In this week’s Maine Sunday Telegram, I talk to former US Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen and several of his former aides about what it was like to hold a president of his own party accountable during Watergate.
In the summer of 1974, Cohen was a first-term Republican congressman from Maine’s second district and was one of the first to break with his party to further the probing of Richard Nixon’s White House tapes. His summer intern was a 21-year old college student named Susan Collins, who would, decades later, marry Cohen’s then-chief-of-staff, Tom Daffron. (Also on Capitol Hill that summer: Maine’s other current senator, Angus King, who was an aide to Sen. Bill Hathaway (D-Maine.))
What did Cohen and his staff experience that summer, and what do they see when they compare then and now? Read on.