Former President Gerald Ford says he's still convinced he helped the country by pardoning Richard Nixon.

"I was right when I made the decision in September of 1974, and I'm more convinced today that it was the right decision for the country as a whole," Ford said in a telephone interview with the Vail (Colo.) Daily newspaper. Ford lives in nearby Beaver Creek.Nixon, facing certain impeachment after trying to cover up the Watergate break-in of 1972, resigned Aug. 9, 1974. Ford issued his unprecedented pardon a month later.

"It would have been a long, tortuous process - the indictment, the trial, probably a conviction on some counts, an appeal," said Ford. "That would have taken two, three, maybe four years.

"That would only have exacerbated the unrest and the domestic trouble here in the United States."