The Watergate Hearings:
45 Years Later

As told through the CQ and Roll Call archives

The Watergate Hearings:
45 Years Later

As told through the CQ and Roll Call archives

When the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities gaveled in on May 17, 1973, it was history in the making. The panel, known as the Watergate Committee, went on to uncover and substantiate core aspects of the scandal that brought the nation to the brink of a constitutional crisis and ultimately upended a presidency.

Over six months, senators met in what is now called the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building and asked, what did the president know and when did he know it? And in varying degrees of veracity, that question was answered again and again.

While the world sat affixed to their television sets, it was at these hearings that the pieces of the puzzle were discovered and pieced together. The president’s own attorney laid bare what Woodward and Bernstein had tried to prove: This scandal reached to the highest level of the government, the president of the United States. And it was in this committee that the hard evidence — the smoking gun needed to prove such extreme accusations — was uncovered: taped conversations of Nixon and his lackeys planning the break-in at the Democratic National Committee and the subsequent cover-up.

On the 45th anniversary of one of the most consequential investigations in congressional history, explore how it all unfolded, as captured in CQ and Roll Call’s archives:



Original CQ and Roll Call material edited by Ryan Kelly, Paul V. Fontelo and Randy Leonard. Design by Sara Wise and Sean McMinn.

Top photos by CQ.