University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Section 6: January 20, 1974 - August 17, 1976

South Bend, January 20, 1974


The shadow of impeachment lies over the New Year. With inexorable inner necessity, events in Congress are moving in the direction of impeaching the president. When the Congress convenes tomorrow after the Christmas recess, the question of impeachment will be the foremost order of business. The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives will have to examine all the facts and then based on the available evidence either dismiss the petition for impeachment or initiate the proceedings. There is presently the widespread view that the complicated and constitutionally grave proceedings of impeachment may run their course, but that in the end President Nixon will have enough support in the Senate to prevail.

South Bend, January 30, 1974

The State of the Union Address

Who had assumed that in his State of the Union Address before the joint session of Congress President Nixon would announce his resignation, learned differently. After taking stock of his five years in office, he declared emphatically that he had not the slightest intention to resign. In his speech, possibly the most important of his political career, Nixon pointed out once more in clear terms that he saw the historical importance of his presidency in his efforts for world peace. The new foundation for peace rests on the balance of interests between the two superpowers, on the détente between West and East, which has already been tested. This speech left the impression that Nixon will certainly stay on in the White House to finish the remaining three years of his second term.

However, in his response to President Nixon’s State of the Union Address, Mike Mansfield, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, gave clearly to understand that the Watergate affair should not be regarded as having been concluded. The courts will still have to deal with the matter.

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