House begins impeachment of Nixon

On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended that the 37th US President, Richard M. Nixon, be dismissed and removed from office. The impeachment proceeding resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration, known collectively as Watergate.

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The Watergate scandal first emerged following a break-in on June 17, 1972, at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, DC A group of men linked to the White House were subsequently arrested and charged with the crime. Nixon denied any involvement in the heist, but several of his employees were ultimately involved in an illegal cover-up and forced to resign. Subsequent government inquiries uncovered the Committee’s political campaign “dirty tricks” to re-elect the president, as well as a White House’s “enemy list”. In July 1973, one of Nixon’s former staff revealed the existence of secretly taped conversations between the president and his aides. Nixon initially refused to release the tapes, for reasons of executive privilege and national security, but a judge later ordered the president to turn them over. The White House provided some, but not all of the tapes, one of which part of the conversation appeared to have been erased.

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