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August 09, 1974 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-08-09

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Friday, August 9, 1974


Page Eevenr

Nixon steps down Ford
to take oath today at noon

(Continued from Page 3)
wrenching experience stronger
than ever," he said.
THE ORDEAL was over. But
at least one member of the
Judiciary Committee - R e p.
James Waldie (D-Calif.)-said
he would have preferred im-
peachment of the President.
"I would much prefer him to
stay in office and let the ma-
chinery continue. He has effec-
tively covered up the cover-up.
He has denied the details. All
we have left is the committee
record," Waldie said. ,
As rumors of the resignation
spread through Washington, the
events which led up to the pres-
ent crisis were gradually pieced
SOMETIME last week, presi-
dential attorney James St. Clair
first heard tapes of a June 23,
1972, conversation in which Nix-
on discusses limiting the Water-
gate investigation.
Those tapes spelled the be-
ginning of the end for the Nixon
presidency. Having listened to
them, St. Clair demanded they
be publicly released.
Nixon, subsequently, called
his leading defender on the
H o u s e Judiciary Committee,
Rep. Charles Wiggins (R-Calif.),
and asked him to come to :he
White House.

IN THAT evening session,
Wiggins, who spent the day
planning defense strategy for
Nixon, became the first person
outside the President's "inner
circle" to hear the tapes.
At one point in the recorded
conversation, Nixon told his
aide H. R. "Bob" Haldeman,
that the Federal Bureau of In-
vestigation should be ordered:
"don't go any further into this
case," referring to the Water-
gate break-in.
Wiggins returned to his office
and tore up his notes on the
Nixon defense. When the tran-
scripts were made available to
the House on Monday, Wiggins
had a statement ready.
"The facts then known to me
have now changed. I am now
possessed of information which
establishes beyond a reasonable
doubt that the President per-
sonally agreed to certain ac-
tions, the purpose and intent of
which would interfere with the
FBI investigation of the Water-
gate incident," he said.
CHOKING back tears, he an-
nounced his vote would be for
impeachment should the issue
reach the House floor.
It appeared that no more
than SO votes in the House of
Representatives would be cast
for Nixon.

White House Chief of Staff
Alexander Haig released tape
transcripts to the public later
on Monday.
For the nation, and for many
White House aides, the unbe-
lievable had happened. In ef-
fect, the President of the United
States had confessed to obstruc-
tion of justice.
Even some members of the
President's defense team were
unprepared for the news.
"I was dismayed . . I had
the feeling it was going to be
bad, I was dismayed," said a
junior member of St. Clair's
legal team, who first learned of
the tapes only as Haig released
THE AIDE said he had no
previous knowledge that Nixon
had put a cover-up plan into
motion just five days after the
Watergate break-in.
Beginning on Tuesday morn-
ing, crowds kept vigil at the
White House.
Vice President Gerald Ford
cancelled a speaking engage-
merit that day and attended a

hastily called cabinet meeting.
Rumors raced through the
masses - Nixon was going to
At that cabinet meeting, how-
ever, Nixon told his staff that
he intended to stay in office.
BUT IN THE House, support
for the President rapidly evap-
orated. All 10 members of the
Judiciary Committee who had
backed Nixon during the im-
peachment hearings declared
they would vote for his trial
by the Senate.
"Had this evidence been
known to me during the in-
quiry," Rep. Edward Hutchin-
son (R-Mich.) the ranking Re-
publican on the Judiciary Com-
mittee said, "I would have voted
for impeachment. After the
(Monday) revolation, I feel that
I have been deceived."
The crowds gathered at the
White House again on Wednes-
day. They stood three and four
deep around the fence that
guards the White iouse.
The day passed and nothing

Early yesterday fewer people
came to the Executive Mansion
as rain drizzled down on those
waiting some word on the Presi-
dent's plans.
Some persons talked openly
about a Ford presidency. They
believed it would bring a bene-
ficial change to a weakened
government and country.
"If Ford gets in, something
great is going to happen," one
visitor from Kalamazoo said.
"It's a foregone conclusion-
Nixon is going to resign," re-
marked another person. "But
you feel a little guilty about it,
watching some one die."
The $71 million Harry S. Tru-
man Sports Complex in Kansas
City is the site of the world's
only side-by-side baseball and
football stadia. The ,American
League Royals play in the
42,000-seat Royals Stadium and
the 78,000-seat Arrowhead Sta-
dium is home to the Chiefs, for-
mer Super Bowl champs.

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