Hearing for Elliot Richardson to Be Attorney General
Archibald Cox and Elliot L. Richardson appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Richardson's nomination hearing for U.S. Attorney General. Richardson previously held two cabinet posts: Secretary of Health Education and Welfare in the first Nixon administration, and Secretary of Defense at the beginning of the second administration. Nixon nominated him for attorney general after the resignation of Richard G. Kleindienst. Richardson immediately appointed Archibald Cox as special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. Neither appointment lasted long. On October 20, 1973, in what became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre," Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelhaus resigned when President Richard Nixon ordered them to fire Cox, who tried to obtain Nixon's secret Oval Office recordings. Robert H. Bork, solicitor general and third in command at the Justice Department, fired Cox.