Why did President Richard Nixon resign the presidency in the summer of 1974, when he still had two and a half years left in his 2nd term? There are several reasons and to put it simply. He lost most if whatever support he had left in Congress. He would've been impeached on a bipartisan basis in the House and would've been convicted on a bipartisan basis in the Senate. The House Judiciary Committee had already voted to impeach him with a bipartisan vote and was on course for a similar vote on the House floor. The Republican Leader in the Senate, Minority Leader Hugh Scott told President Nixon, that the votes were there to convict the President which takes a 2/3 vote.
Senate Democrats had fifty five seats. Senate Republicans had forty-five seats and that there were at least twelve Republicans that would vote for the conviction of President Nixon and that Southern Democrats would vote for conviction as well. President Nixon would've been impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate, embarrassed even further in the country then he already embarrassed himself. And this scandal would've continued with the FBI or someone actually coming to the White House or someone to escort Richard Nixon out of the Oval Office so President Ford could takeover. Or however that process would've worked.
I would like to think that at least one of the reasons why Richard Nixon resigned the presidency when he didn't technically have to, you can't force a President to resign or a Member of Congress and perhaps even the Vice President, whose technically an elected official only they can make this what must be a very difficult decision, but I would like to think that why President Nixon resigned was to put an end to one if not the worst constitutional crisis's to sleep. And so the country could move on and deal with difficult challenges that were ahead.
The United States was facing energy shortages, a rising debt and deficit, rising unemployment. Similar challenges that President Carter faced in the late 1970s, that President Ford attempted to deal with them all. But it's a little difficult to deal with those challenges, when you are not sure who the President is going to be in the next few weeks. Whether it was for purely selfish reasons or looking out for the national interest in why President Nixon resigned when he did and I would like to think it was a combination of both, President Nixon made the right decision in resigning when he did. Not to make up for what he did that led up to his resignation, but to put and end to a scandal that he didn't start, but covered up.