Photograph by Fred Maroon

The Nixon Years

James McCord testifying before
the Senate Select Committee on
Presidential Campaign Activities.
 May 18, 1973. 


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When the Watergate Hearings began on May 17, 1973, I had no idea that I was about to witness one of the most extraordinary dramas in American political history.  This was grand theater - Act Three in an American Shakespearean  tragedy.  I was at the hearings every day until their conclusion on November 15, 1973.

James McCord was a twenty-year veteran of the CIA, CRP's security co-ordinator, and one of the five "burglars" who broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate on June 17, 1972.

McCord was a sensational witness and electrified the room as he told of political pressure from the White House and an offer of executive clemency if he agreed to plead guilty and remain silent about the Watergate break-in.  He refused the offer, preferring to play it straight and let the chips fall where they may.  At that moment the Watergate cover-up was doomed.  He was a  marvelous subject, but capturing the expression to match the content of his words required one voice in your head focusing on every fleeting visual   moment, and another voice triggering your finger when the moment was right.

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