Jim Mann, son of former U.S. representative James R. Mann, recently suggested I might enjoy watching a 1983 documentary on the Nixon impeachment hearings.
Mann (1920-2010), a Democrat, represented South Carolina’s 4th District from 1969 to 1979. He donated his papers to SCPC in 1997. Mann was serving on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, when it held hearings that ultimately led to a Committee recommendation to impeach President Richard M. Nixon. This all stemmed from the Nixon administration’s efforts to cover up the infamous 1972 Watergate break-in.
The multi-part documentary, Summer of Judgement, is available on YouTube and was produced by Washington’s public television station WETA. Noted journalist Charles McDowell serves as narrator.
The first episode, The Impeachment Hearings, examines this highly unusual House Judiciary Committee investigation into the president and the Nixon administration. Mann features prominently in the hour-long program and is described by McDowell as the most conservative Democrat on the Committee.
Two subsequent episodes examine the Senate Watergate Hearings, broadcast live on television. These hearings transfixed the nation. This superb documentary showcases the complexity and difficulties inherent in the impeachment process. It is both an enormous and an intensely emotional undertaking.
By Herb Hartsook