THE CONGRESS: Contingency Planning

As John Dean's testimony spilled across the nation's television screens, few spectators watched with more anxious attention than the leaders of the House of Representatives, where, under the Constitution, any impeachment proceedings against the President of the U.S. must begin. Until Dean's appearance two weeks ago, the leaders of the House have steadfastly refused to contemplate the momentous question: How would they organize and deal with the horrifying and cataclysmic event of Richard Nixon's impeachment?

Reluctantly, privately, they concluded that that thinking and tentative planning must commence, reported TIME'S congressional correspondent Neil MacNeil, a 24-year...

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