This day in 1974, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives passed the first of five proposed articles of impeachment of President Richard Nixon. Three were passed. The chronology was as follows:
- 1972 - June – Five men connected with Richard Nixon’s reelection committee, the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), were caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee HQ in the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. Investigation revealed illegal activities authorized by senior Nixon staff.
- 1973 - May – The Senate started an investigation into the Watergate scandal. Nixon denied involvement. (In November 1973, he said, “I am not a crook.”)
- 1974 - April – The Senate requested tapes. Nixon released some, but withheld others, claiming executive privilege.
- July 24 – The Supreme Court rejected executive privilege and ordered Nixon to turn over the remaining tapes.
- July 27 – Nixon having refused, the Judiciary Committee passed the first of five proposed articles of impeachment against Nixon for obstruction of justice. This article was forwarded to the full House of Representatives, as were two others. This started the process of impeachment, but Nixon was not formally impeached, because:
- August 5 – Nixon released the remaining tapes.
- August 8 – Nixon avoided a full vote on impeachment by the House and then a Senate trial by becoming the first president to resign.