DAVID BIANCULLI

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Saturday Night Dive
May 9, 2017  | By Eric Gould
 

In the wake of the President firing FBI director James Comey today (5/9/17) it’s natural to look back to the last time a Commander-in-Chief shook Washington and got rid of an official who may not be too favorable to his current legal plight. Richard Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox on Saturday, October 20, 1973, after he refused to let Nixon out of providing secret audio tapes made of White House meetings. The bodies continued to fall the same evening, with Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigning after refusing to fire Cox, and Deputy  Attorney General William Ruckelshaus also refused, and quickly resigned, too. It was then up to Solicitor General Robert Bork, then acting head of the Justice Department to take up the task. (Bork would later be rejected by the Senate for an appointment to the Supreme Court in 1987.) The late John Chancellor gave the nation the news that night of the unprecedented constitutional crisis on NBC. 

 
 
 
 
 
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