The Watergate scandal in the United States took a sensational turn late on Saturday (20 October) night when president Nixon sacked the independent Watergate prosecutor, Archibald Cox.
The Watergate scandal in the United States took a sensational turn late on Saturday (20 October) night when president Nixon sacked the independent Watergate prosecutor, Archibald Cox. Immediately the Attorney-General deputy, William P Ruckelshaus also refused to dismiss Cox and was fired by President Nixon.
The crisis came soon after Cox announced that he would not obey President Nixon's instruction to make no further attempts to try to obtain the White House tape recordings. These relate to the bugging of the Democratic Party's headquarters at the watergate hotel. The Appeals Court ruled that they must be handed over, but President Nixon has again refused to do this, offering instead a "compromise", an edited version "verified" by a Democratic Senator. Cox called' a news conference on Saturday to say that he rejected the offer. He added he was considering contempt of court proceedings against the President.
Cox was appointed in May by Richardson, who pledged then to uphold the special prosecutor's independence.
At his news conference in Washington on Saturday (October 20th) night, Mr. Cox declared that he did not intend to obey President Nixon's order to stop trying to obtain the White House tapes. He charged that the White House was trying to work a basic change in the authority he had originally been given. He also charged that the White House was trying to alter the system of justice in the United States, and said he couldn't go on without making it plain there had been a change, he could he maintain the pretence there had been no change.
SYNOPSIS: In Washington, the Watergate Scandal has brought a new rash of political casualties. President Nixon has sacked the independent Watergate prosecutor, Archibald Cox, and the Attorney General Elliot Richardson who appointed Cox in May has resigned in protest. When the appointment was made, Richardson pledged to maintain his independence.
Cox has refused to give up his attempts to get hold of the tapes. On Saturday, he told a news conference that the White House was trying to work a basic change in the authority he originally was given.