Nixon announced his selection to replace Spiro Agnew as vice president on October 12, 1973, and Gerald Ford was confirmed in both houses by large majorities on December 6, the same day that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Nixon to relinquish seven tapes requested by the Watergate special prosecutor. During the eight months that Ford was vice president, he successfully separated himself from the Watergate proceedings as they dismantled the Nixon presidency. Ford defended the president even though he privately doubted Nixon's innocence. On August 5, 1974, three days before Nixon's resignation, Ford publicly acknowledged that the president could no longer claim he was "not guilty of an impeachable offense."