Impeachment, by the Numbers



n August 7, 1974, a trio of Capitol Hill’s Republican eminences, led by Senator Barry Goldwater, called on a beleaguered President Richard Nixon at the Old Executive Office Building on the White House flank. The Watergate scandal was in its end stages. Consequently, the meeting was not about presidential decorum, evidence of obstruction, or the finer points of high crimes and misdemeanors. The meeting was about math.

Goldwater, along with his fellow Arizonan John Rhodes and Pennsylvania’s Hugh Scott (respectively, the House and Senate minority leaders), explained to Nixon that his support among Senate Republicans had collapsed. It was already inevitable …

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