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Hearings . . . pursuant to . . . A Resolution authorizing . . . the Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether . . . to impeach Richard M. Nixon

The House Committee on the Judiciary initiated hearings in February 1974 to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach President Richard Nixon. The committee resolved to charge Nixon with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. As the House was poised to vote on the articles of impeachment, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, thereby avoiding a Senate trial.

Publications of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration

Resolution authorizing impeachment of Richard M. Nixon Resolution authorizing impeachment of Richard M. Nixon

Congress Confronts President Richard Nixon

Burglars broke into the Democratic National Committee’s offices at the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. in June of 1972, an incident that would erupt into a constitutional crisis over the next two years. Evidence linking the intruders with President Richard Nixon’s reelection committee led to a Senate investigation, which confirmed White House ties to the break-in and revealed Nixon’s attempts to interfere with the investigation. The investigation led to a historic confrontation between the legislative and executive branches, with the House Committee on the Judiciary voting to impeach Nixon.

The Framers confined in the Congress the power if need be to remove the President in order to strike a delicate balance between a President . . . grown tyrannical and preservation of the independence of the Executive. The nature of impeachment is a narrow . . . exception to the separation of powers maxim.

Representative Barbara Jordan of Texas, Statement on the Articles of Impeachment of President Richard Nixon, July 25, 1974