ACLU Would Impeach Nixon
To The Editor
On Sept. 30, the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union overwhelmingly
passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Nixon. I forward
a copy of the resolution and request that you publish it for the information
of citizens on both sides of this question.
Two observations about this action are in order. First, each of the particulars
in the resolution is based on already known events or on events attested to by
Mr. Nixon's aides or by Mr. Nixon himself in public statements and press conferences.
Second, the expertise of American Civil Liberties Union lawyers on the issues
set forth in the resolution is unexcelled by any portion of the American bar.
ACLU RESOLUTION ON IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT
RICHARD M. NIXON
September 30, 1973
WHEREAS, there is now substantial public evidence of President
Nixon's participation in high crimes and misdemeanors; and
WHEREAS, these acts have violated the civil liberties of the people
of the United States and the rule of law;
THEREFORE, the American Civil Liberties Union calls upon the House
of Representatives of the Congress of the United States to initiate impeachment
proceedings against Richard M. Nixon.
Impeachment should be predicated on the following grounds affecting
He and his closest aides have organized and conducted a deliberate
assault on civil liberties by authorizing massive invasions of the First Amendment
rights of citizens of the United Sates. On July 25, 1970 he personally approved
the "Huston plan" for domestic political surveillance and espionage
by such methods as burglary, wiretapping and eavesdropping, mail covers, and
military spying on civilians. These methods of political surveillance were employed
against dissenters, political opponents, news reporters and government employees.
He and his aides employed governmental powers to harass and punish critics of
his administration regarded by them as "enemies." He and his aides
interfered with a free press through the use of wiretaps, FBI investigations,
and threats of criminal prosecutions. He secretly recorded conversations in
his own office without advising the participants. He and his aides interfered
with the right of peaceable assembly and protest as in the arrests of thousands
of persons on Mayday, 1971 and on many other occasions.
He has usurped the war making powers of Congress as in the bombing
of neutral Cambodia and he deliberately concealed the bombing from Congress
and the people of the United States; and he has announced he would do so again
under similar circumstances.
He established within the White House a personal secret police
(the "plumbers") operating outside the restraints of the law, which
engaged in criminal acts including burglaries, warranties, wiretaps, espionage
He and a principal aide offered a high federal post to the presiding
judge during the Ellsberg trial and for a prolonged period, he withheld from
the court knowledge of the burglary of the office of Dr. Ellsberg's psychiatrist.
He and his aides interfered with and distorted the administration
of justice through such acts as his effort to limit the scope of the FBI investigation
of the Watergate break in. He and his aides caused the politically motivated
and unjustified prosecution of dissenters and corrupted the constitutional function
of grand juries to make them instruments of political surveillance and harassment.
He has perverted and attempted to pervert the operation of various
federal agencies including the Department of Justice, the National Security
Council, the Secret Service, the State Department, the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence
Agency by engaging them in political surveillance and in the falsification of
information made available to Congress and the American public.