In the second week of January 1973, the trial of the seven men indicted for the Watergate break-in started in Judge John S. Sirica's courtroom. The trial will start the chain of events that will eventually bring down the president--the only resignation of a president in American history.
The trial has connections to the other great events of January 1973.
Howard Hunt's wife Dorothy was on this plane. Hunt who was to go on trial in January 1973 lost his will to fight. He asked the man who had brought him into the White House, Charles Colson, for help.
Colson drew Nixon further into the conspiracy to cover-up when he spoke with Nixon on January 8, 1973 about clemency for Hunt if he pled guilty. The conversation was in Nixon's office in the Executive Office Building. The tape of this meeting is difficult to hear because of the poor placement of the microphones in that office.
The trial will result in guilty verdicts. One defendant, James McCord, will eventually break and start the undoing of the conspiracy. But this trial and Nixon's silence about the Christmas bombing will lead to the Senate vote in the first week of February 1973 to investigate the Watergate break-in.