The Wounded Presidency, Part One

The Untold Story of U.S. Foreign Policy During the Nixon Impeachment Crisis

Photo Illustration by Ricky Ferrer / Foreign Affairs

“If the Democrats and the U.S. public do not stop laying siege to their government, sooner or later someone will take a run at us,” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said to a small group of national security principals assembled in the White House Situation Room. It was nearing midnight on October 24, 1973, and Kissinger believed that the Soviets were about to exploit the wounded presidency of Richard Nixon to challenge the United States in the Middle East. The secretary of state had received an ominous phone call at 9:35 that evening from the Soviet ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin, who delivered …