Watergate. The scandal which toppled a Presidency and captivated a country stretched on and on, the Watergate Prosecution Special Taskforce was marking its first year anniversary. The Taskforce which began under Archibald Cox was continuing under Leon Jaworski reported its investigation into the Watergate Break-in and coverup was nearly completed and the Dirty Tricks Probe was in its final stages. As of this one year anniversary, 22 people had been convicted or had pleaded guilty to some crime in connection to the Watergate Scandal. The latest preparing to go off to jail was former White House Campaign Aide Jeb Stuart Magruder, who had received a 10 month sentence.
Stonewalling was a phrase often heard in the transcripts of Presidential conversations, and Stonewalling was what was going on from the White House as the President, through his lawyer James St. Claire indicated on no uncertain terms, that there would be no more release of tapes or files pertaining to Watergate of the coverup. However, the adamant refusal only served to convince, even those staunch Republican supporters, such as Lawrence Hogan of Maryland saying that the American people were concluding that the President had something to hide. And despite the warnings of Judge Gehrardt Gissel that the case might have to be dismissed, the President said no to releasing the files of Charles Colson and John Ehrlichmann over the Daniel Ellsberg break-in case (Ellsberg was the one who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times).
But as the Watergate story continued to swirl around him, President Nixon pressed on with a “business as usual” stance, with the White House announcing Nixon would be leaving for a trip to the Middle East, and it confirmed Nixon would be heading to Moscow for a summit conference late in June.
So that’s what was going on this week in 1974 – 43 years ago as reported by CBS News The Washington Week In Review.