9 August 1974: Nixon resigns, having destroyed the faith of the people, the officials, Congress and his own Republican Party
There can only be relief among America’s adversaries and her friends at the resignation of President Nixon. It became obvious weeks ago that even if Mr Nixon was to survive an impeachment by one or two votes, he would have no authority to push his policies through Congress. He had become a duck with two lame feet. The uncertainty and confusion in the capital of the Western world had continued for too long, and it was not only America’s allies who were concerned by the vacuum. Both the Soviet Union and China were unhappy with such an unstable situation. Neither was able to make intelligent predictions about policies.
With his statement earlier this week – in essence a guilty plea to the impeachment charge of obstruction of justice – Mr Nixon was only left with a choice of resigning or being removed by Congress. With the release of the latest White House tapes it is clear that Mr Nixon was going to be impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate. The tapes proved that in spite of his persistent denials, Mr Nixon had not only known about the Watergate cover-up but ordered it.