Imagine that Nixon made fewer mistakes while covering up Watergate:
- He handles John Dean more carefully, so that the latter does not cooperate with investigators.
- Dean never speculates about the taping system to Congress, which means they don't ask Butterfield a direct question about it. Butterfield therefore avoids mentioning it in his testimony.
- On the off chance that the system is discovered anyway, Nixon either destroys or avoids creating the "smoking gun" tape.
- Nixon does not trust Mark Felt with the coverup and the latter is unable to leak details to the press.
- Assuming a special prosecutor is still appointed, Nixon makes a concerted effort to appear cooperative and does not attempt to fire them.
Assuming that these efforts are at least moderately successful, does the House impeach Nixon? If so, does the Senate remove him? If he retains the presidency, would he still have enough political capital left to do anything with it?