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Tue May 21, 2019, 10:41 AM

Anyone remember who testified in the Nixon impeachment hearings?

What impact do you think that testimony and the hearings had?

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Reply Anyone remember who testified in the Nixon impeachment hearings? (Original post)
StarfishSaver May 2019 OP
edhopper May 2019 #1
Dennis Donovan May 2019 #6
edhopper May 2019 #11
Dennis Donovan May 2019 #2
asiliveandbreathe May 2019 #4
StarfishSaver May 2019 #5
louis-t May 2019 #9
StarfishSaver May 2019 #10
louis-t May 2019 #16
StarfishSaver May 2019 #18
wryter2000 May 2019 #13
Caliman73 May 2019 #24
DUgosh May 2019 #3
StarfishSaver May 2019 #19
StarfishSaver May 2019 #7
greatauntoftriplets May 2019 #8
StarfishSaver May 2019 #20
wryter2000 May 2019 #12
FakeNoose May 2019 #14
StarfishSaver May 2019 #22
FakeNoose May 2019 #23
StarfishSaver May 2019 #25
NastyRiffraff May 2019 #15
wryter2000 May 2019 #17
StarfishSaver May 2019 #21
Kurt V. May 2019 #26
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2019 #27
StarfishSaver May 2019 #28

Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:44 AM

1. John Dean blew things open

And the revelations of the taping system in the Oval Office was the beginning of the end of Nixon.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #1)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:02 AM

6. I don't think Dean testified for the House Judiciary Impeachment hearings

...at least not live. His testimony was given to the Senate Watergate committee hearings in 1973.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #6)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:50 AM

11. Oh

I understand the distinction. But the Senate was also an Investigative.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:48 AM

2. Hope this is helpful:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_process_against_Richard_Nixon#Impeachment_hearings

Impeachment hearings

The Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings received intense press attention and live gavel-to-gavel television coverage

The House Judiciary Committee opened its formal impeachment hearings against the President on May 9, 1974. The first twenty minutes were televised on the major U.S. networks, after which the committee switched to closed sessions for the next two months.

Focus was on Article One of the United States Constitution.

At the time of the initial impeachment investigations, it was not known if Nixon had known and approved of the payments to the Watergate defendants earlier than this conversation. Nixon's conversation with Haldeman on August 1, 1972, is one of several that establishes this. Nixon states: "Well ... they have to be paid. That's all there is to that. They have to be paid."[66] During the congressional debate on impeachment, some believed that impeachment required a criminally indictable offense. President Nixon's agreement to make the blackmail payments was regarded as an affirmative act to obstruct justice.[67]

Focus was also on allegations of misuse in a discriminatory manner of the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies.[68]

Impoundment of appropriated funds, related to funds allocated by Congress that Nixon chose not to spend because he did not like the associated goals in particular, for the Clean Water Act was also considered by the impeachment inquiry.[57][69] However the staff decided that, even though some courts had ruled such impoundments illegal, it was not an impeachable offense.[70] Consequently, no article along these lines was brought up for a committee vote.[57]

On July 9, the Judiciary Committee released its own version of eight of the White House tapes that Nixon had previously issued his own transcript of. The Committee transcripts were both the beneficiary of superior playback equipment and restored some of the potentially damaging statements that Nixon staffers had removed or heard differently.[71]

This was quickly followed by the July 12 Committee release of its accumulated evidence on the case, which ran to 3,888 pages.[72] For the first time, St. Clair acknowledged publicly that a committee vote in favor of impeachment was likely, but Press Secretary Ziegler said that the president remained confident that the full House would not impeach.[72]

Ray Thornton of Arkansas, William L. Hungate of Missouri, and Jack Brooks of Texas were part of a group of three southern Democrats and four moderate Republicans who drafted the articles of impeachment adopted by the Committee. Nixon later called Brooks his "executioner".[73]

During the hearings, President Nixon attempted to preserve his support in the House by wooing senior figures there, including some conservative Democrats, by inviting them to White House functions or evening cruises on the presidential yacht USS Sequoia.[74]


Representative Barbara Jordan (left) became nationally known for her eloquence during the Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings

The televised coverage of committee hearings resumed on July 24.[75] The commercial broadcast networks televised the evening sessions while PBS broadcast the morning and afternoon sessions as well;[76] this was after considerable debate about whether such broadcasts were a good idea.[75] The first broadcast was an evening session of the committee on the evening of the 24th and started two days of televised opening-statements by committee members. In total there were six days of 13 hours-per-day of televised coverage, watched by millions of Americans.[76] On the afternoon of Friday, July 26, television viewers watched live as the first Article of Impeachment was read into the record against the President.

On July 25, 1974, Texas Democrat Barbara Jordan delivered a fifteen-minute televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the impeachment process.[77][78] Jordan's statement on the articles of impeachment is thought to be one of the best speeches of the 20th century and earned Jordan national praise for her rhetoric, morals, and wisdom.[79][77]

Democratic Representative Walter Flowers of Alabama, a conservative Democrat, was considered to be leaning against impeachment. After a long struggle, which caused an ulcer to recur, Flowers indicated he would vote for impeachment. The congressman said "I felt that if we didn't impeach, we'd just ingrain and stamp in our highest office a standard of conduct that's just unacceptable."[80] Coming from a state which had supported Nixon in 1972, he was seen as influential even with some Republicans. He told the undecided Republicans on the committee, "This is something we just cannot walk away from. It happened, and now we've got to deal with it.[80]

Republican Representative M. Caldwell Butler of Virginia explained his vote in favor of impeachment by saying, "For years we Republicans have campaigned against corruption and misconduct. ... But Watergate is our shame."[22] Representative Lawrence Hogan of Maryland, another Republican, said, "After reading the transcripts, it was sobering: the number of untruths, the deception and the immoral attitudes. By any standard of proof demanded, we had to bind him over for trial and removal by the Senate."[22] After much internal and external anguish, Representative Tom Railsback also decided to vote in that direction.[81]

Representative Elizabeth Holtzman of New York, a young Democrat, also drew national media attention as a member of the committee.[82] Another representative from New York, Charles Rangel, became a force in the House in subsequent years. Rangel had a more positive take on what transpired: "Some say this is a sad day in America's history. I think it could perhaps be one of our brightest days. It could be really a test of the strength of our Constitution, because what I think it means to most Americans is that when this or any other President violates his sacred oath of office, the people are not left helpless."[22]

As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Drinan, who had introduced the earlier resolutions, also played a role in the Congressional investigation of Nixon administration misdeeds and crimes and gained national visibility as a consequence.[5]

One of the arguments that Nixon supporters on the committee often made was that the charges and the questions being asked about them needed more "specificity".[83] In that respect they challenged those who would impeach to come up with more details in purposeful conversations to be linked together as part of a concerted plan of action.[84]

Republican Charles E. Wiggins of California was Nixon's fiercest and ablest defender on the committee.[85] Wiggins consistently argued that no specific piece of evidence directly linked Nixon to any criminal act.[86] Other prominent defenders included David W. Dennis of Indiana[87] and Delbert L. Latta of Ohio.[86]

Republican Charles W. Sandman, Jr. of New Jersey defended Nixon throughout the proceedings, often to the point of caustic stridency,[86] and gained brief national visibility as a result. The New York Times described him as: "a heavyset man with glasses on the end of his nose, a pencil grasped between his hands, heaping sarcasm and scorn upon the arguments of those who would impeach the President".[87] He was one of those most vocally demanding "specificity".[84] At one point during the hearings, Sandman angrily told his New Jersey colleague on the committee, Chairman Rodino, "Please, let us not bore the American public ... you have your 27 votes", referring to the 27 affirmative votes for the first article of impeachment against Nixon. Sandman denied that emotion was the key behind his defense, saying "My role is not one of defending the President that's for sure. I believe in a strict construction of the Constitution. If somebody, for the first time in seven months, gives me something that is direct, I will vote to impeach."[87]

Attorney James D. St. Clair, having been named a special counsel to the president in January 1974, represented Nixon before the House Judiciary Committee as they considered the impeachment charges against him. He said in explanation of his role, "I don't represent Mr. Nixon personally. I represent him in his capacity as president."[88] This dovetailed with Nixon's argument that he was motivated by a desire to protect the presidency and not by any urge for self-preservation.[88] St. Clair's defense was centered around the notion that while Nixon had made a number of statements that looked bad, he had committed no crimes.[88]

There was tension between the two minority counsels, Jenner and Garrison, as Garrison had firmer ties to the conservative Republicans on the committee.[57] Once Jenner came out in favor of impeachment, saying the evidence for it was persuasive, he was removed from his role as the minority's chief special counsel.[89] Garrison was chosen to replace him on July 22,[90] and had to put together on a last-minute basis his own defense of the president.[30][91] Garrison later said that the stress of his position caused him to collapse from anxiety at one point.[91]

Law professor Raoul Berger was a popular academic critic of the doctrine of "executive privilege" and was viewed as playing a significant role in undermining Nixon's constitutional arguments during the impeachment process.[92]

Shortly before the committee undertook its impeachment votes, a Harris Poll showed that 53 percent of Americans supported an impeachment of Nixon by the House. The same poll showed that 47 percent thought he should be convicted in a Senate trial, 34 percent thought he should be acquitted, and the rest were unsure.[80] A Gallup Poll taken around the same time revealed that Nixon's favorability rating had fallen to 24 percent.[80]

These hearings culminated in votes on proposed articles of impeachment.[93] As the Judiciary Committee prepared for the votes, Rodino said: "We have deliberated. We have been patient. We have been fair. Now the American people, the House of Representatives and the Constitution and the whole history of our republic demand that we make up our minds."


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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:57 AM

4. Awesome..and awesome effort on your part...thank you DD...perhaps some of the youngun's here

will read and understand, the investigation and impeachment take time....

Rodino said: "We have deliberated. We have been patient. We have been fair. Now the American people, the House of Representatives and the Constitution and the whole history of our republic demand that we make up our minds."

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:02 AM

5. Thanks!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:34 AM

9. I was lucky enough to be part of my high school radio station

when all of this was going on. I read stories off the wire every day when reading the news. I got to pick them myself. I knew precisely who Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Archibald Cox, and John Dean were. I had a US Government teacher (staunch Democrat) at the time who let us know every day what an amazing thing we were witnessing.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #9)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:42 AM

10. I wonder if we were in the same class?

I had a very similar experience with an awesome Social Studies teacher.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #10)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:22 PM

16. I think his name was Mr. Pogue?

WKHS

And he also taught Social Studies, as I recall.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #16)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:22 PM

18. No. Different teacher

But wouldn't that have been awesome if it turned out we'd been classmates?!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:43 PM

13. Love Barbra Jordan

I remember her testimony during the Bork hearings.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:50 PM

24. Our experiences have been shaped by media of today.

Back then, the people had 3 maybe 4 outlets plus the papers and maybe some radio. Today there is wall to wall coverage and a whole class of commentary. People have unrealistic expectations of the timelines and procedures likely because of all of the commentary.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:53 AM

3. John Dean hearings - riveting

My staunch Democratic Father fell in love with Deans wife Maurine( Mo), who set stylishly behind John throughout.

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Response to DUgosh (Reply #3)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:23 PM

19. Dean didn't testify at the impeachment hearings. He testified at the Senate hearings the year before

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:19 AM

7. kick

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:23 AM

8. John Dean's testimony was a turning point.

Dean even asked to be subpoenaed because Nixon didn't want him to testify. After many years, I've come to respect Dean.

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #8)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:24 PM

20. It was a turning point. But it didn't happen during impeachment. He testified the year before

in front of the Senate Select Committee.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:37 PM

12. Alexander Butterfield

Revealed the existence of the tapes. Every reporter in the room scrambled to get to a pay phone.

On edit...that likely wasn't part of the impeachment hearings but some hearing that led up to articles of impeachment. Which has been my point all along. You don't have to have impeachment to have hearings. In fact, you can have multiple sets of hearings, as we do now. People who are impatient should consider that this process needs to continue right up until the election.

If we impeach but don't remove him from office, he continues to nominate extreme RW judges, continues to put babies in cages, continues his trade wars, continues to obstruct justice, continues to make money off his office, etc. He needs to be removed from office, and only an election can accomplish that.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #12)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:43 PM

14. Yep - that was huge

Once the tapes were located and turned over a few weeks later, Nixon's goose was cooked.
Even the Repukes knew it.



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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #14)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:30 PM

22. You're right about what happened, but it happened within a different timeframe

Butterfield didn't testify in the impeachment hearings. He testified before the Senate Select Committee on Watergate in July 1973 before an impeachment inquiry was even opened. You're right that it was a big deal when he revealed the existence of the tapes. But the tapes weren't turned over until more than a year later in July 1974 - and even then, they weren't turned over as part of the impeachment hearings (which opened in May 1974), but in response to a subpoena from the Special Prosecutor in the criminal trial of the Watergate burglars.

Most of what people remember about Watergate didn't occur as part of the impeachment process. It occurred the year before in other hearings and investigations.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #22)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:47 PM

23. Nixon didn't turn over all the tapes at one time

As I recall, the really damning ones (with the erasures) were the last tapes he turned over. And yes, it was by court order. But other tapes were released earlier, and I remember that people were shocked by all the swearing etc. The stenographer kept putting in "expletive deleted" all over the transcripts.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #23)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:54 PM

25. Nixon released the first tapes in November 1973

Those were the ones contained the 18 1/2 minute gap.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #12)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:14 PM

15. I seem to remember there was an audible gasp

when Butterfield almost casually mentioned the tapes. It seemed to stun the entire room.

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Response to NastyRiffraff (Reply #15)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:08 PM

17. Yes!

I also recall whoever was questioning him repeated the question to make sure they'd heard his answer right. It was quite a moment.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #12)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:25 PM

21. You're right

Butterfield testified around the same time that Dean did in the Senate hearings nearly a year before the impeachment hearings began.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:56 PM

26. i was 12. had other things going on.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 03:07 PM

27. John Dean was big; Alexander Butterfield was bigger.

He was the guy who revealed the existence of the secret taping system, which blew the whole thing wide open. But don't mix up the two different sets of hearings. The Senate hearings in 1973 in which Dean and Butterfield testified were not impeachment hearings; they were hearings that were authorized to investigate the Watergate break-in. The actual impeachment hearings did not take place until the following year and were not public except for the first session. It was during these hearings that the House Judiciary Committee debated, drafted and voted on articles of impeachment.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #27)

Tue May 21, 2019, 03:23 PM

28. True

Although lots of people who were around then think they remember all of the explosive testimony of the impeachment hearings, what they're remembering is the Senate Watergate hearings, which took place nearly a year before the impeachment hearings started.

I asked the question because I suspected that few people even remember anything about the impeachment hearings because they didn't see them and they didn't roll out the way they think.

And, you're right - the impeachment hearings were, for the most part, not televised and closed to the public. No one saw them. And what people saw was the Members discussing and conferring about the evidence that had been previously gathered and the articles of impeachment.

Revisionist history does us no good, especially when trying to use Watergate proceedings as a guide for how Congress should be operating today - if people are going to do that, they should at least make sure they have their history and facts correct, as you obviously do.

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