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tv   The Seventies  CNN  October 17, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> did someone put up a lot of money to have the democratic headquarters infiltrated? and if so why? >> justice will be pursued no matter who is involved. >> you have information on the cover-u cover-up. >> people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. >> well, i'm not a crook. >> i don't think there was any discussion that there would not be a cover-up. >> congress must move ahead with
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impeachment proceedings. ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> i think what we have to do is -- we're going to define what the mood is. >> in 1972, richard nixon is very much on the top of his game, and is on his way to achieving his goal of being the greatest president in american history. he had de-segregated all the southern schools, ended the draft, had the greatest arms control agreement in american history. not a bad record and the american people thought so. >> air force one, spirit of '76 has just landed at peking international airport, an historic moment, the beginning of a visit to china. >> china was considered almost a different planet. and the idea that any american president would go to china was
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considered a fantasy, probably at best. the terms of foreign policy, it was sort of a moon landing. >> i think one of the results of our trip, we hope, may be that the walls that are erected, whether they are physical walls like this or whether they are other walls, ideology. it will not divide people. >> in richard nixon's own mind this was a script. it was designed to result in an overwhelming election of victory in the november election. >> nixon. >> richard nixon. >> nixon. >> yeah, nixon. >> nixon. >> anybody else running but nixon? >> the president was a political animal. the president was phenomenally skilled. he was able to handle virtually
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anything. >> five men wearing white gloves and cameras were caught at the democratic headquarters, they were caught by the night watchman and did not resist arrest, in any case they're being held. >> the democratic national committee is housed in the fashion able building. fires were ransacked and paperworks removed. also in this area, ceiling tiles were removed for the plants of bugging twidevices. >> it was saturday night, a colleague of mine was on the phone. hello, it's chuck, we have a hot line. we have a burglary at the democratic national headquarters and most unusual of all, the burglars, five of them, are
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wearing suits. >> the arraignment of the five middle aged men was slowed down. one said he was from miami, three from cuba, the facts presented so far raise a number of intriguing questions such as did somebody put up a lot of money to have the democratic headquarters infiltrated, and if so why? >> the president's press secretary said i'm not going to comment from the white house on a third rate burglary attempt. obviously we don't condone that kind of second-rate activity. >> the first reports came in about the burglary at the watergate, i didn't think much of it. but more and more facts began to come out. >> this is a police photograph of james w. mccord, who is a former cia employee and now he runs his own private security. and guess what else he is, an
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adviser to nixon's campaign. he was released on bail. i don't think this is the last we're going to hear of this story. >> it's one of the most shocking actions i think that has happened in this country in a long time. but i must say that if the legacy of years of wiretapping and snooping and violation of privacy in which the government itself has been too deeply involved. >> both democrats and republicans played with pranks and tricks all the time. the difference in watergate was that these people were foolish and they got caught. >> no one in the white house staff, no one in this administration was involved in this very bizarre incident. >> nixon said this is being investigated by the congress, by the fbi, but even more importantly i've had my own white house counsel, john dean, conduct an investigation and he has reported to me that nobody
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presently employed in this administration had anything to do with this. well, this is the first i heard of my investigation and my reaction is, wow. with two ways to earn on purchases, it makes a lot of other cards seem one sided.
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hunt. >> i had never met liddy, nor had i met howard hunt. but when the break-in occurred, i knew it was one of our guys. >> g. gordon liddy, ex-fbi, ex-justice, ex-white house consultant. and e. howard hunt jr., ex-white house consultant. >> they thought they were james bond. we didn't think they measured up. it was closer to the typical gang that couldn't shoot straight. >> they read the names of 60 government officials, the list included a white house lawyer and the former employees on the committee to reelect the president. >> if you don't know richard nixon, or his background, you could never understand why the white house reacted to watergate
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the way it does. >> from the beginning there was a great sense we were under siege, and we were not deceiving ourselves that the press didn't like us, the congress did not like nixon. that was the truth. and the question was how you deal with it. >> he tries to deal a little mafia group out of the oval office, guys that will take the bullet for you. pure loyalty. >> president nixon created what you would call a paranoid atmosphere in the white house. you're supposed to get your enemy. they took it literally that if the president says you have to go get our enemies, well, we have to go get our enemies. >> nixon, he did not know that they were doing the break-in, but once it happened he was convinced they had to engage in a cover-up. >> by august 29th, nixon is deeply involved to my surprise, in all the key elements of the cover-up. >> who do you think gave the
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orders regarding watergate? >> well, the person who was indicted by the grand jury in washington, d.c. last week gave the orders to do it. >> you don't think they were following orders? >> there has been no evidence that anybody did that. i think the opposition is disappointed that such a thorough, intensive investigation that certain persons were indicted. >> at the time, most of the press was satisfied that nixon white house had nothing to do with this watergate break-in. >> i have full confidence in the integrity of president nixon. and in his determination and ability to resolve the watergate matter to the full satisfaction of the american people. >> now, this is when "the washington post" really distinguished itself from the rest of the press pack. >> october '72, the headlines and the dirty tricks operation that had been run out of the white house --
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>> they don't really crack the case. but the post does. very effectively, they kept the story alive when nobody else was paying any attention to it. >> using any window, third person hearsay, unsubstantiated charges, anonymous sources and scare headlines, the post has maliciously sought to give an appearance of a direct connection between the white house and watergate. a charge which the post knows and half a dozen investigations have found to be false. thank you very much. >> i want to ask one question. >> very early on, we were running into a wall of silence. we were being stonewalled. that became clear, none of the seven would talk to us. the white house was basically paying hurry money to keep the watergate burglars silent. >> if the money is not forthcoming, these people were
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not going to remain silent. nobody was thinking about criminal law, we were thinking about the politics of it all. >> all the burglars stay quiet, nobody was indicted. which was exactly what the white house strategy was. >> the strategy was containment. if it doesn't get widespread coverage as a whole, then we'll be able to handle this. >> this is about the government. this is about credibility. this is about bugging. this is about deception. this is about the white house. and this is how you stop it. if you're a bullet. >> while senator mcgovern is out campaigning tirelessly trying to get his message out to the people mr. nixon gives the impression of staying above the campaigning, leaving the duty to the vice president. >> the role of watergate in the '72 election people want to trust the king.
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they don't want to believe this about their president. >> pennsylvania, a very important state for the democrats, going tonight for the republicans. kansas, connecticut, texas, michigan, delaware, arkansas, and north dakota. those are the states that we show for president nixon. >> that was one of the greatest victories any president ever had carrying every state except massachusetts and the district of columbia. >> i think the shadow of his victory is the watergate affair, and i think many people close to the president would like to have a move on that as one of the higher priorities of his administration. >> if he will persuade the country that the taint is gone, if there is a real taint. why do so many people choose aleve?
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originally indicted. but one of them starts to crack. >> is your client bringing it to the judge -- >> the court will be guided by his own conscience. >> mccord is not so willing to go to prison and not speak up. he feels that higher-ups should not get up scott free. >> mccord wrote judge sirica a letter, in it he wrote other people not yet named were involved in the break-in at the democratic national headquarters. >> mccord says there are efforts being made to keep us quiet. and there are people responsible who are much higher up than us, and you're being denied that information. >> i think what bothers us as republicans is there is apparently so much more to be revealed. and every day, every week when something else happens it's one further dagger in the heart. >> by and large, the national consensus, the president was saying one thing.
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the prosecutors are saying another thing. there are a lot of very serious accusations in the air. let's get to the bottom of it. >> senator sam irvin of north carolina was chosen today by the democrats in the senate to conduct a full investigation of the watergate case. >> once that senate committee convenes in february, this was the first time people had to testify under oath. this was not good for the president. >> i go in on march 21st to see nixon and i lay out the mess we're in, telling him i thought there was a cancer on his presidency. and my hope is by laying it out as brutally as i can he will bring his fist down on the table and he will say this is unacceptable. we have to end this. to my surprise, i am unable to convince him. >> dean had been caught up in this and had done things that really involved him in the obstruction of justice, and i
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think they decided he would be the sacrificeal lamb. >> this morning, without the president's approval, dean issued a statement in which among other things he declared some may hope or think that i will become a scapegoat in the watergate case. anybody that knows me doesn't understand the true facts nor our justice system. >> do you have information implicating president nixon in a cover-up? >> we started to have secret conversations with john dean, he was disclosing this sprawling conspiracy, to put it mildly. >> when i broke rank and started to deal with the prosecutors in early april, i had the naive belief that by breaking rank they would do likewise. >> john dean, picked up the
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areas -- as we were leaving, i said john has something to tell you. and dean told us this same group had broken into the office of ellsberg's psychiatrist. he said your doctor would drop to the floor. >> he had been a consultant, decided the war was wrong. so he took this vast volume of secret papers and leaked it to "the new york times." >> i felt i could no longer cooperate, not giving this information to the american public. >> the papers never mentioned the name richard nixon, but the leak drove him nuts. >> i think it is time in this country to quit making national heroes out of those who steal secrets and publish them in the newspaper. >> this is the product of the
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president's paranoia about his ability to control his own government. >> they actually broke into the psychiatrist's office. now, come on, somebody's psychiatrist's offices files are raided by people who are commissioned by the white house? >> it's one thing to disclose breaking into the offices of the democratic national committee. it's another to have broken into the offices of a person's psychiatrist. and that the public would really have an adverse reaction to that, much more so than the democratic national committee headquarters. >> i hope that whatever comes out they get it over with. they find out what it is. and it teaches us some kind of lesson because this country is coming on to its 200th anniversary and i want to be proud of it when it does. and i'm not too proud of it right now. >> that is when i went to nixon, and said up and clear for this
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thing, whoever is going to have to go will have to go now. >> good evening, the biggest scandal in the watergate scandal broke wide open today. h.r.halderman, and john erlichman had resigned. the president's white house legal counsel, john dean, has been fired. reportedly he has been implicated to cover up the watergate scandal and he may implicate erlichman and halderman. >> good evening, i want to talk to you tonight from my heart on a subject of deep concern to every american. today, in one of the most difficult decisions of my presidency, i accepted the resignations of two of my closest associations in the white house. bob halderman, john erlichman. >> he thought that by throwing out his inner circle he would be
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left alone. he was throwing these people under the bus so the bus would not hit him. >> justice will be pursued fairly, fully and impartially. no matter who is involved. >> richard nixon wants to control everything, but he was extraordinarily delusional. i mean, he really doesn't seem to understand that he is digging himself deeper and deeper into the crime when he is trying to dig himself out. >> we must maintain the integrity of the white house. and that integrity must be real not transparent. there can be no whitewash at the white house. >> in may of 1973, earl silber is preparing to hand the case over to archy cox.
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sacrificial, sacrific watergate, senate hearings.
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>> good morning, this is the senate caucus room in washington, d.c. and it's jammed this morning, jammed with spectators, newsmen, senators and their aides. and the scene adds to the sense of drama when it opens, but it's likely to become the most serious investigation ever made. >> i was glued to the hearings like everybody else. i was going up there and watching my friends testify and trying to understand. >> i think there was no question that that saturday we realized there was a break-in, i don't think there was ever a discussion there would be a cover ha cover-up. >> neither mr. haldeman nor i were criminally involved in this, in any respect. >> people are seeing the underside of the white house, this kind of gothic reality that they never thought existed. men showing up in phone booths with bags of money. >> it comes from way up at the
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top. >> yes, sir, i believed he was talking about the president. >> good morning, although this is not abc's scheduled day to provide live continuous coverage we are going on now with the hearings because the witness will be john dean, the 34-year-old lawyer who one year ago was just another white house figure, but who today is a very well known individual, indeed. >> if people knew one thing about john dean, he was the guy who knew what was going on in watergate. so when it was announced he was going to testify people thought it was the moment the thing was going to blow right open. >> i told the president there was no money to pay these people to meet their demands. i told him the estimate could be as high as a million dollars or more. he told me that that was no problem. he also looked over at haldeman and repeated the same statement. >> this was the first time that a white house staffer had ever
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contradicted with criminal consequences, contradicted the president on live television. >> there was also maintained what was called an enemy's list, which was rather extensive and continually being updated. >> the idea that the white house draws up a list of enemies and it's prepared to use the agencies of government, this is very, very serious scary stuff. >> john dean talked about enemies at the white house. one was described as a tough fundraising. second, alexander -- >> once the list was revealed, then the news correspondent is reading off the names. >> 17th, daniel shore of the columbia broadcasting system in washington. the note here is a real media enemy. >> i remember thinking at the time, what is going on? is this really believable? >> you're fully aware, mr. dean, of the gravity of the charges
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you have made under oath against the highest official of our land, the president of the united states? >> yes, i am. >> and being so aware do you still stand on your statement? >> yes, i do. >> when i'm finishing my testimony for the senate i read it and i said you know, it's my word against haldeman, ehrlichman, mitchell and the president. >> those of us attending the sessions would surmise there is another witness someplace in the buildi building. >> the witness will be called. i think we're just going to have to wait and see. >> are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the oval office of the president? >> i was aware of listening devices, yes, sir. >> when he answered yes, everybody just froze like oh, tapes, what tapes? >> as far as you know, did mr.
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ehrlichman or mr. dean know of the presence of both devices? >> that would be very unlikely, my guess is that they did not know. >> the story of watergate takes on another meaning. the happiest person at the moment is dean. >> what would be the best way to construct them? >> well, in the obvious manner, to obtain the tape and play it. >> slowly this smile comes over my face, i said get those tapes as fast as you can before they disappear. >> this afternoon i received from the white house a letter declining to furnish the eighth requested tape. careful study before requesting the tape convinced me that any blanket type of presence to with hold this information is illegal. >> nixon had a valid argument that congress should not be able
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to delve into the private information in the white house. but to invoke a privilege to cover up a third-rate burglary was suspect. >> now, both the senate watergate committee and archibald cox are taking the white house to court in an effort to gain access to those tape tapes. >> as the weeks have gone by, many have observed the truth i spoke, i should turn over the tapes and recordings of conversation that i held in my office or on the telephone. however, one more principle is involved in this equation. that what the tapes might prove about watergate. >> he gathers his legal team as advisers, and a number of them say if you destroy these tapes, mr. president, it's an admission of guilt. and also theoretically it could be an obstruction of justice. >> he felt he was implicated in
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watergate, and had something to hide if he refused to give them up and destroy them. that is true. >> the president gives contradictory advice, and he tries to not release the tape. >> the question is why the president has not fully complied with the presence of those tapes. >> what he is doing is kind of de-personalizing it all and saying if i release these it will do irreplaceable damage to the office. >> the president still has not said tnonight, listen, john dea is lying, and i have the tapes to prove it. but that hasn't stopped me from modeling. my doctor told me about stelara® it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ...stelara® helps me be in season.
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after hard deliberation and much prayer i concluded several days ago that the public interest and the interests of those who mean the most to me would best be served by my stepping down. >> there is evidence which shows that agnew was taking political kickbacks, not only while governor of maryland but also while he was vice president. >> what is your reaction to the resignation that vice president agnew just announced? >> who? i don't know too much about him, but nixon stinks. >> there were developments at the white house that indicates that some kind of major decision is here on the constitutional issue of the white house tapes. >> special prosecutor, archibald cox, he wanted the tapes, he wanted the tapes themselves. and there was an impasse, yesterday mr. nixon ordered cox to stop going to court to try to get access to the tapes.
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today, the white house held a news conference, saying that since he defined the court, he would define the president. >> last night we determined the court order would not be bobeye. that is, the papers and documents would not be provided at all. >> archibald cox let the president have it. saying this was the obstruction of justice. that was the turning point. >> well, there was a limo on the west side driveway in the president's driveway, and turned out to be the vehicle, they knew something was in progress. >> general reaction to the developments. >> well, there will be another announcement at the white house. >> does it have to do with the resignation of the attorney general? >> well, it might. >> in breathtaking succession
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tonight, the following events occurred. the president demanded the attorney general fire archibald cox. the attorney general refused and resigned. the president then ordered the assistant attorney general, william ruckleshouse to fire the attorney general. he refused. robert bourke was named acting attorney general, he was ordered to fire special prosecutor cox, he did. >> it was unbelievable, literally unbelievable, except that it was real. you kept hearing, that couldn't be. you know? but it was. >> i can make no further comment now, other than that the office was sealed by the fbi. >> how can you possibly bring this man to justice if it was within his power to call the investigation to a close? >> basically, the president had seized full control of the
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special prosecutor's office and is in full possession of potentially incriminating evidence that could lead to the conviction of his closest associations and his conviction. and that is the definition of tyranny. >> there could be no doubt this was a constitutional crisis. this is the president trying to stand above the law. and i remember thinking at the time the country is not going to stand for this. >> it's amazing that the country is not already fighting in the streets. >> the events of the past few days leave us little choice but to move ahead with preparation for impeachment proceedings. >> do you think the president should be impeached? >> yes, i do. i can't trust him. >> at the time, impeaching the president was a radical idea. >> impeachment does not mean removing the president from office. it does mean putting him on trial to determine his fitness
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to continue in office. >> i would hire howard johnson today, you know what the flavor of the month is? impeachment. >> what is it about television coverage of you that has so aroused your anger? >> one could only be angry with those he respects. >> he obviously was having some sort of mental breakdown. it became clear there was something very wrong with nixon. >> people have to know whether or not their president is a crook. well, i'm not a crook. >> an awful lot of people want to president to resign. they really don't want to put the country in drama, so they want access to something that forces his hand. >> the watergate committee named a new special prosecutor, conservative texas democrat, leon jaworski. >> whatever i can proceed, i will ask for it. if i don't receive it, i will undertake to get it. >> he wants to come to
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washington, be presented with all the evidence. a couple of days later he goes out of the white house and says i think the president has to get a correctional lawyer. >> we have been put through too much. either the president through his on patriotic decision should relieve the nation of a burden that has grown too heavy to carry any longer. >> the effect of this was a huge dip in public support for richard nixon. >> the white house thought if it solved the tapes problem by producing transcripts, the idea that he is going to release these transcripts, richard nixon thinks that he is finally going to be able to cauterize the wound. >> i think there is no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we have. we have a cancer close to the presidency that is growing. >> the tapes show the president is involved at the time that dean said he was. it shows that dean's memory is prodigious. >> i would say these people will
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cost a million dollars. >> you could get a million dollars, in cash, i know where it could be gotten. now, when individuals read the entire transcript they may reach different interpretations. but i know what i meant. and i know also what i did. >> richard nixon's problem is they keep on subpoenaing more and more tapes. he says he is not going to give them up unless the supreme court demands he do. >> the supreme court heard arguments in the historic case of the united states of america versus richard nixon, president of the united states. >> the television cameras saw the two main players. first, james st. clair, president nixon's attorney, then, leon jaworski who has been hired to obtain the documents. >> it is strange to note that the defendant and the government
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of the united states is the prosecutor. >> jaworski is here as he entered the supreme court building. much as a roman gladiator entering the arena to do battle. >> it is a particularly unusual moment when the u.s. government had to tap the constitution to find out what limits there were on the presidential power into it came down to the supreme court of the united states making a decision against the president. would he obey or would he put himself in a confrontation with the supreme court? >> i don't know of anyone here or at the white house or anywhere else who knows the answer to that. you have two choices; the easy way or the hard way. you could choose a card that limits where you earn bonus cash back. or, you could make things easier on yourself. that's right, the quicksilver card from capital one. with quicksilver you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere.
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so, let's try this again. what's in your wallet? ♪ it's the final countdown! ♪ ♪ the final countdown! if you're the band europe, you love a final countdown. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do.
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it would be hard to imagine a more memorable day in the history of constitutional law than this one. at 11:00 a.m., the supreme court told the president he was wrong to with hold those tapes. at 7:00 p.m., the president announces he will obey. the house judiciary committee opens its doors for its final impeachment debate. >> now, the american people, the house of representatives and the constitution demand that we make up our minds. >> all those in favor, signify by saying aye, all of those
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opposed, say no. >> mr. donahue. >> aye. >> mr. booth. >> aye. >> aye. >> it was a saturday night and was near sundown when they voted the first article of impeachment. and the room was quiet. >> mr. rodina. >> we took it very seriously. >> and with that thought, mr. nixon became the first president in more than a century and only the second in all of our history to confront removal from office through the only means provided in the constitution. impeachment. >> i stood by nixon and felt he should remain in office, but then we discovered the tape of june 23rd. this was fatal. >> good evening, president nixon stuns the country today by admitting that he held back evidence in the house judiciary committee keeping it a secret from his lawyers and not
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disclosing it in public statements. mr. nixon issued transcripts of three recorded conversations he had with hr haldeman on june 23rd, 1972, six days after the burglars were caught in watergat watergate. >> yes, the president himself not only was he involved in this but he directed this criminal operatio operation. >> the problem with that tape was not that it implicated nixon so much in the watergate thing was that it contradicted what he said. he had not told the country the truth. >> the news caused a storm. and some of nixon's most loyal supporters are calling for his resignation. >> i'm aware of the intense
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interests of the american people concerning developments today and over the last few days. tonight at 9:00, eastern daylight time, the president of the united states will address the nation on radio and television from his oval office. >> as you probably could see behind us, we have a large number of people who have been standing by to watch the various television networks, most here out of curiosity and concern. >> only the cbs crew will be in this room during this. only the crew. there will be no pictures, in just a few moments we have 40 seconds to go now. the president has taken his place at the table in the white house where he is going to speak. >> good evening, this is the 37th time i have spoken to you from this office. where so many decisions have
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been made that shaped the history of this nation. throughout the long and difficult period of watergate i have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me. but as president i must put the interests of america first. therefore, i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. vice president ford will be sworn in as president at that hour in this office. >> when you weigh away happened against the potential of president nixon this is almost a huge tragedy. >> by taking this action, i hope that i will have hastened the start of that process of healing, which is so desperately
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needed in america. good morning, this is today in washington. friday, august 9th. the nation awaits the swearing in at noon eastern time of our 38th president, gerald ford. and the political life of nixon, he and his family are expected to leave for his california home and we expect to see their departure from the white house. >> richard nixon is leaving us with one notable legacy, proof that the american system does work. that there is equal justice under the law. and the public office must always be regarded as a public trus
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trust. >> i walked out to the helicopter where the old man gave the double d, putting the best face on the worst moment of his life. trying to show that he was not broken. and so i go in the helicopter, and take off for the last time. it was over. >> we think that when we suffer a defeat that all has ended. not true. because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. and so i say to you on this occasion others may hate you. those who hate you don't win. unless you hate them.
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and then you destroy yourself. i must say to you that the state of the union is not good. >> well these people, somehow, turn politics into power and make the government work. >> we are privileged to witness a significant achievement in the cause of peace. >> what was once a distant foreign policy issue has become a domestic issue. >> there is no malaise in the spirit of this country. >> we can turn this country around and we can turn our economy around and the time to do it is now. ♪


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