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Old 10-09-2019, 12:31 AM
davidmich is offline
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Question regarding the Watergate Hearing tapes


Hi

When did the White House tapes that incriminated Nixon first surface? Which committee (committee members) first listened to them?

5 minutes and 52 seconds into the video this journalist(Chris Ruddy) says that "when Watergate started, nobody had even heard of the Watergate tapes". Nobody?

Trump ally warns of 'mortal threat' to his presidency

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_asmljN44d4

I look forward to your feedback.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmich View Post
Trump ally warns of 'mortal threat' to his presidency

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_asmljN44d4
Moderator Note

Since this is not directly relevant to the specific question in the OP, let's refrain from commenting on it. Stick to the question in the OP.

Colibri
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmich View Post
When did the White House tapes that incriminated Nixon first surface? Which committee (committee members) first listened to them?

5 minutes and 52 seconds into the video this journalist(Chris Ruddy) says that "when Watergate started, nobody had even heard of the Watergate tapes". Nobody?
Almost nobody aside from Nixon, his aides, and the Secret Service.

From here:


Quote:
On February 16, 1971, a taping system was installed in two rooms in the White House, namely, the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room.[3] Three months later, microphones were added to President Nixon's private office in the Old Executive Office Building and the following year microphones were installed in the presidential lodge at Camp David.[8] The system was installed and monitored by the Secret Service, and the tapes were stored in a room in the White House basement.[8]
Quote:
By design, only very few individuals (apart from Nixon and Haldeman) knew of the existence of the taping system: Butterfield, Haldeman's assistant Lawrence Higby, and the Secret Service technicians who had installed it.[3]
Quote:
The existence of the White House taping system was first confirmed by Senate Committee staff member Donald Sanders, on July 13, 1973, in an interview with White House aide Alexander Butterfield. Three days later, it was made public during the televised testimony of Butterfield, when he was asked about the possibility of a White House taping system by Senate Counsel Fred Thompson.[12]

On July 16, 1973, Butterfield told the committee in a televised hearing that Nixon had ordered a taping system installed in the White House to automatically record all conversations. Special Counsel Archibald Cox, a former United States Solicitor General under President John F. Kennedy, asked District Court Judge John Sirica to subpoena nine relevant tapes to confirm the testimony of White House Counsel John Dean.[13]
Since the Watergate Hearings had started on May 17, 1973, they had been underway for a couple of months before the bombshell hit.

Last edited by Colibri; 10-09-2019 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:32 AM
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It was a big deal. Up to that point, all of the evidence had been based on testimony. The conflicts made it clear somebody was lying but there was no way to establish who was testifying truthfully. The tapes suddenly opened the possibility of having objective evidence. So the whole focus of the investigation shifted to being about getting access to the tapes (or, from the other side, denying access to the tapes).
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:46 AM
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And interestingly, Nixon's lawyers argued that he should be allowed to keep this evidence hidden, and ignore subpoenas. This is the exact argument that Trump's lawyers are using today.

In fact, they are arguing that the unanimous decision, United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) (ordering release of the tapes) was a wrong decision by the supreme court of the day, and would not happen today, therefore, President Trump should be allowed to ignore subpoenas or instruct others to ignore subpoenas.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:03 AM
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Judge Howell's response to that: "Wow."
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:11 AM
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As for who first listened to them, the answer is no one, until after the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to release the tapes on July 29, 1974..

On August 5 Nixon turned over the "smoking gun" tape to Department of Justice Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski, who surrendered them to the House Judiciary Committee.

At that point ten members of the Committee who previously had supported Nixon, publicly announced they would vote for impeachment. They were joined by the House Republican leader, John Rhodes. On August 7 a delegation of Republican Senators told Nixon the Senate would vote to convict him, and the next night, Nixon announced he would resign.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:21 PM
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1. While Nixon vs. The United States was unanimous, it was an 8-0 vote. Rehnquist sat out due to ties to the Nixon administration. So don't make the mistake of thinking it was a 9-0 decision.

2. Outside people were listening to some of the tapes much earlier than July 1974. E.g., the infamous 18 1/2 gap tape was being examined by November of 1973. (This tape was made 3 days after the break in. Forensic analysis proved that there were at least 5 separate erasures made by hand. So the Rosemary Woods story was debunked and she was lying.)
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