Richard Nixon was never impeached, not because there were no impeachment proceedings against him, but because he resigned the presidency at the near-certain prospect of losing the impeachment vote and being removed from office. Nixon served as president of America between 1969 and 1974 and was, to date, the only president to ever resign from office.
Nixon fiercely defended the whole Watergate scandal that shed light on illegal and clandestine political activities undertaken by members of his administration. There was a lengthy legal battle over audio tapes with conversations between Nixon and his aides, and although Nixon released 1,200 pages of transcripts, the House Judiciary Committee was not satisfied and opened impeachment hearings against him. The Supreme Court ruled that all of the audio tapes, not just the transcripts, had to be released.
The “Smoking Gun”
One of the audio tapes, known as the “Smoking Gun” revealed that the President was deeply involved in the Watergate coverup, and this caused Nixon to lose all support in Congress. Nixon knew that he would lose the impeachment vote and would have had to stand trial in the Senate, which would have resulted in him being removed from office. He chose to rather address the nation in a televised speech and resigned. Nixon was succeeded by Gerald R. Ford, who granted him full pardon a month later for any crimes he may have committed during his presidency.
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