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VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
fire Cox. Ruckelshaus also refused and also resigned. Nixon next went to the
Solicitor General, Robert Bork, and demanded that he fire Cox. While Bork
considered resigning as well, Richardson convinced him to do the president’s
bidding since Bork had not made the same oaths as Richardson and
Ruckelshaus. Moreover, Richardson felt that Bork was needed to remain in
charge of the Justice Department in such a time of constitutional crisis.
Bork signed the letter terminating Special Prosecutor Cox and the Saturday
Night Massacre was complete.
Nixon’s fate, of course, was to eventually resign from office in order to
avoid impeachment. He was later pardoned for all criminal wrongdoing by
his successor, Gerald Ford. In 1976 the New York State Bar disbarred Nixon
for obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair. Nixon did not mount a
1. Fred Emery, Watergate: The Corruption of American
Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon (New York:
Time Books, 1994) at 356–57.
2. Interestingly, on June 27, 1973 the public gallery at
the hearings was excited when two of the spectators
turned out to be John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
3. From his resignation (August 9, 1974) to his death
(April 22, 1994), Richard Nixon was involved in
legal disputes over control of the Nixon tapes. In
1998 some 820 hours and 42 million pages of documents
were returned by the government to the
Nixon estate as a result of a court ruling. The Richard
Nixon Presidential Library and Museum now houses
some 2,636 hours of tapes, which are available
online and in the public domain: <www.nixon