Impeachment Hearings: House Judiciary Committee, July 29...
NPACT guest correspondent Steven HESS of BROOKINGS INSTITUTE discussing the charges against President NIXON in the ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.
HESS says it's logical to think that a person in NIXON'S position, upon finding out that some people had broken into the opponent's political headquarters on his behalf might have been "sucked in" to the coverup to protect his election chances. As for the ABUSE OF POWER charge, it constitutes conscious, planned, intentional actions rather than poor judgement in reaction to a crisis. This makes them much more severe in HESS's opinion. Serious issues of democratic government and CIVIL LIBERTIES are in question with the second ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT.
MURPHY agrees that the second charge is much more severe. Says that the ABUSE OF POWER charge is sort of a new animal, legally speaking. The charge of breaching trust and violating the OATH OF OFFICE is much closer to a civil charge than a criminal one. MURPHY says that this quesiton has never been raised before an American legislative body
Paul DUKE comments that it's been a long day, summarizes the end result of the day, contends that many speeches were very moving, single out Rep. MANN (D-SC), Rep. FLOWERS (D-Ala.), says the point is made that Southern votes will scatter across the spectrum on the issue of IMPEACHMENT. It underscores that PRO-IMPEACHMENT forces are firmly in command in the committee, it may be beginning to gain strength in the HOUSE at large, and speculates that it appears that there may be pressure from REPUBLICAN lawmakers for NIXON to RESIGN.
LEHRER thanks MURPHY and HESS. Previews the next day's hearings, debate on other ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, relating to the CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS, the BOMBING OF CAMBODIA, and PERSONAL INCOME TAX FRAUD.
Says that videotape coverage of the entire day's hearings is coming up
[01.08.33--PBS network ID]
[Promos for PBS programming]
[01.11.38--NPACT logo--dissolve full screen color photo of RICHARD NIXON, very grim expression--Jim LEHRER voiceover]
LEHRER describes the final vote on the second ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT.
[committee room, camera pans to each member in turn as roll is called for vote]