Today in 1974, Richard Nixon was ordered by the US supreme court to surrender the Watergate tapes. Chief justice Warren E Burger rejected Nixon’s claims of executive privilege, saying he ‘must yield to the demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial’.
When the tapes were released, more than 18 crucial minutes were missing, ‘accidently’ erased by Nixon’s secretary.
‘Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.’
Hunter S Thompson, Rolling Stone, June 1994