Nixon: June 23, 1972

This is now known as the smoking gun tape. It is the transcript of the recorded audio from inside the Oval Office six days after the break-in at Watergate. From 10:04AM to 11:39AM, President Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, discuss approaching Richard Helms, Director of the CIA, and Vernon A. Walters, Deputy Director, to ask them to request L. Patrick Gray, Acting Director of the FBI, halt the FBI's investigation into the Watergate break-in on the grounds that it was a national security matter. The special prosecutor felt that Nixon, in so agreeing, had entered into a criminal conspiracy whose goal was the obstruction of justice. On August 5, 1974, the tape was made public. On August 8, President Nixon became the first American president to resign from office.