THE CONSTITUTION: Battle Over Presidential Power

All week the subpoenas and presidential refusals arced across Washington like shellfire. Watergate, for so long a kind of inchoate guerrilla war, had developed clear and momentous battle lines. Richard Nixon took his stand behind a barricade of Executive privilege. Neither Sam Ervin's Senate committee nor Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox would get the key White House tapes and documents they were demanding for their investigations of Watergate. At issue, the President declared, is "the independence of the three branches of our Government ... the very heart of our constitutional system." Sam...

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