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.
In May 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began formal impeachment hearings against Nixon. On July 27 of this year, the first article of impeachment against the president was adopted. Two other articles, for abuse of power and contempt of Congress, were approved on July 29 and 30. On August 5, Nixon complied with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring him to provide transcripts of the missing tapes, and the new evidence clearly implicated him. in a cover-up from the Watergate robbery. On August 8, Nixon announced his resignation, becoming the first president in U.S. history to voluntarily step down. After leaving the White House on August 9, Nixon was replaced by Vice President Gerald Ford, who, in a controversial move, pardoned Nixon on September 8, 1974, making it impossible for the former president to be prosecuted for them. crimes he could have committed. during his tenure.
Only three presidents in American history have been removed from office: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Donald Trump in 2019.
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