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Time Magazine, cover illustration by Jack Davis, April 30, 1973

The Watergate scandal dominated the news in April 1973, as the discovery of more links between the break-in and the Nixon administration led to the resignation or firing of top presidential staff and the attorney general. The Senate Watergate Committee began televised hearings in May to investigate these connections.

From TIME, 2017. © 1959 TIME Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this content without express written permission is prohibited.

Clockwise from top, surrounding President Richard M. Nixon: White House aide Jeb Magruder; White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman; White House Counsel John Dean; Attorney General John Mitchell; Maurice Stans, financial chairman of the Committee for the Re-election of the President; and James McCord, security director for the reelection committee and one of the Watergate burglars.

Time Magazine

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