Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 1973

On Sunday, the president and his staff could still pretend that they were going to win the battle with Cox; after all, even if some were squawking, if they really had rid themselves of not only Cox and retained the tapes but also disbanded the entire office of the Special Prosecutor, it would probably be a win.

That's increasingly difficult by Monday, which happens to be a holiday (Veterans Day -- it was on the last Monday of October from 1971 through 1977).

Robert Bork says that the Watergate case will move back to the Justice Department, with Henry Peterson will resume what he had given up in the spring. Cox had planned to call Peterson as a witness.

Pickets in Lafayette Park ask people to "Honk for Impeachment" and people are in fact honking -- the noise, perhaps, makes Nixon even more likely to retreat to Camp David. Western Union reports a flood of telegrams coming in to Washington. The first polls start coming in, with overwhelming majorities against Nixon.

Nixon's lawyers responded to Judge Sirica's demand for the tapes -- remember, Court of Appeals had ruled against Nixon and Nixon had chosen not to appeal to the Supreme Court, so Nixon was now obliged to act. But all he offered was summaries prepared by the White House and confirmed by Stennis. Sirica prepares to fight back.

Even though it's a holiday, the House Democratic leadership meets, decides to instruct House Judiciary to begin preparing for impeachment, and lets the press know about it.

The White House on Monday is still full of bravado -- they bring up Harry Truman and MacArthur to argue that this will turn towards the president soon enough. But few Republicans outside of the administration are rushing to defend them, and virtually no one else.

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