ABC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 17, 1974
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(Studio) President Gerald Ford becomes 1st president to publicly answer questions before congress committee Ford explains reasons for pardoning former President Richard Nixon.
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith
(White House) [FORD - says his appearance before judiciary subcommittee not intended to make history but explain history.] Ford denies Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned that Nixon might commit suicide if forced to stand trial. [Representative Don EDWARDS - asks Ford how he would explain equal justice under law if he were a teacher.] [FORD - says Nixon's resignation in shame and disgrace would help explain equal justice question.] [Representative Wiley MAYNE - asks if Ford now feels he acted too hastily in case.] [FORD - says he's convinced timing of pardon was right.] [Representative Elizabeth HOLTZMAN - says public suspicious of possible deal between Ford and Nixon.] [President FORD - hastily assures committee , Congress and public no deal was made.] Ford considers Nixon's acceptance of pardon an admission of guilt. [PRES. - says pardon not granted for Nixon but for US. Hoped to pull American people together to focus on serious problems home and abroad. If Congress, President and American people forced to focus on Nixon impeachment, trial and possible conviction, serious problems would be overlooked.]
REPORTER: Steve Bell
(Capitol Hill) [Representatives Lawrence HOGAN, David DENNIS - believe President forthright and sincere in his explanation.] [Representative Don EDWARDS - says he's not satisfied with Ford's explanation.] [HOLTZMAN - believes President' appearance raises more questions with regard to Nixon pardon than it answered.] House Judiciary subcommittee to decide after congress elections whether to continue hearings or let matter drop.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson