Newly released documents show that had President Nixon not resigned from office, he would have faced a federal grand jury indictment over his role in the Watergate scandal.
The court documents, unsealed 45 years later, reveal that four criminal charges, including bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and obstruction of a criminal investigation, were drafted in February 1974.
Nixon ultimately resigned in August of that year, as three articles of impeachment hovered overhead, saying:
"I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation would require."
The following day Gerald Ford became the 38th president of the US, pardoning Nixon a month later.