Senior Senate Republicans met in Washington on Wednesday (7 August) to discuss the issue of sending a delegation or individual to President Nixon telling him he faces conviction and removal form office in a Senate trial if he does not resign first.
CU President Nixon speaking
GV Cabinet members seated at table
SV Nixon talking to Kissinger
SV Ford leaving his home and talks to newsman
SV Charles Sanoman speaking as newsmen film (3 shots)
SV Trent Lott speaking
SV David Dennis speaking
SV Delbert Latta speaking (2 shots)
SV Joseph Marzziti speaking
President Nixon sometimes receives a standing ovation at these Cabinet meetings but not today. During the ninety minute session the President talked about his intention to stick to the constitute process of impeachment. White House spokesmen said Mr. Nixon does not intend to resign and no one at the meetings suggested that he resign or step aside. Apart form is own problems the President also discussed the difficulties with the economy and urged the Cabinet members to go on with their work.
When Vice-President Ford left home for work this morning it was it was his first opportunity to carry out his new policy of not defending President Nixon. As promised, he dropped his previous stand that Mr. Nixon is innocent.
REPORTER: Can you tell us briefly why you decided to stop speaking to about Watergate and impeachment
FORD: I really think its better if I make no comment at this point of time. Thank you
REPORTER: Do you feel the President is innocent of an impeachmental offence?
FORD: I said no comment.
REP: SANDMAN: I can see no escape form this particular information. There is no question in my mind that it represents clearly a violation of the law. I have urged the President that he make a reappraisal of his position and that he consider his resignation from office.
REP. LOTT: The fact that there had been so many of these bomb-shells. This is the story. I would think that we add it all up and we've reached the point of no return.
REP: DENNIS: I'm not a man who very readily or easily changes his position. I change it now simply because the facts as I see them compel this very painful decision and its very regretable to me that I have to do it.
REP: LATTA: IF I were in his shoes, which I'm not, I would resign.
QUESTION: Would you be relieved if he did?
ANSWER: Oh, I think the country would be relieved if he did.
REP: MARAZITI: My first reaction was a feeling of sadness, a feeling of catastrophe for the nation which I think may be about to lose one of the great Presidents of our time.
Initials OS/2130 OS/2159
TOM BROKAW AND RON NESSEN
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Senior Senate Republicans met in Washington on Wednesday (7 August) to discuss the issue of sending a delegation or individual to President Nixon telling him he faces conviction and removal form office in a Senate trial if he does not resign first.
The meetings followed a Cabinet session on Tuesday (6 August) when the President, despite his Watergate confessions, said he would fight to stay in office.
The President indicated he was confident of ultimate acquital.
Other reports form Washington following the Cabinet meeting indicated Republican leaders, including the influential conservative Barry Goldwater, were drafting a grim message to President Nixon - resign or be thrown out of office.
Meanwhile, dozens of the President's former supporters in the House of Representatives have called for his resignation or said they would vote for impeachment. Some political commentators in Washington suggested Mr. Nixon's political career could end in as little as a week or 10 days.
This film includes commentary by N.B.C. reporters Tom Brokaw and Ron Nessen. A transcript of the commentary, plus interviews, appears on page two.
SYNOPSIS: At a cabinet meeting in Washington on Tuesday, President Nixon, despite his Watergate confession, said he would fight on to stay in office.