Senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the late President, said on Thursday (13 September 1973)?
GV Capitol Building
CU Senator Kennedy speaking.
"I don't believe there'd be any other action to be taken by the Congress than to start the proceedings in impeachment, and I think that a talk now by the President that he is prepared that unless the ruling by the Supreme Court is going to be clear and definitive, that he is prepared to defy that order, I think undercuts the rule of law and the respect for the Supreme Court of the United States....a Supreme Court of the United States that has four of its members appointed by President Nixon. And I believe that in the Court's rule, on as I mentioned, the important constitutional issue in question, that the President will comply with that order. But if he were to defy the Supreme Court of the United States, a practice which has not been the case by any other President in the 200-years of our history, I think the Congress has to sort of put up or shut up. I think what you really have is the effect of a bloodless coup - it would be Chile really without bloodshed."
CAPITOL BUILDING: SENATOR KENNEDY SPEAKING.
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Background: Senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the late President, said on Thursday (13 September 1973) that Congress would have no choice but to impeach President Nixon if he defied any Supreme Court order to surrender tape recordings of conversations on the Watergate Affair. The speech was the first major attack from the Senate floor on the President's refusal to give up the tapes to the Senate Watergate Committee and Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who have subpoenaed them.
The White House has said Mr. Nixon will abide by a "definitive" ruling of the Supreme Court, where the case is certain to end up, but it has declined to define the term "definitive". The tapes could confirm or refute assertions that the President had early knowledge of the attempt to cover-up the bugging of the Democratic Party headquarters, at Watergate.
Senator Kennedy said Presidential defiance of the Supreme Court would be tantamount to conducting a bloodless coup d'etat.