Monday, September 11, 2023

the last book I ever read (Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977, excerpt seven)

from Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977 by Douglas Brinkley:

The matter appeared to have been put to rest by the end of August. Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski resumed looking for ways to address the case against Nixon through judicial process. Jaworski later revealed that just before Nixon resigned, Haig had come to him to float the notion of terminating the case against the president once he forsook the nation’s highest office. Jaworski was quick to add that Haig’s gambit had failed, and no agreement concerning Nixon’s fate had been reached with him. What gave the story significance was its revelation that Ford wasn’t the only power broker Haig had approached to discern—or perhaps determine—Richard Nixon’s fate.

For his part, Ford continued to deny that he had made any deal regarding Nixon’s pardon, and a certain logic backed up his claims. By the time Haig called on Ford on August 1, Nixon’s resignation was virtually assured, leaving his vice president no reason to negotiate. Ford was going to be his replacement; the only question was whether it would happen through Nixon’s resignation or by his impeachment. If Ford promised him a pardon, the speculation went, Nixon would resign immediately; if not, the wounded president would drag the nations through a long and ugly impeachment process. The specter of such an arrangement came to haunt Ford from the moment he announced the pardon.

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