy two the president did know that it was republican money that it was money from the committee for the reelection of the president which was found in the possession of one of the burglars arrested on june the seventeenth what the president did not on the twenty thirteen activities of the week including its participation in the great again or dial albert's on fighters which included how advanced participation and indeed a bit it to you there which included what hans fabrication of tables designed to discredit the kennedy administration we were for the
question today that perhaps these proceedings want to be delayed because certainly there would be new evidence for coming from the president united states there has not even been an op used at indignation and this committee will receive any additional material under president obama doesn't mean that is outstanding and that the president was applied that material obama visits you the fact is that on yesterday the american people waited with great anxiety for a r all us not knowing whether their president would obey and water on the supreme court of the united states and this white i would like to juxtapose a few of the impeachment white area with some of the actions the president has engaged in an impeachment why
terry james mattis relevant any a ratification convention and the president to be connected in a suspicious manner with any person and there have been plans to believe that he will show the gym you may be impeached we have heard time and time again that the evidence reflects the prevent their independence money the president had knowledge batteries were being paid collected or the nineteen seventy two presidential campaign we know that the president met with disbelief and repeat isn't twenty seven times to discuss matters related to watergate and immediately thereafter that would that there are persons who were implicated in the information mr peterson was receiving the words are the president is connected in any suspicious man i would be any person
and everybody's debating that he will show that person he may be impeached just a story impeachment as a candidate is intended for occasional an extraordinary cases ways that period all acting for the whole people it's put into operation to protect their rights and rescue them liberties violations we know about the houston plan we know about the re enter the psychologists office we know that now worth absolute complete direction on september third when the president and they created that at some pictures and we have been made and that the buildings office after having met wet was vertical industry help protect their rights rescue their liberties violations but now i'm not a vacation convention impeachment
criteria those are impeachable would be a mess or betray their public health beginning shortly after the watergate break in and continuing to the present time the president has engaged in a series of public statements and actions designed to walk a lawful investigation by government prosecutors moreover the president has made public announcements and assertions bearing watergate case what's the evidence will show a new report these as sergeant false assertion is impeachable those who miss main those who made comments on refrain public option james madison again at the constitutional convention a president is unthinkable if he attempts to support the constitution the constitution charges the president with the task of taking care of the mold be
faithfully executed and yet the president has counseled his aides to commit perjury willfully disregard secrecy of grand jury proceedings that seals on fishes and three attempt to compromise a federal judge while publicly displaying his cooperation with the processes of criminal justice a president peebles deliver a constitution in the impeachment provision in the constitution of the united states will not reach the open says taught tm then perhaps that at the century constitution should be abandoned to late twentieth century they portray as the president the latino vote is planned and he sort of conduct which the constitution will not tolerate that's the question
we know that we know the question we should not gotten wet proceed to answer the question is reason an operation which was it got our deliberations that are debate and i honestly feel that i recognized it gentlemen of ohio does the lineup for sixty minutes and five second term first of all i listed on any other members of this committee and commanding you for the tremendous job to presiding over the hearings after months of deliberation this committee is now rushing towards a possible date with history i hate to say this but rather than seven this room during the past couple of days will probably have little or no effect
on the future of this great and beloved land what we do here could however commence the most significant single action to be undertaken by this government our founding fathers deliver destination which has given us the most freedom greatest opportunities i have standard of living of any nation on the face of the globe we can be setting in motion the establishment of a precedent which could have a far greater impact on this country's future and any mortal man can foresee our founding fathers in there was tom davis a nation or a national government of three separate and co equal branches each branch and beholden to the other body to the
different and a particular function to perform their system has worked well for our theories it must work in the future america has had weak and strong president's weakened strong congress is weak and strong supreme court all judged according to the likes and dislikes of those doing the judging notwithstanding the obvious strength of a particular branch and the comparative weakness of another at any given time but dr of co equal branches as survive to serve its function and serve it well during all this time the house has seen fit to impeach but one president the president of the senate refused to remove that one the unanswered question being oppressed and remote andrew johnson would we still be enjoying the benefits to
ride only through the proper functioning of the political branches of government all of the lead just laid a branch now be supreme and the president occupying not a bully robot a lesser role that our government no one can answer this question and no land can foresee the consequences of a president's impeachment and removal by a congress controlled by the opposition party what this may not be a jerk congress's with heavy political majorities would be more active and the shia or threaten to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of a different political plate just to make certain that he appeared to their wishes when the met bought and paid but by an opposition congress cause future president's detail other acts to the wishes of the congress there by weakening the office of the president say all must agree that the days
world a man's strength not weakness in the office of the president of the united states as we deliberate in the closing days of these hearings each of us on this committee must consider the impact a president's removal would have on the strength of this office and the respect that enjoys throughout the world i'm not a mindful of the fact that president nixon's ratings in the national polls are about as low they possibly could be at the present occupant of the white house is not greater than it with the news medium that president nixon has no chance no chance of being a congressional majority in nineteen seventy four that many republican officeholders are saying about that they would fare better in a nineteen seventy four and nineteen seventy six elections with vice president ford in the white house and that they believe a politically expedient thing to do would
be vote for impeachment cries of empathy empathy empathy are getting louder that really is really long one could easily be led to believe that the proper thing that they know what about to recommend impeachment in the past year allegation after allegation have been hurled at the president fellow than have been stated so often many people are common except the most back without me get through our job as members of this committee has been to sift through these allegations an attempt to ascertain whether any or all of them are true and some portable on the poor the house yeah so that maybe in the senate of the united states as members of this committee we know where but i remember jane eyre only last february my direction of our committee on committees
on the other side why possibly be persuaded families take a second look at some preconceived position on this important matter i'm eric tell my friends and i put that builds on the committee on committee that they gave me an impossible assignment arkin the members of this committee who have made public statements and evan silva through these articles of impeachment rather our deliberations ray tracked those statements and those actions and assume are all as an impartial juror it will work on the powerful influences of such throw in treatment forces of organized labor at a and similar groups on the minds of members sympathetic to their cause the truthful answer is you know and i'm not about that represent the people of the eighth congressional district of ohio well the people of this great nation and do
otherwise everybody on this committee this as the test wrongdoing no one can know that one irate yours that's doing the lowest and repugnant to me and i'll be the first airline to punish any wrongdoing are the president of the united states included once he is found guilty i have said before and i say now show me the hard evidence that the president of the united states is guilty of the many serious charges being leveled against them and i'll show you a vote for impeachment the seven us must be clear and convincing it cannot be based on inferences we cannot make article of impeachment alliance the president and the united states are attempting to infer that he had knowledge of wrongdoing that was going on in his administration yes lo and behold in the committee to re elect the president which is composed of democrats
republicans and independents alike and i tried it a responsibility under the old theory oppressive of age in the seventies articles are proposing new mp i must be direct presidential involvement and the evidence thus far has failed to produce it this makes it imperative that this unity not rush to judgment of bizarre without the benefit of knowing what is in the sixty four tapes that the special prosecutor has to receive under this week's supreme court decision i for one believe very deeply in one of the cherries and precious cornerstones of american justice and that is that a person in america is considered innocent job proven guilty every american citizen including the president isn't planning to this presumption of innocence contrary what i've been hurt i've heard said it is not incumbent upon the president to prove his innocence
it is incumbent upon this committee if it goes to the florida house to prove that he's guilty he remembers it was unfortunate during our deliberations that the american people were denied the right to listen even the few witnesses who appear before this committee by a party line vote and are not only being invited to sit in on these hearings it actually did of course and are they could draw their own conclusions on the total conversation rather than from bits and pieces expected here and there to serve a particular purpose hopefully before those matters finally resolve this opportunity will be given to them before considering the charges being leveled against the president why is cheap accuser john
dean we perhaps future briefly in his credibility as a law listen several instances make no mistake about it john dean came up with the answer is to question propounded by the senate watergate watergate committee from a good memory and he even bragged about it in several instances when he appeared behind closed doors before this committee knowing that we had listened to the tapes and have a transcript before as his testimony revealed that his memory was not as good as it was in the senate it and apologize to us for not having a tape recorder a memory when mr dean appeared before the senate watergate committee he stated his march twenty first conversation the president relative thing attorney fees and family support with lead paint in appearing before a close session of this committee indicated he might have discussed the matter the president had an earlier day but by so doing his testimony immediately came into conflict with the testimony in the senate that his friend mr moore an attorney at the white house and chastised him on the twentieth or not
going in and telling the president over things he had been telling him once more mr wright appeared before our committee disagreed with him festival in some respects at the map back under questioning by this member he disagreed with dean's testimony on three different places on one and a half pages of the transcript i mean it vetted before are committed it became involved in the watergate cover up almost from the beginning he also testified before a committee that he did not see the president after june seventeenth break in until september fifteen and the president never gave him any instructions to cover anything he also testified before this committee and he authorized copy of the offer when i see the watergate defendants assist the rotary making a pulse thing and initiated an unsuccessful irs investigation of certain individuals i was september fifteen me with the president quite frankly these hearings
gave me more information on the president the president's chief accuser and i had previously had certified angus committees deliberations well more important question to be resolved going to choose to believe john dean or the president of the united states at about nine witnesses before the committee testified they had not discussed acts of wrongdoing or the president here again john dean stands alone in conclusion that they say if the committee decides to recommend impeachment of the president based on the wrongdoing of others the evidence is here as clear and convincing if the committee decides to recommend impeachment based on direct evidence of presidential involvement in wrongdoing the evidence is not hear a case is that simple and recognize the gentlemen from arkansas with foreign presence a
general debate very viability fifteen i can and i know that everyone here in this room fairness was the chairman of these proceedings and inequality and work that has gone into the comments of the various members who've spoken the gentleman from california mr wally said earlier today we're all conscience the need to bring our best to bear on this question conscious of how fragile our liberties are and how easy it is to abuse them or lose if these debates are done nothing else i believe they've demonstrated that this committee has applied to work to study and the concern with this grave problem requires us to do for myself last fall after mr cox was fired
an inquiry was starting i approach the problem with the hope that it would not be necessary to bring articles of impeachment against president of the united i started with president nixon's in essence of the charges which have been leveled against him from the beginning i make my position clear that i would not prejudged this case that it should be decided on the wall the evidence not on newspaper headline for public opinion polls and for that reason i haven't conducted any public opinion polls of my own district read the letters that have come in those letters that come and then advocate impeachment do so with the sadness that recognizes the trauma of this process
there are other writers come from people who believed it charges against the president or the result of a publicity campaign and perhaps some of these people will never leave anything out but i'm happy to say tonight that most of the people in my own state of arkansas are law abiding citizens who believe strongly in the rule of law in this country and that all the people of this country have an obligation to live by that standard of wall and that the leaders of this country i have an obligation not merely to obey the law but to set an example justice justice upon which are free government must be but as long as such people who believe in the rule of law are in the majority in this country i have free institutions are going to survive and there will be no need to worry about for small political considerations
when called upon to make a judgment on that we now hector night there can be no national interest greater than the requirement that public servants must be bound by the law all the late night ended minutes there can be no public policy which could be for by substituting for the permanent ideals of the constitution for political expediency this not only applies to the president's conduct of his office and apply for each member of this committee as we make our decision business jordan indicated it's a great privilege to serve our constitutional system of government we now have a difficult path in this committee but believe me it's never easy to maintain a greek government requires constant attention and build with and i believe that is a real privilege to serve in
any malice no clear that a president should never be impeached center because of the unpopularity of his policies or his ideas it should be equally clear that the popularity of a president must never permit young who plays himself below the power of impeachment is not a substitute for the political judgment of the people of this country is not a means to compel adherents to public opinion it's not in my view over a means of punishment even if used for any of these purposes it would be wrongly you might have the effect of placing our balance the constitutional system checks and balances which was designed to accommodate mistakes and frailties of man as they go about their duties in the various offices no that reviewed the many pages of evidence of which had been presented to us and listen to the witnesses who
appeared before i couldn't help but observe that many of the things that we saw privacy very political career the things that happened before doesn't excuse that they have hap and even violations of law voters have been described in the evidence before as though they are a rare in our history they also are reviving tv evidence and testimony had become evident to me that probably the panthers might have existed before i know of no more carried on an organized early in this proceeding the question was frequently asked whether an impeachable offense was the signers an inviolable i think maurice report
ultimately answerable to record for the consequences he justified the bringing of articles of impeachment against the president it's not enough to demonstrate that there's probable cause of a crime and abusive to her it is also a necessary that these actions constitute high crimes and misdemeanors against the system of government itself throughout these proceedings out a computer analyze the facts and the evidence which has been presented according to the staff i would likely vote that judgment that each of our talk on tonight must be made on the basis of the whole body of the evidence which has been presented to us and we perhaps her and trying to isolate a few instances of that evidence in this debate tonight it's so easy to overlook the players which might have some meaning because they they don't seem to be too
important for instance when thirty one at it and that he was pain that he was a polish president through a nice for a profit rumen and anger he related visitors to demonstrate the president's surprise and anger supporting a belief that the president didn't know of a burglary an ad buy but what that outburst of iyengar also indicate at least to me was the realization as of that moment at the start that he is only were involved in a stupid a criminal act which have the potential of terrible embarrassment and hours following that order of the president's chief of staff mr holman had discovered that the investigation into the bordering should be thoroughly pursued it would lead to the fine the end of
it good illegally broken and conductor feelings often engage in illegal wiretaps and surveillance of individual american citizens and in various of the other activities which have been labeled as the white house lawn three days after the reagan mr haldeman reported the president on subjects which is notes reflect is dealing with the watergate breaking the eighty minutes of the plate that conversation have been destroyed by at least five separate and just a writer of the relevant portion of the play but that's only beginning supposedly human crime a law office which for a republican party so the first watergate cover up got started immediately and even if we suppose for a moment that this cover up was managed
not only to obstruct the investigation but also to shield the president from direct personal decisions as the plan unfold it grew in size and criminality there can be no mistake that he was a lawyer and approved generally of the efforts to contain the evidence you've heard july seventeen through the x ray telephone call their favorite tribe mortally wounded three conversations which had been mentioned by mr froelich the firing another first john dean on september fifteenth for the president to talk about direct evidence it's a rare thing in the world to have that word a person who is being played available to listen to and on this plane which was funny with a special and later to our committee the
president says john be happening on putting your fingers in the dikes every time that we have from hearing from their second conversation on march twenty four seventy three when the president told mean you had the right plan before the election you handled it just right you can play the third time rachel martin luther and seventy three when the president said as you know up to this point the theory has been contained but even if you accept that the first full knowledge of the terrible details of the first white house cover up was in the conversation of march twenty four there was still an adequate opportunity to choose a course of obedience to allow a full and fair disclosure to the prosecutors of cutting away from those who are engaged in a conspiracy which have provided the white vote for nearly three weeks before henry petersen came to and concerned with what
his investigation had developed and offering what he henry peterson thought with a last clear chance for the president to rise above the criminality which surrounding the president had specific knowledge an ample opportunity during this time to investigate and therefore the actions of the president with peterson must be considered in light of this knowledge and not bases i assumed by mr peterson opponent to start investigating new revelations before taking action rather than choosing of course simple obedience to law permitting in march seventy three the second cover up again this time for the direction in control of the presidency and april thirty three years and at president information the department of justice and ranchers relating evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the city the president's assurance that he would not run for information
nevertheless the president relayed the information to his age not only possible witnesses possible to convert a little planned strategy to protect themselves and with help from the department of justice vital information which had been brought to his attention he refused to request a special prosecutor for recordings of conversations material to his investigations and then fart after accepting the resignation of the attorney general the assistant attorney general who refused to fight in an effort to avoid a production of this and of course all the committee members are aware of the noncompliance with this committee all sufi you know with regard to obstruction of justice the president's council has told us that many criminal defendants have been sentenced or awaiting trial in this proves that the process of
walker's not been here legally ever feared but it's an alliance that somehow the system has continued to work despite the action of the president i'm trying to increase but we have authorities been and because i think the people of this country believe that a system of laws through which all manner of subjects it's that system that we want and must preserve i didn't ask for and i don't think you'll enjoy the beauty of sitting here in judgment on any other man's fulfillment of years oh a box mr chairman like the other members of this committee i've got an oath of office of
my own responsibility to decide this great matter not on the basis of political interests but as a matter of my own best conscience my judgment of the law constitutional principles that are involved and i must say virginia i was your waiter i can now say that on the basis of all of the evidence which has now been produced average the firm conviction that president richard nixon as violating his oath of office is how about corruption of justice that he's often suits constituted high crimes and misdemeanors retiring
following these charges before it's been my dreams but find otherwise ryan on the museum's board we see it generally the artless holtzman for general of the very calmly and for a period not to exceed fifteen years cannon i don't want to join the other members of this committee and thanking you for conducting these proceedings with the dignity and fairness consonant with the solemnity of the patient
as the chairman as we sit here to measure president nixon's can go up against a standard set in the constitution of the united states each one of us has questioned what the constitution means and what do you do er oath of office imposes on us and each member on this committee is probably groping for the right thing to do i am overwhelmed by the stark contrast this presents for the president's words and actions nowhere in the thousands of pages of evidence presented as many as the president at what does the constitution say what are the limits of my power what does my oath of office require of me what is the right thing to do in fact those thousands of pages bring to light things that i never even dreamed and these proceedings began
we'll find out that was sorry and disgraceful in phoenix and allow the people of tax money to be used to be in richmond of his personal property or hiding behind the enormous respect my office he failed reporting and claim tax deductions going on with one million jobs you're pointing at an office cabinet members and close advisers person to me new to be seriously and he repeatedly unknowingly deceive the american people and wanted nothing we surrounded the highest office in this land with without pay for this committee they're witness in my opinion to a systematic allegation how they're allowing abuse of office the pervasive violation of the rule of
law of the athenians a theme of wagner's time sounds serious that leaves me shaking and what affects me not the point is the evidence that richard nixon so impressive were the two essential principle that and shape and things they're out one hundred and ninety eight year history as a free people he has obstructed an eating and corrupting the workings of our system of justice and he systematically use the awesome power of his office to invade the constitutional rights of the people some have said there is no direct evidence it is for this reason i wanted show using examples from watergate that is principally at the president's own mouth and through his own words that we find strong evidence of the high crimes and misdemeanors he has committed watergate june
seventeenth nineteen seventy two five man working on behalf of the president were arrested for breaking into and bugging the democratic national committee headquarters in washington now where in the thousands of pages of evidence do we find any suggestion that president nixon tried to bring all the facts he knew to live or to bring to justice those responsible instead the evidence suggests they consistently tried to prevent the truth from coming out six days after the breaking mr nixon ordered the cia to limit the fbi's investigation the cia was told that it was the president which at the investigation stop with the five suspects that had been arrested and in fact the fbi's investigation wasn't he didn't complain in the fall of nineteen seventy two
president nixon specifically pointed at the house banking rnc committee investigation of the watergate the stop in his own words mix intelligence man who won't screw this thing up clothes clothes hanging back the house banking party committee's investigation was stopped before it even started a march nineteen seventy three we find the president watching with more fact finding by the urban committee in the senate in march twenty second the president contemplating a number of courses of action the first wise in his words quote i want you all to a stone wall let them to plead the fifth amendment cover up or anything else if it'll save it save the plant closed quotes and in fact mr nixon's closest aides were indicted for perjury before the senate select committee
a second scheme is to avoid the senate select committee by going to the grand jury and these interactions of president gave with a three testified with the grand jury and i quote just be damn sure you say i don't remember i can't recall i can't give any honest as that that i can recall but that it was fought and in fact ehrlichman and michel were indicted for committing perjury before the watergate grand jury on the grounds that they stated they couldn't remember it is clear to me that the president was improving or at least acquiescing in hush money payments and having you know one hundred thousand dollars to buy the silence of watergate burglars the president discussed the matter of pain behind and separate times in a conversation on march twenty third with the morning and the last time and i won't
that's why your immediate thing you've got no choice with one of the one twenty or whatever it is right would you agree that that's a buy time thing you better damn well get that done but the math the price they get it perhaps some people kind of ambiguities in that conversation i go on the subject of executive clemency directly on campaigns for example in april of nineteen seventy three president was afraid that the rule would reveal all the means role in the watergate break into the special prosecutor president nixon holiday ehrlichman to try to soften the testimony by showing the president's personal concern there and nothing getting infected plants that even the president's words quote i would say she had let me just no idea by telling you the president holds great affection for you and for your family also i would first with that in the that he
knows i have personal affection that's the way the so called clemency is that you handled those quotes and ehrlichman reported back that the president that the clemency message was transmitted to approve it late march and april nineteen seventy three the president tried to obstruct the renewed investigation by the watergate grand jury in the department of justice after john dean i confess to the president his own pre break any involvement in that halderman ehrlichman and calls them the president on march twenty seven instructing john ehrlichman to tell the attorney general of the united states richard kleindienst and i'm through these were the president's directions development well i think you've got to say dean was not involve had no prior knowledge alderman had no prior knowledge ehrlichman had nine and calls and had nine those quotes and ehrlichman transmitted the message
during the period from april fifteenth nineteen seventy three to april thirtieth nineteen seventy three president personally it's about twenty seven times with the acting attorney general henry petersen who's in charge of the watergate investigation the president like yours the president came to happen until information from mr pearson which he then used to coach witnesses and despite all the information president nixon had about as a zimbabwean watergate he held back when he knew and told peterson nothing to this day president nixon has never told all he knows about watergate do any investigating body and to this day president nixon continues to impede and destination this time our committee's constitutional inquiry is given as a partial documents representing them to be complete it's given us a tape recordings
containing unexplained periods of silence and he has refused to comply with a lot of subpoenas were tape recordings and documents this on top of the fact that he committed and a subpoena issued by the special prosecutor a critical play helping to sell possessions to be erased in some since almost june seventeenth nineteen seventy two nixon was like the hiking or maybe evidence that his involvement and that of his aides in the watergate cover up first by planting timber ban investigation taking place it could not prevent such investigations by encouraging witnesses to live that incriminating evidence and when he could not get witnesses to lie about incriminating evidence by withholding that incriminating evidence and when he could not withhold that incriminating evidence by allowing that evidence to be destroyed
and what is even more disturbing to me that the legal burglary wiretapping the obstruction of justice that is so painfully we're in the watergate matter was not an isolated incidence of wrongdoing we have seen that the president authorized a series of illegal wiretaps were his own political advantage and not only believe their bike while it fundamental constitutional rights of the people of this country but he tried to cover up those illegal acts in the very same way that he tried to cover up the watergate the life of the prosecutors be tried without investigations he tried to buy silence and he failed to report on and if this weren't enough the president has to use the cia and the fbi to execute the plan to be illegal surveillance and burglary and to carry out the cover up of these acts mr chairman i feel very deeply with the president's impeachment and removal from office is the only remedy for the acts we've seen
because of presidential cover up its continuing even through today there is no way you can be and they should have the president's removal and secondly it was a violation of the people's constitutional rights has been thousands demanded and so persistent i must conclude that it's only through the president's removal from office but we can guarantee to the american people that they will remain secure and the liberties way than three you back about my mom i recognize thee gentlemen from new top ranks for the purpose of general very clear that exceed fifteen spent thank you mr chairman preparation for this inevitable kind of judgment has been an exhausting experience for all of us on the committee physically mentally and emotionally i for one have tried very hard and i
suspect unsuccessfully to find the right words to convey my feelings and my concern that we reached the right answers in this proceeding well the problems of being thirty seventh and seniority on a committee of thirty eight members is that one sees these points come and all during the debate i desire at the outset the state my complete confidence in the durability of our constitutional separation of art and our great institutions of self government the congress the judiciary and the presidency would permit the people to unite and move together to sell their common problems for me and for the people of utah the constitution is very special oh i faced the sonorous tasked with great reluctance it has been an honor to serve as a member of this distinguished body of men and women during his historic inquiry the statements have been extremely
impressive to me and i am proud i might mastery of my colleagues i can commend to harley are distinguished chairman throughout these long months as continually maintain a nonpartisan judicial fairness attitude and was given life direction of the course of this inquiry a broom i have the greatest respect and admiration did john doar the men of balance and sensitivity and strength and the bartender and sam harrison teacher them into the entire staff i think that the committee of the very deep gratitude for their scholarship incomplete education mr chairman i did not bring their training and experience of the season trial lawyer for this responsibility my background is that which the authors of the constitution forced offer those would be asked to judge presidents and politicians and i would be much less than candid a fire or not the state for the record that i approached this responsibility is a longtime
political adversary of this president i am not certain how many people have really believe me over the many months of this inquiry when i have repeatedly said that i would forget my political background and approach this matter objective really having served on the staff of senator robert kennedy and then senator edward kennedy the press and others have from the beginning beginning taken my vote almost almost for granted which i regret recognizing all that i want now the state has strongly and as clearly as i can because it is important that the public have confidence in our committee's impartiality that i believe i have been successful in setting aside the natural inclinations i may have brought with me this inquiry i have honestly sought to learn the truth as i had the boat even recognize it and to be guided by nothing else than the truth in my actions eye to recognize that this is the most
important vote that i will probably ever cast and i want the phrase that merck in later years with the piece that will come from knowledge that i gave my best efforts of his inquiry important solely upon the dictates of my conscience i studied the evidence before this committee very carefully over many months after dissipated in every single presentation of evidence i listen to every single when i had read extensively about impeachment agonized about impeachment and i have discussed impeachment and its implications for good and bad with many intelligent men and women both in washington and in utah i have not made to the actions of president richard nixon by my understanding of his unique constitutional responsibility i believe that impeachment of a president is a great back to be undertaken only in the most extreme circumstances and only work on that which we are willing to say
should be applied to all future presidents and established as a constitutional president each member must determine for himself whether the evidence is sufficient to vote to place the president on trial before the united states senate those constitutional role is to be the final judge i believe that we must vote to impeach if we believe the evidence is so clear and convincing that it would support a conviction of the president during his senate trial are clasped during these hearings i've been made easier because we have had the benefit of the views of the president's attorney on the sufficiency and meaning of the evidence and we had a partial proper of the president's defense in evidence by mr sinclair and arguments go by mr zinke <unk> gerritsen the acting minority counsel to the committee and with assistance that's been very helpful however much of the relevant evidence has been wrongfully an unconstitutionally withheld from this committee by the president
preventing us from making a judgment on all the facts to a very great extent the president has chosen the evidence that we have seen we've asked can assume for purposes of the thing that all of the evidence which is favorable to the president is now before it we can also reasonably infer as any civil courts with instructions that they would instruct the jury that the additional evidence without has been denied because it is detrimental to the present day fellow members of this committee on the basis of all the evidence before us i'm not persuaded that the president has knowingly engaged in three types of conduct which constitute impeachable offenses under the requirements of the constitution and it should now because without before the united states and first i find the evidence convincing but the president knowingly and willfully willfully directed and participated in a cover up of the watergate break in there is clear proof that the president personally agree with the distribution of funds for the president
offer clemency to and post those persons involved in the watergate break in in an attempt to secure their silence or and foreign influence their sworn testimony that the president knew that kurds remain committed in further into the cover and that the president personally with help from law enforcement officials evidence needed to solve crimes all across the spectrum of offenses known broadly as the watergate matter when i hear members of this committee say there is no direct evidence connecting the president what those crimes i wonder whether you've attended the same evidentiary presentation as i have second the president isn't as undermine the presidency by seriously abusing the car that his office for political process that includes the president's misuse of the earth guy for illegal wiretaps another at the justice department the irs the cia and other federal agencies as well as permitting a substantive violation by his subordinates of the rights and civil
liberties of many individual third the president's refusal to respond to are labeled the pianist constitutes an obstruction of the constitutional impeachment process which in my view is an extremely grave offense the president's refusal to comply with subpoenas would make the naughty of the impeachment are if we fail to do jets this offense impeachable one night a month ago after midnight after studying the transcripts issa reported presidential conversations for a long time and been puzzled ok one of the committees take technicians is rome jeff venture o and asked him to return to the committee office to reapply for me the tape conversations with the morning of march twenty first nineteen seventy three and that of the following day i wanted to study the president's intention i wanted to know what the president intended when he apparently
agreed repeatedly for the payment of hush money to howard hunt was he playing the devil's advocate or did he intended the payment we may reply to about a dozen times at night a section of the march twenty first conversation which my true prior to dr pryor speakers when the president told john being together an apparent reference to the hundred twenty thousand dollars which earned with amending is the price for his continued and i've been intrigued by the new plan to handle watergate about what's the president of the word spoken and want to develop i had a clear feeling that late night that i knew what the president then as i replied to take time and again i heard him raise instructor on being to develop a new plan for containment of watergate the president speaking one and then once you want to decide on the plant's gone and you had the right plan and they say i have no doubts about the right plan before the election and you handled it just
right you contain it now after the election we've got to get another plan because we can't have for four years we can have this thing you're going to be no way we can do end quote and bob hall and all up response to the president quote john point is exactly right that the erosion here now is going for you meeting the president and that's the thing we have got to turn off with whatever the cause we got to figure out where to turn off of the last past weekend at whatever costs the world in the following morning for adding further discussing the new planner john mitchell the president instructs i want you all the stonewall let them clean the fifth amendment cover up or anything else if it were save it save the plan that is the whole point and wrote and again his final explanation to john mitchell caught up to this point the whole theory has been contained as you know john labour and my fifteen combined with the realization that this was the president of the united states
speaking and it created in the sense of unreality i could hardly believe that it was the president of the united states thinking that i heard his words and mistakenly printed not the president's intention was clear and unstable awesome as the impeachment and removal of the president can be the framers of our constitution provided for this power they didn't expend expect to be frightened by it we were not to be intimidated by the power was to be used for necessary improper they created after all government of laws not a government of men and whether we like it or not impeachment is the only tool the constitution provides the controller president refuses to obey a lot i do not fear that the impeachment of a president on
solid evidence would do harm to the office of the presidency our nation recently survived the drama of a presidential assassination and united behind a new president vice president ford is an honest man of integrity in intelligence the country would rally to support it by action of congress he were to become president mr chairman i believe the significance of what we do we will endure for many years to come if our standard of impeachment is to all aren't substantial we will seriously weaken the presidency and create a precedent for future use of the impeachment power when charges may be trivial are part of that if we set standards of impeachment which are too low or too narrow if we fail to impeach now with this evidence before us we are saying to future presidents you are not required very long and individual freedoms would be staggering and we were in that circumstance rendered completely
other than the impeachment power which the constitution vested in congress as the last resort to prevent serious abuses of karbala presidents i believe that the impeachment of this president if it resulted in his removal and his replacement by gerald ford would not be a political advantage of my party but the totality of the evidence has convinced me that it would be to the public benefit of my country it is possible in the senate trial additional evidence which we had not seen to be present in the president's defense and nolan knows nor should they pre judge whether the senate would convey that would depend upon the evidence presented to them but the weight of the evidence presented that this committee now stand clearly and convincingly for impeachment i take no joy no satisfaction in this decision do not take pleasure in pointing accusing fingers are disgusting and distasteful that and the joyous resolution to a heartbreaking problem which we suggest which will cause great pain
and suffering i do it's strictly because of the obligation imposed by my membership on this committee and by my judgment the constitution requires of this republic created by this constitution represents the final segment in the history of mankind to establish a government of laws which can ensure equal justice for all and guarantee for each individual of dignity which is entitled today the national service committee to resolve an unprecedented crisis of confidence in that system and its leaders which left unresolved could have disastrous implications ours is a responsibility of restoring confidence in our government by ensuring that the president is charged before the senate where he will either be convicted or were acquitted what they have evidence before us if we fail to vote for impeachment in the senate trial we will fail the nation for today and for the future we will increase public despair and especially disillusion among the young and we will leave no
way to resolve these questions about the president's conduct which a senate trouble with arrest one way or another if we failed to impeach because of our own political allegiances are fortunes we will have engaged in contact as harmful to the republic as that contract of the president a record of which i believe we must now refer to the center for their appropriate consideration i recognize me gentleman from ohio art mr novitsky for purposes of general debate only for a period that to achieve fifteen with vince trying all that and one of the last speakers and i shall not have the last word because we all know that that last word belongs to the constitution my colleagues and i love anguish of this past know all too well you can tell it in the words that they said whatever side of
the aisle that were on i just hope that i'm able to make a contribution to a further understanding of our grave responsibility of the american presidency is a rare trust it's really a culmination of the national trust and confidence and what were all called on our constitution has to scrutinize to scrutinize the treatment of the sacred trust by richard nixon and what we've done by putting the impeachment process and emotion we've accepted a challenge laid down two hundred years ago by the founding fathers and what that challenge as theirs the government that they create and i think it's important for us to remember that the authors of that constitution provided that the process was not something
to be feared by definition really worth an essential provision to reassure the people of this nation and to protect against abuses of the great powers of the presidency the founding fathers really insisted that the president president be held to the highest standard of accountability and what we think we see that the impeachment process is really the ultimate guarantee of that accountability for congress is called on to enforce that guarantee and for that reason it's not just only richard nixon went on trial so we every member of this committee every member of this congress that left the judge whether richard nixon should be called into account protections and tried in the senate for the abuses of the great trust proposed in him
for really the question before us is whether richard nixon has abused that great gift of the president's id and that this question have to be closed that all is the farting for all of them and you confess that you can fit that in humans to care because all of us hold a deep respect than that presidency and i think it's evident throughout the day and throughout the night i take a look at my own background a background where my parents were immigrants who were generally inspired by american and they compared it to their homelands of our russia and a turn of the century poem and i grew up in iowa with a great admiration for a president whether they be republican or democrat and i found it personally very unsettling
to be faced with the harsh evidence that richard nixon as abuse the presidency but the company will face the evidence and that's what it is if the evidence and to do otherwise would be a grave dereliction of our duty but what i want to do is focus on one of the area of the not now covered in the article and that's the evidence on the president's action because i believe the seventies falls into a pattern which the committee must consider and i think the tax question is especially important because the thought readily understandable all of us all these attacks all of this deal with the internal revenue for a lot of review the facts about the president's own facts are here's the story for the first year he was president nixon paid about seventy two thousand dollars an income tax
so that's a lot of money but his income was over four hundred and sixty thousand dollars and the irs has ruled that he should have paid more than two hundred and twenty thousand dollars in tax in nineteen seventy the next year on an income of almost three hundred and fifty thousand dollars mr nixon played only by one hundred and ninety three dollars in fact i think that's worth repeating his income was more than a third of a million dollar guinea only paid seven hundred and ninety three dollars in tax that's less than the average family in my home state while they issued a paid more than ninety thousand dollars in taxes more than a hundred times the amount that he the president of the united states doing his property i would carry on the story the next year nineteen seventy one with nixon paid eight hundred and seventy eight ball some taxes on income of more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars anyone else in his
income tax bracket look at least ninety four thousand dollars a year you're at eight hundred and seventy eight and the story goes on nineteen seventy two are president a little over four thousand dollars in taxes as income was over a quarter of a million dollars and should've paid more than ninety thousand dollars of that means in four year richard nixon underpaid its federal taxes by nearly four hundred and twenty thousand dollars earlier this year we had the joint committee on internal revenue taxation that's a committee that's held in the highest respect of this congress and it issued its report because that review the taxes for the years nineteen sixty nine to seventy two and it was this report but first laid bare a wide discrepancy between what mr dixon ill and would he actually pay and one of the most significant findings of this report was that more
than one half of a million dollar deductions claimed by the president was improper and that if allowed deduction involved the president the paper that he supposedly due to the national archives a major bill mr nickson a catch by tapping into that shelter the president was able to substantially parrot his taxes for four consecutive years and finally came home to roast in nineteen seventy four the story goes on when after nixon's tax returns for those years received the first thorough review the cat shelter collapse because it was found improper or why was it improper well in nineteen fifty nine the congress close the loophole on those defections mr nixon knew about it and he knew about the law because he signed for the providence of that escape was made before the local colors and he can't even afford the
show that the gift was made in time to beat the change in a lot considering the date on it and the irs first said that it was legitimate but now we really know that that he was falsely back to indicate that the gift was made in time for the deduction that he was not executed in the spring of nineteen fifty nine like it says that in a white house meeting more than a year later and based on the backdating of the deed another evidence what has the irs turned to continue the story the irs rule that the president had no right no right to take a deduction economy fully evident to prevent the layering pattern of deception and justin bieber i think has been the president's response he's claimed responsibility for his tax returns he says that if there's any problem with the tax lawyer and as a couple that are for he would like us to believe that it had no part in the scene the circumstances surrounding the suspicious the victim but we know that mr nixon generally pay
close attention to his financial affairs because he was well aware of the beneficial tax consequences of the gap pellets ask ourselves can we really believe that mr nixon didn't know the true facts surrounding this year of over one half of a million dollars a large if he ever made in his life and dont you think every member of the committee and anyone but your don't you think that when a man whose income is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars less so this tax return and sees that he's only paying seven hundred and ninety three dollars don't you think he has an obligation to scrutinize his return and make certain that the adoption and proper especially if he's the president of the united states and there's a good deal of evidence on this
matter is disturbing at the problem what's the most disturbing of all this that when a joint committee sent the president questions about these matters he never even bothered to answer the questions and we had one of the witnesses that came before this committee he was the former head of the end of a criminal tax fraud division of the department of justice and he served in office for twenty four years under many presidents including president nixon many consider the evidence that we have and he testified on the president's actions and he said that if the justice department have that much of an ordinary after you arrive but that meant that that bear refused to answer the questions that the government with the combat the taxpayer it's an internship ms nixon tells us that he's not responsible for what's on his tax return even though he's the one who signed under the pain of perjury on the bottom line it
wasn't his tax lawyers to find that return it was in his accountant that found the fine return richard nixon is on the bottom line and after the riyadh by irs the story goes on which found of the problems of these returns reflect that he was required to pay back taxes for nineteen seventy seventy one seventy two and then he often reiterated after that that he would voluntarily pay his taxes in nineteen sixty nine even though our laws couldn't reach back that far but you know he hasn't made those taxes yet there is still a one hundred and forty eight thousand dollar bill outstanding from our treasury the one hundred and forty eight thousand dollars he should've paid by april nineteen seventy is the one page and they know i think this may have to face up to the question of whether richard nixon has willfully evaded his taxes
and i believe this matter falls into the abuse because it's evidence that the president entertained an expectation for and took advantage of favorable treatment and i view it is a great great misuse of the office a serious violation of public trust that means that means the office of the presidency take a look at our tax system it's based on impartiality and everyone has to be treated fairly and there are tax law so my colleagues and tom railsback whose districts right across from mine on the mississippi we already discussed the disturbing practice about making up friends and enemies list in the white house and sending them over to the irs for special attention you gotta wonder when you look at the friend's lives whether the president was in his own best friend and as we look at this area we cannot concern are ourselves slowly with the question of willfully the variation of taxes we
have to consider the president's unique position in our country is looking for leadership is respect for europe through our laws are supposed to set an example for the rest of us and we must remember but if an average citizen she thought of taxes the treasury only use of the money that the president deliberately failed to pay his property taxes we risk the corrosion of our entire system and really when we consider taxes or any of the other serious charges before us we have to take a hard look at what richard nixon's conduct has done what it has done for a system of government that the german you thought but we know that the opening of this general debate but we are at the crossroads for america whatever this committee decided it will have a major impact
on the future of our country what legacy shall we leave for the future where we condone richard nixon's presidential conduct and sanction is playing that he as the defender of the grand opera's oh well we report are abhorrent in the way he has to file the office but we ignore the actions which have already brought so many of our children to hold such a low regard for the highest office in the land or will we make it clear to our fellow citizens that we cherish the opposite the presidency and take up the constitutional challenge to protect it as we proceed with the debate on these article on the question of whether we are to bring richard nixon to account for the growth of youth who often i think we must all asked ourselves if we do know who will
time of the gentleman has expired now recognize the gentleman from michigan ranking member of committee hutchinson for the purpose of general the very periphery of thing i am german beginning of this meeting last evening the chairman invited me to make some introductory remarks following introductory remarks made by name and inaugural earth might not appear the through speeches bell i would not be recognized in this town of eight and with the way my seniority and be recognized at the end of the road for my eloquence than this thing with colleagues have expressed a wide
range of views on the unthinkable and after these many hours of speeches at all farther risks trespassing upon the endurance of all those who listened to this committee's generations were not for the finance gravity of the subject matter i have great respect for any man who occupies the office of president of my respect for the constitution is even greater all americans should be grateful for a splendid constitution and for the foresight of our founding fathers in providing through impeachment a means for him moving a president during his term of office when circumstances necessitate so that when the constitution places the responsibility for initiating proceedings for the removal of the president and the house of representatives in this case the house has demanded of this committee to report with the recommendations concerning whether the
outfit exercises impeachment are directed at the normal low of the knicks i listened attentively to those of my colleagues learned men and women all love argued with great intellect and favor of the impeachment of the president i remain unconvinced by their name i believe and i'm unconvinced well i regret to say by their view of the impeachment process itself as the trust is based in congress to safeguard the liberties of the people through the awesome an extraordinary power to remove a president so much the congress is vigilance be fierce and saying that they trust is not a view the proper use of impeachment power depends upon our understanding with property purpose under the constitution the constitution provides that a president may be impeached tried convicted and removal office or the
commission of trees and bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors the meaning of the word as treason and bribery are thought of them they are crying and i try and directed against the state remain the meaning of the words another high crimes and misdemeanors is equally obvious it means what it says that affirms them ambien before the commission of crimes and misdemeanors with my other crimes with bailing them about the truth in treason and bribery are in the sense that they are kind of directed began arriving great impact upon the system of government so wasn't it a constitution imposes two separate conditions for removal of a president juan criminality and two serious impact of the content of that criminality upon the government
Series
1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings
Episode
1974-07-25
Segment
Reel 6
Producing Organization
National Public Affairs Center for Television
WETA-TV
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/512-w37kp7vq3t
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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
Embed Code
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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: 2402928-1-5 (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 6,” 1974-07-25, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 16, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_512-w37kp7vq3t.
MLA: “1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 6.” 1974-07-25. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 16, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_512-w37kp7vq3t>.
APA: 1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings; 1974-07-25; Reel 6. 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-w37kp7vq3t