Gerald Ford - Richard Nixon - Days that Shook the World TV - Bill Moyers - National News - David Reynolds TV - The American Experience: The Presidents TV - Frost/Nixon 2008 - All the President's Men 1976 - Harry Haldeman - Neil Sanders - America’s Book of Secrets TV - Alan Hart - Christopher Hitchens – Dick Cavett’s Watergate TV - Watergate 1994 TV - The Final Report: Watergate TV - All the President’s Men, Revisited TV - Watergate: The Secret Story 1992 - The Trials of Henry Kissinger 2002 - Lamar Waldron - ABC News: Dark Days at the White House TV - Watergate TV - Adam Curtis TV - White House Plumbers TV -
The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election. Gerald Ford
Now, therefore, I, Gerald R Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these present do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974. Gerald Ford
Don’t go any further into this case, period. Richard Nixon, to Bob Haldeman 1972
You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the President. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job. Richard Nixon
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. Richard Nixon, address 30th April 1973
I made my mistakes but in all my years of public life, I have never profited, never profited from public service. I’ve earned every cent. And in all of my years in public life I have never obstructed justice … I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their President in a crook.. Well, I’m not a crook. Richard Nixon, speech press conference 17th November 1973
I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in. I neither took part in it nor knew about any of the subsequent cover-up activities. Richard Nixon, televised address
I have not found an impeachable offence. And therefore resignation is not an acceptable course. Richard Nixon
Well I screwed up real good, didn’t I? Richard Nixon
Therefore I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Richard Nixon
Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon, interview David Frost 1977
I gave ’em a sword. And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish. And I guess if I had been in their position, I’d have done the same thing. ibid.
At the moment Nixon was enjoying his greatest political achievement, the seeds of his eventual downfall were being sown. Reports were coming in of a seemingly insignificant break-in at the Watergate building in Washington. On June 17th 1972 five men were caught installing bugging devises in the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate Complex. Two of the men had CIA connections. Another was James McCord – Nixon’s Public Security Chief. Days that Shook the World s1e10: Assassination of JFK & President Nixon, BBC 2013
Last October Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned over charges of tax evasion. His wasn’t the only resignation of 1973. Domestic Affairs Assistant John Ehrlichman resigned pending trial for Obstruction of Justice. And most damaging of all, the Attorney General John Mitchell, apparently the ring-leader of the Watergate bugging team, was forced to quit. ibid.
In total almost thirty people were imprisoned in connection with Watergate. Richard Nixon remained in California with his family ... In September 1974 President Ford used his position to publicly pardon the former president for all offences against the United States. ibid.
The names still trip off the tongue: Alderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean. The White House crimes known as Watergate. Crimes against democracy. To harass opponents the Nixon White House had set up a secret team called the Plumbers. They bugged phones, opened mail and burglarised the President’s critics. Bill Moyers, The Secret Government: Constitution in Crisis, 1987
At the Pentagon papers trial in California today it was revealed that the people who had burglarised the Watergate also burglarised the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. National television news report
In due course the tapes would prove Nixon’s fatal mistake. David Reynolds, Nixon in the Den, BBC 2015
There was just one minor difficulty for Nixon. The trial in a Washington court of some rather unusual burglars. The Washington Post didn’t usually put local burglaries on its front page. But this one, at the Watergate apartment complex on the Potomac River in June 1972, was not run of the mill. ibid.
Watergate wasn’t a marginal event on the fringe of the Nixon presidency. It was a product of the hardball paranoid politics that had got Tricky Dicky to the top and would now bring him down. Nixon probably didn’t know about Watergate in advance. But he had sanctioned break-ins and wire-taps of opponents through his notorious Plumbers. He had fostered the climate of illegality that had led to Watergate. ibid.
The burglars and their immediate bosses were prosecuted. The press followed up every lead. ibid.
Following the Watergate arrests, Nixon was right at the centre of a cover-up which he delegated to the White House law officer John Dean. ibid.
The Pressure was really getting to Nixon. His hands were shaking. His breath smelt of liquor. The Den was becoming a bunker. It was like May 1970 all over again. But this time there was no way back. His presidency and his personality began to fall apart. ibid.
Watergate wasn’t a strange aberration. It was symptomatic of the back-channel back-stabbing methods by which Nixon’s whole presidency operated. ibid.
Now Dean’s revelations suggested that the Watergate break-in was not an isolated event. The American Experience: The Presidents: Nixon III: The Fall, PBS 1990
What they were doing, what we were all doing, was not criminal. Frost/Nixon 2008 starring Michael Sheen & Frank Langella & Kevin Bacon & Oliver Platt & Sam Rockwell & & Rebecca Hall & Patty McCormack & Toby Jones & Andy Milder & Rance Howard et al, director Ron Howard
I’m saying that when the president does it that means it’s not illegal. ibid.
I brought myself down. I gave them a sword and they stuck it in and they twisted it with relish. ibid.
I let them down. I let down my friends. I let down the country. And worst of all I let down our system of government … I let the American people down. And I’m going to have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life. ibid.