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tv   Watergate Blueprint for a Scandal  CNN  June 12, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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>> the president and the congress tonight are actually on a collision course. he will not give them any white house recordings. >> i realized if that information ever comes out, it's the end of the nixon presidency. good evening. in recent months, members of my administration and officials of the committee for the reelection of the president, including some of my closest friends have been charged with involvement in what has come to be known as the watergate affair. i will do everything in my power to ensure that the guilty are brought to justice and that such abuses are purged from our
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political processes in the years to come, long after i have left this office. i looked at my own calendar this morning as i was working on this speech. it showed exactly 1361 days remaining in my term. i want these to be the best days in america's history. god bless america, and god bless each and every one of you. >> central to the problems faced by president nixon is the watergate tapes and their tangled history. fred graham traces that story. >> it all began suddenly when an obscure former white house official named alexander butterfield appeared as a surprise witness before the senate watergate committee. >> are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the oval office of
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the president? >> i was aware of listening devices, yes, sir. >> when i got the confirmation that there was a taping system, i was elated. they would tell much more than i could even remember about what had happened in those conversations. >> my mind is not a tape recorder. it does recall impressions of conversations very well. >> everybody realized that this was a major breakthrough in the chase. >> what would be the best way to reconstruct those conversations, mr. butterfield, in the president's oval office? >> well, in the obvious manner, mr. dash, to obtain the tape and play it. >> during the watergate period, there had been a revolving door at the department of justice.
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john mitchell is succeeded by richard kleindienst. richard kleindienst is forced to resign and is replaced by elliot richardson. >> elliot richardson, highly regarded, a republican from massachusetts, was nominated by nixon to be attorney general. and the senate said to him we like you, we respect you, but if you don't appoint a special prosecutor, we're not going confirm you. >> attorney general elliot richardson chose archibald cox, a friend, to be the special prosecutor. i'm told cox was the incarnation of a nixonian nightmare. he distrusted kennedys and anybody who had worked for kennedy. so the fact that a harvard professor who worked in the kennedy administration was his purchase sewer was a nightmare come to life for richard nixon. >> archibald cox was a law professor. he hired prosecutors who did
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know what they were doing. the one i happened to deal with a good bit, because he was the head of the watergate task force, was richard ben-veniste. >> i had been head of the attorney general's office. i joined the special prosecutor's office. there were a number of young lawyers who comprised the watergate task force. >> i was working in a public interest law firm, and i got a phone call. they said we need somebody for the watergate task force. and i got hired. >> unlike the well publicized senate inquiry under sam ervin, the cox investigators aren't merely trying to get at the facts, but are trying to decide who if anyone needs arresting. >> the watergate task force was charged with investigating the cover-up case and then prosecuting the case against
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nixon's highest level associates. >> we occupied some spare offices of the justice department. and of course we were supposed to be very confidential. the issue came up what kind of security do we want? archibald cox said well, why don't you just tell them whatever j. edgar hoover has, that's exactly what we want. >> the cox investigators say they want minimum publicity and maximum security. the permanent police guard uses telephones that are regularly checked for wiretaps and an elaborate system of passes keep journalists well away from offices where documents are kept. >> and the press was of course very interested, as they should be, in getting whatever information they could get. and it was clear that we could not have any leaks, and we didn't. and we could not divulge information inadvertently that might compromise the investigation.
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>> we had the benefit of the irvin committee's work. we had the benefit of the original prosecutors from the u.s. attorney's office who had tried the burglars in the first case. and established relationships with the principle witnesses, and eventually, we were able to get the cooperation of john dean. >> in order to testify in congress, dean got what's called use immunity, which means we would not be able to prosecute him using anything that he had disclosed in his testimony. archibald cox felt very strongly that dean had to be kept accountable for what he did. >> we looked for and found an area that he had not testified to under the grant of immunity that the senate committee had given him, which had to do with
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making promises that made their way to mccord of clemency, if mccord was to keep quiet. >> mr. dean was in a position where he should have very helpful information. and i'm sure he will give us all the help regarding information that he can. >> john was faced with a crossroads. he could either accept his responsibility with a guilty plea, or he could fight. >> what richard didn't know is i had already decided to plead. we just had withheld that information until we were sure that they were going to go the distance and go after the nixon tapes. >> dean, who met prosecutor cox for the first time today, clutched his wife's hand as he left the courtroom. >> i knew i would be the government's key witness in the trial of mitchell, haldeman and ehrlichman. i knew at the time that i was blowing up my career, my future.
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i knew i'd be living with this for a long time. >> he has agreed to testify for the prosecution in later trials, and sirica will not prosecute him until those trials are over. >> was i in a fight with the president of the united states? you bet i was. and not one that i had chosen, but one that he had made inevitable. (vo) singing, or speaking. reason, or fun. daring, or thoughtful. sensitive, or strong.
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exist of the taping, we had the obligation to try to get them. >> without the prosecutors getting possession of key tape, it would be my word against everyone else, and i had no doubt these people were going to lie. >> after months of talk, the president and the congress tonight are actually on a collision course. the issue is executive privilege, which mr. nixon today invoked when he told both the urban committee and prosecutor archibald cox that he will not give them any white house recordings. >> cox had requested nine tapes. nixon didn't want him to get any of them. >> the president said he won't release the tapes pour the following reasons. he says the tapes would not settle what the committee wants to know and that the tapes are consistent with what he has said is the truth. >> we had made a request for production of the tapes. the white house sat on that, and then finally we decided we need to subpoena them. >> nixon tried to invoke
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executive privilege to try to prevent the release of tapes which had been requested by subpoena. executive privilege is intended to allow the president to engage in candid and confidential discussions with his advisers and staff in the execution of his presidential duties. >> this principle of confidentiality of presidential conversations is at stake in the question of these tapes. i must and i shall oppose any efforts to destroy this principle. >> nixon's taping system was unique because he had total control over the tapes. there is no way anybody else in the government could get those tapes without going to court and getting an order. >> the president moved to quash the subpoenas. and he lost in the district court before judge sirica. he lost in the court of appeals
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for the district of columbia. >> there was a deadline, by which time the white house had to turn over the tapes. and nixon wanted to end the process. >> the stennis compromise was something promoted by elliot richardson as a way to satisfy nixon and satisfy cox. >> the "stestennis compromise w one of several desperate employees the white house made to avoid turning over the tapes. >> the white house proposed that john stennis would be given transcripts and would verify them by listening to the tapes, and his word would settle what was the special prosecutor would get. john stennis at that time was an elderly southern senator who was partially deaf an recovering from a mugging. >> based on evidence i have now, i think they are authentic.
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>> the idea that senator stennis could give a useful, much less definitive account of the tapes was ludicrous. >> why would you have stennis listen to the tapes and verify their content, which just creates hearsay in the law? he couldn't use it in court. it would be objected to. >> as the denouement of the confrontation between the president and archibald cox came to its point, archie cox decided to publicly explain why it was he could not accept the so-called stennis compromise. >> it appeared that the recordings of conversations in the white house would be relevant to getting the truth about those incidents. last night we were told that the court order would not be obeyed. >> even though this was a supposed compromise, it was i think pretty easy for archibald
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cox to say that is not close. >> i think it is my duty to bring to the court's attention which seems to me noncompliance with the court's order. >> it was easy to reject because it's not admissible evidence. >> we all dispersed. nothing happens in washington on a saturday night. so we all went home and went about our business. >> so i happen to be watching television with mo, and the program was interrupted. >> all hell broke loose. >> good evening. the country tonight is in the midst of what may be the most serious constitutional crisis in its history. the president has fired the special watergate prosecutor archibald cox. >> a saturday night massacre. you really began to think that democracy was unraveling. >> elliot richardson has quit saying he cannot carry out mr.
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nixon's instructions. richardson's deputy williams r ruckles house has been fired to a obey a order to fire the special prosecutor. >> i looked at mo and she looked at me and she said "what does this mean?" i said "i don't know, it's not a good sign." >> on the evening of the saturday night massacre, the fbi was ordered to come into our office and seal the office, make sure that nothing was removed and take over essentially our space. >> all of the sudden the place was overrun with fbi agents. it was chaos. there were a number of people in the office who took memoranda and put them in safe deposit boxes, all the evidence that we had that would be used if we ever tried to prosecute the president. i took that and i hid it in my
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grandmother's basement in arlington. >> the saturday night massacre was a disaster for richard nixon, and one of the worst decisions he made as president. he didn't set it up. he didn't brace people. no one really understood why he was doing it. he was doing it because cox was challenging his presidential authority. >> i think everybody had questions. where is this going to go? is the rule of law under serious attack? are we going to get justice here? is nixon going to get away with this? >> and the thing is what do you do with a president who insists on firing somebody? >> special counsel robert mueller has been investigating whether trump's campaign included with russia. trump has criticized mueller's investigation as a witch hunt. >> it's a dangerous, dangerous thing when you're able as the president of the united states to get rid of those people that are investigating you. simply because they're not on your agenda. >> president trump could instruct his attorney general to fire robert mueller. but because of his role in the campaign, sessions recused
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himself from the russia investigation. so if sessions is forced out, trump could appoint an attorney general who would fire mueller. >> when you ask what the importance of the saturday night massacre was, i think about jeff session. whatever you think about the way he led the justice department, there is a lot to criticize there, the one thing that he did was ethical and sound and moral, he recused himself from the entire russia probe. and that is one of the things that led to the appointment of an independent counsel. watergate and other moments of scandal and other events that show the fragility of democracy show something else too, the power and honor and strength of good people.
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i think what really started to get the attention of the country that perhaps we had a criminal president of the united states was the saturday night massacre. that was such a stunning event that the president of the united states would do this so obviously to cover up the truth. >> he isn't above the law. no one should be. >> it's a complete shattering of morale in this country. >> i don't think the american people should stand for it any longer. >> i think it's amazing that the country is not already fighting in the streets. he has divided the country that much. >> i think we need a new president with more stability. >> most americans had voted for
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richard nixon in november 1972. 11 months later, most americans were telling congress you've got to do something about the president we just elected. >> more than 50,000 telegrams poured in on capitol hill today. so many western union was swamped. most of them demanded impeaching mr. nixon. >> the tipping point for impeachment was not the revelation of the tapes. it was not john zein's testimony. it took the saturday night massacre and the american people's understanding that something terribly bad had happened, and they wanted congress to act. >> resolutions to impeach the president headed toward the house floor from a dozen offices today. chairman peter rodino promised to move ahead. >> rodino understood, and he decided that it would be best to
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have a republican be the chief lawyer for the committee. he found john doerr, and i think that was really a key signal about how the impeachment was going to work, that we could never proceed with impeachment, unless we brought republicans along. >> there was such a storm that nixon was forced to have another special prosecutor appointed. >> next week, the acting attorney general mr. bourque will appoint a new special prosecutor for what is called the watergate matter. it's time for those who are guilty to be prosecuted and for those who are innocent to be cleared. >> when i heard the announcement that leon jaworski was to become special prosecutor, i knew leon. >> congratulations. >> thank you, sir. >> i knew leon was perceived by the white house as somebody who wouldn't rock the boat. they thought he was a safe bet he wouldn't go after the president. >> many of us were very
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skeptical about whether jaworski would show the same independence that archie cox did. after all, it was nixon who picked jaworski, the same folks who had fired cox. >> leon jaworski did i think win us over at least initially pretty quickly. he came and addressed everyone. he said "i'm not bringing anybody with me. i'm here. i'm relying on you, and i'm here to do the right kind of job." >> whatever i conceive to be necessary in order to perform my function properly, i'm going ask for. if i don't receive it, i'm going to proceed to undertake to get it. >> it's around this time that richard nixon very quickly caved and honored the outstanding subpoena to supply the tapes that had been requested, some
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nine conversations. the reason he had to turn over those tapes is the public outcry. >> do you think he should give up the tapes? >> give up and get out. >> definitely, yes. >> i think he should give up the tapes. >> so the task force received the tapes, put them up on a real to real recorder, and we chose the march 21 cancer on the presidency tape as the first one we would listen to. >> i think that there is no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we've got. we have a cancer close to the presidency that's growing. it's growing daily. it's compounding. it grows geometrically now. one, we're being blackmailed. two, people are going to start perjuring themselves very quick quickly that have not had to perjure themselves to protect other people and the like and there's no assurance. >> that it won't bust.
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>> it is worse for the president. it's stronger. and we just looked at each other and said "he's toast." >> arrangement for me to mitchell initiating it in discussions that i was present, that these guys had to be taken care of. their attorney fees had to be done. john is involved in that. i am involved in that. mitchell is involved in that. and that's obstruction of justice. >> we played this tape for leon jaworski, and he said, well, this man is not going to be president for that long. >> this was unthinkable that this evidence actually existed and was now in our hands. >> i would say these people are going to cost a million dollars over the next two years.
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>> holy shit, this is unbelievable. the president has now confessed to forwarding a conspiracy to obstruct justice. ♪ ♪ we move with presence. from our creative style... to our thoughtful innovations. giving us the power to handle any moment with confidence. if anyone says stay in our lane, we show them every road they travel was inspired by us. empower your presence in the all-new lexus lx 600. new lash paradise mascara from l'oreal paris.
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when nixon's tapes were released, i knew that this would straighten everything out, because i knew they would corroborate my testimony. and there was just no question in my mind that the nixon presidency was over. it was just a question of time. >> to hear nixon talking like a mobster to his mobster colleagues, it was a revelation. that's part of why leon jaworski, the first time he heard the first tape, he knew that we needed to get more tapes for the trial of haldeman, ehrlichman and mitchell than we had already received. so we issued a trial subpoena for 64 tapes to use at the trial of nixon's aides. >> nixon himself had hoped to stonewall. but his team said to him, mr. president, the american people need you to cooperate because if you don't cooperate, it's admission of guilt. >> good evening. i have asked for this time tonight in order to announce my answer to the subpoena for
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additional watergate tapes. in these folders are more than 1200 pages of transcripts of private conversations i participated in with regard to watergate. >> what nixon tried to do was to queue a line where he would give just enough to make people think that he was cooperating without giving away the goods. >> they dumped these poorly done transcripts of dozens and dozens of tapes into the public domain. they weren't that accurate, some of them. but this is the first time the public had seen much of anything about the nixon tapes, and people were reading this and saying, you know, holy shit, look at this stuff. >> that's one of the most fascinating things that's just about ever happened. nobody has ever gotten an inside look at how big politics is, how the white house operates. the white house itself. >> the nixon transcripts. >> reporters would get together, and we'd get the transcripts in
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front of us, and we'd read them. >> mr. president? >> how much money do you need. >> dean. >> i would say these people are going to cost two million over the next two year. >> the president -- >> we can get that. >> this was sort of like a stennis compromise 2.0 saying take these, you don't really need the tapes. but again, the whole point is you can't carry somebody else's transcripts into trial and say accept this as evidence. and leon jaworski knew we needed to get more tapes for the trial than we had already received. and so he pressed that all the way to the supreme court. >> the usually pristine exterior of the supreme court building is littered with curious spectators littered with combatants. james st. clare, then special prosecutor leon jaworski arrived for contest. >> nobody had ever done this, this issue of executive privilege had never really been embodied in the law.
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so the idea that a president tapes himself, and does he really have an obligation to turn these over and under what circumstances? >> executive privilege is not bl absolute. it must be applied to official duties, not illegal acts. >> it was all completely untried territory. >> at 11:00 this morning, the supreme court of the united states ruled unanimously against the president of the united states in the case which not only limits the power of his office but the power of future presidents. does the president have an absolute unqualified privilege to keep his conversations confidential? no, not all presidential materials are immune from judicial process. >> for the supreme court to say this is a slam-dunk was really important to our credibility. >> everybody was obviously elated. it was a key decision. they had well argued it. >> ultimately, the u.s. supreme court did the right thing. every branch of government did
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the right thing. now thinking as a member of the house judiciary committee, what's our responsibility? how do we act on it? we had to do it in the right way, and that took a very long time. you had to study the constitutional provision about impeachment. then we had to find out what the facts were. that was when we got the presentation and all these black three-week notebooks that we had to keep in our safes. they were super secret and we were hearing this evidence behind closed doors. and that took weeks and weeks and weeks. and then we had hearing which the republicans requested with witnesses. and then we came up to the process of actually having debate and voting on the articles of impeachment. >> resolved. the richard m. nixon, president of the united states is impeached for a high crimes and misdemeanors. and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the senate. >> in the end, the facts were so clear that they convinced almost
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a third of the republican members of the committee that impeachment not only was justified theoretically, but that they themselveses would have to vote for it. >> i. >> i. >> i. >> i. >> i. >> i. >> i. >> aye. >> aye. >> it's one of the most unpleasant things i've ever had to do in my life. >> ms. holtzman? >> iowa aye. >> 27 members have voted aye. 11 members have voted no. >> and pursuant to the regulation article i, that resolution is adopted and will be reported to the house. >> it was good blueprint for how things should be handled. it with so fair and so thorough and so bipartisan that i thought it would never happen again that we'd set the lesson for future
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presidents. we have a different kind of dilemma today, which is not only that we don't have the same kind of people of courage and character who are in congress and the senate, but we don't have a basic set of facts so that the american people can make the kinds of judgments they need to make. and that's a very grave threat to us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ introducing the all-new infiniti qx60. take on your wild world in style. ♪
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the impeachment hearings, the republican senators finally decided this was enough. >> there were signs of continued erosion of the president's position. mr. nixon learned this first hand this afternoon when he invited the republican leaders of the house and the senate, along with senator barry goldwater, down to the white house. >> nixon is kind of joking around. i know i'm going to be impeached in the house. so what's going to happen in the senate? goldwater. one of the great moments in presidential history said "mr. president, you have five votes, and one of them is not mine." the next night, nixon announced on television that he was resigning. >> good evening. this is the 37th time i have spoken to you from this office throughout the long and
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difficult period of watergate, i have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me. to leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. but as president, i must put the interests of america first. >> what america and the world saw in 1974 was the most powerful man in the world lose his job. and for anyone who doubted the strength of the u.s. constitution, what they witnessed removed those doubts. >> i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. vice president ford will be sworn in as president at that hour in this office. >> the night nixon announced he was resigning, ben bradlee, the editor ran around the newsroom,
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"don't gloat." he understood we played a role and we had experienced the grand inquisition of our country. >> the first reaction was of awe that the country and the president had come to this. these elements coming together and the system working. >> to see a person fall from such heights in such disgrace was a sad thing. >> it was the next day when he gave his little talk to the staff that i thought he has finally got it. >> sure we've done some things wrong in this administration, and the top man always takes the responsibility. and i've never ducked it. >> at one point he says in essence that i did this to myself. >> others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them.
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and then you destroy yourself. >> of course it was the poison of hate that destroyed him. and ended his presidency, something he had worked for all of his life. >> thank you very much. >> he was actually kind of gracious in his departure. it was a very profound moment. it was not theatrical. he was being himself, as natural as i'd ever seen him in all the years i'd watched him. >> the president now at the door. a final wave. >> i felt no vindication in nixon's resignation. i thought that the wounds of watergate were going to be sore for a long time. >> mr. ford came out to perform this sad and final function as
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vice president. farewell wave now. the waves are over and the helicopter leaves. >> it was over. the tension in the country, it just deflated. and jerry ford came in. he was smart enough to say i'm the un-nixon. >> my fellow americans, our long national nightmare is over. >> i was asleep. carl called me up and said have you heard? i hadn't heard a thing. >> the son of a bitch pardoned the son of a bitch. >> i gerald ford, president of the united states have granted and by these presence to grant a full, free and absolute pardon unto richard nixon. >> the amazing thing is both bob and myself thought for a good while that this was a horrible
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thing that ford had done. but both of us came to realize gradually that this was a great act of courage by gerald ford. in that part, gerald ford knew that he was going to run the risk of not being reelected. >> i was not totally surprised by it. it would have only gotten worse, and it would have overshadowed his presidency. and otherwise the beginning of the ford presidency would have all been about nixon's trial. in the long-term, though, it's had a terribly negative effect in that it's placed presidents above the law. they are somebody special. how do you prosecute a president? how does a president get a fair trial? these are serious issues. >> before i went in for my sentencing, i had been in witness protection program. i had testified. i had no idea what sirica would do. i was a little surprised when he gave me one to four years.
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>> for john dean, the anticipation ended and his prison sentence began as he was delivered to the u.s. courthouse in the custody of u.s. marshals. >> the facility that they placed me in was at fort holbert. they wanted to keep me near washington. it's while i'm serving my sentence and being brought into the court regularly, on the stand for two weeks in the trial of mitchell, haldeman, and ehrlichman, right after nixon had been pardoned by ford. >> h.r. haldeman, who was mr. nixon's chief of staff was indicted for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. john ehrlichman, who was the chief domestic aide indicted on charges solve conspiracy, on instruction of justice and lying. john mitchell, the former attorney general indicted on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury
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and lying. >> they would have after many, many months, deliberation all be convicted. >> 30 months to eight years. the sentences were actually heavier, but each man will serve some of his sentences concurrently. ehrlichman got the same, 2 1/2 years minimum. >> if i can go back and do one thing and one thing only in connection with my work in washington, it would be to a state of the department of justice and not have gone to the white house. i should have insisted. listen, i can't handle this. this is out of my league. i don't have criminal law experience, and you've got to find somebody else to handle it. i should have done that. and there might have been no watergate. there might have been no john dean in watergate had i done that.
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i didid't t kn whahatmy c caswa, so i called the barnes firm. i'm rich barnes. it's hard for people to k how much their accident case is worth.h barnes. t ouour juryry aorneneys hehelpou since watergate, we've had a number of major political scandals. iran/contra, for example. >> a few months ago i told the american people i did not trade arms for hostages. there are reasons why it happened, but no excuses. it was a mistake. >> the monica lewinsky matter. >> i want you to listen to me. i'm going to say this again. i did not have sexual relations with that woman. >> we've had the bush administration. >> we've begun the search for
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hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. our coalition will stay until our work is done. and we will leave behind a free iraq. >> we've had scandals come. we've had them go. i've never seen such chaos. i've never seen a president less capable than we went through with the trump white house. >> watergate was a time in the united states history when we saw legitimately for the first time a president make a determination that he's above the law. and what it really did is it gave a road map to donald trump in terms of how to destroy our democracy in one fell swoop. >> donald trump is richard nixon on steroids and stilts. all the norms that were established post watergate, he just ignored. >> the nixon administration
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accepted certain norms. it violated them, but accepted them. it twisted the constitution but did not destroy it. with donald trump, the constitution is just another piece of paper standing in his way. >> to serve, protect and defend. >> the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the united states. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> if you elect someone who actually doesn't care about anything but himself, then that person is in a position to exploit the fragility of democracy, and that i think has been on display for the last number of years. >> nearly 200 dead, 14,000 sick. millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now. what do you say to americans who are watching you right now who are scared? >> i say you're a terrible reporter. that's what i say. >> it's not just that trump did one bad thing. >> i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. >> trump's actions are premised on a lie that erodes the
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fundamental building block of our democracy, which is our elections and the peaceful transfer of power. watergate was discrete event. it was almost a contained situation. what we're dealing with now is not just misconduct or potential criminality by the president, but that underlying it all is a lie that keeps getting repeated over and over again. >> make no mistake, this election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country, and not a single swing state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots. >> that's something that's much harder to contain. that has long-term implications for how people view the legitimacy of our government. >> and we fight. we fight like hell. and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. >> the most enduring comment about watergate is that the
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system worked. but the system almost didn't work. without specific individuals committed to the constitution like judge sirica, archibald cox, leon jaworski, the system wouldn't have worked, and we would not have been able to uncover the evidence and make the case that we did. and as we see what happened in the last administration of donald trump, our democracy is fragile. it depends on people dedicated to enforcing those laws and upholding the norms and traditions of our society. >> i hope the country understands where it's going. the difference between now and watergate is that by the time nixon fired the special prosecutor, the american people understood what was at stake. and they said, you know, we don't want a president who engaged in that, and we want to know the truth. what's happened to the american
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people since then. >> you traitor, you traitor! >> 50 years later, what we have learned from watergate is almost nothing. it had no lasting impact, and it's a story we shouldn't forget. to most, watergate was a political scandal, but for me, it changed my life. >> john dean was released without bail. in a statement see says he will not be the watergate scapegoat. >> i find lots of memories are buried in these boxes. >> i'm trying to share what i learned. i'm also trying to warn people about what i observed and how fragile the system is. we shouldn't forget the story of watergate. it was an important lesson.
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it was a threat to democracy. not as serious as the threats today, but the basic story, because it's a piece of our history and if we lose it and forget it, democracy will pay the price. the following is a cnn special report. a nation torn apart by lies. >> i say it's treason! >> one man has been preaching disinformation for decades, alex jones. >> we will never give up. we will never surrender. >> spreading extremism. >> joe biden, burn in hell! >> convincing millions of followers. >> alex, alex, alex! >> damaging lies. >> alex jones lied about sandy hook, the tragedy that i lost my son in. >> tonight, thur

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