Bridging the Political Gap artwork

Episode 115: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 15) Two Roads, the Special Prosecutors and the Ervin Committee

Bridging the Political Gap

English - June 24, 2022 09:00 - 1 hour - 45.2 MB - ★★★★★ - 2 ratings
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In this episode we look at the start of the Ervin Committee Hearings as the Congress begins bringing the various players of Watergate out in front of the American people on national television.  We listen to the members of the press as they look back at a different era when the news of the day could grab an enormous audience because there were only three networks. Then we learn all about the make up of the committee and how it would structure the hearings.  Basically, as a legislative show trial in which the accused had no rights and in which what they said would be used against them later. 

Then we move on to the early stages of the hearing itself and listen in to various moments from the testimony of the burglars themselves, the officers that made the arrest, and finally to those in charge of the campaign. Jeb Magruder, Hugh Sloan, Maurice Stans and finally the former Attorney General himself John Mitchell. He will face a barrage of questions from several Senators and he holds his ground fairly well.

Then we turn to the big moment of the Ervin Hearings, the testimony of former White House Counsel John Dean. This is where you will see the extreme partisanship that had begun to grip the investigative process. John Dean is protected by the Democratic staffers by being allowed to keep his testimony and written statement private until literally he walked out in front of the cameras forcing the Republicans to study all of the written material as they listened to the testimony as it was televised. They literally had no time to plan out or even think about questions to ask. 

It does not get any better over at Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox's office as he begins to staff up for his investigation. He is hiring nothing but the most partisan and most determined lawyers he can find, all alumni of the Kennedy - Johnson Justice Department and Administration. The very failed Administrations Richard Nixon had swept from power.