51 Hastings L.J. 745 (1999-2000)
Comparing the Nixon and Clinton Impeachments

handle is hein.journals/hastlj51 and id is 777 raw text is: Perspectives on Watergate Panel

Comparing the Nixon and Clinton
Impeachments
by
FRED H. ALTSHULER*
This symposium's review of the 1974 impeachment proceedings
against President Richard Nixon' invites a comparison to the 1998
impeachment of President Bill Clinton. One notable difference is the
more strident and partisan character of the 1998 proceedings. The
1974 House Judiciary Committee's vote to approve articles of
impeachment against President Nixon was bipartisan,2 with as many
as seven of the Committee's seventeen Republicans voting in favor of
one or more of the articles.3 The 1998 House Judiciary Committee
remained sharply divided along party lines, with virtually all of the
Republicans voting in favor of all of the proposed articles of
* Fred H. Altshuler is a San Francisco attorney and a partner in the law firm of
Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Rubin & Demain. In 1974 he served as counsel on the
House of Representatives' Impeachment Inquiry Staff.
1. From July 24, 1974 through July 30, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee held
public hearings and approved three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. On
August 9, 1974, after the disclosure that previously withheld tape recordings showed his
complicity in the Watergate cover-up, President Nixon resigned. Accordingly, the articles
of impeachment approved by the 1994 House Judiciary Committee were never voted upon
by the House of Representatives as a whole.
2. The vote on the first article of impeachment was 22 Democrats and 6 Republicans
in favor and 11 Republicans against; the vote on the second article was 22 Democrats and
7 Republicans voted in favor and 10 Republicans against; the vote on the third article was
19 Democrats and 2 Republicans in favor and 2 Democrats and 15 Republicans against.
The Committee rejected two other proposed articles of impeachment, both by votes of 26-
12 against their adoption.
3. After President Nixon resigned and previously withheld tape recordings of his
conversations were made public, nine of the ten Republicans on the Judiciary Committee
who had voted against all of the proposed articles of impeachment filed supplemental
statements in the Committee's Final Report stating that they would have voted in favor of
impeachment on the House floor if they had known of the contents of the recordings.

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