The Watergate Senate Committee Hearings

An Issue of National Interest

When the Senate voted on whether or not to create an investigative committee on Watergate, the results were a 77 to 0 vote for a committee. The hearings were broadcast on national television from May 17 to August 7, 1973. It is estimated that at least 85 percent of Americans with television sets tuned into at least one portion of the hearings.

"What did the president know, and when did he know it?" -Republican Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee

A key witness in the case was John Dean, White House counsel to the president. His allegations uncovered a great amount of wrongdoing in the Nixon administration. He first accused Nixon of being directly involved with in the Watergate cover-up. This accusation was confirmed by the "smoking gun tape" obtained after a long battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The cooperation of McCord, one of the Watergate burglars, was instrumental in the case. He was the one to shed light on the politics involved in the burglary.

Nixon ultimately resigned before he could be impeached.

Cartoon from Washington Post

Herblock Cartoon. July 14, 1974. Source: The Washington Post