Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruse Historian. Author/editor of White Flight; The New Suburban History; Spaces of the Modern City; Fog of War; One Nation Under God; Fault Lines. Apr. 26, 2019 1 min read

Senator Sam Ervin made the same threat to the Nixon White House during the Watergate hearings.

"These are not sacrosanct persons," Ervin noted in April 1973. "Divine right of rule perished in America with the American Revolution, and it doesn't belong to White House aides."

The White House initially refused, but once they realized Ervin was serious -- that the Senate might hold the aides in contempt and refer them to the US Attorney in DC for indictments -- Nixon's men relented two weeks later.

Nixon tried to spin it as a minor development, but it proved to be a turning point in the Watergate investigations, as Congress refused to back down and insisted on its right to conduct oversight.

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