May 9, 1974
The House Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings.
July 24, 1974
The United States v. Richard Nixon: The Supreme Court decides 8-0 that the president must surrender the subpoenaed tapes, denying his claim of executive privilege.
July 27-30, 1974
The House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment against the president:
- Obstructing the Watergate investigation
- Misuse of power and violating his oath of office
- Failure to comply with House subpoenas
August 5, 1974
Nixon releases transcripts of three conversations between himself and Haldeman held on June 23, 1972, six days after the Watergate break-in. These transcripts become known as the “smoking gun.” They show that Nixon obstructed justice by ordering the FBI to stop its investigation of the break-in. Other transcripts show he directed a cover-up. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who voted against impeachment announce they will change their vote.
August 7, 1974
Senators Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott and Representative John Rhodes meet with Nixon and advise him that his prospects on Capitol Hill regarding impeachment look “very bad.”
August 8, 1974
President Nixon announces to the nation in a televised address that he will “resign the Presidency, effective at noon tomorrow.”
August 9, 1974
Nixon delivers a farewell speech to his staff, assembled in the East Room of the White House and departs from the South Lawn by helicopter. At noon, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger swears in Vice President Ford as President in an East Room ceremony.
August 19, 1974
A Gallup poll shows 56% of those surveyed believe Nixon “should be tried for possible criminal charges arising from Watergate.”
September 8, 1974
In a surprise Sunday morning announcement, President Ford grants a “full free and absolute” pardon to Nixon for “all offenses against the United States” committed between January 20, 1969 and August 9, 1974.