Watergate Scandal and Checks & Balances

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Nixon tried to use executive privilege, and not disclose the White House tapes to Prosecutor Jaworski. The judiciary branch then stepped in and ordered Nixon to adhere to Jaworski's subpoena. Nixon could not rebut the U.S.S.C.'s decision, and handed over all 64 of the tapes. Then the Lower House (House of Representatives) adopted three articles of impeachment against Nixon for his crimes. Instead of having the case go the Senate for trial, Nixon resigned from office. So U.S.S.C. checked president, and House of Reps. also checked president. Executive Privilege: Confidential communications between the president and his advisers do not have to be disclosed. The justification for this practice has been the separation of powers and the need a president has for candid advice. During the Watergate Scandal, President Nixon refused to turn over tape recordings of White House conversations. The Supreme Court, ruling on executive privilege for the first time, held that there was a sound basis for the practice, particularly in military and diplomatic matters, but there was no immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. Impoundment of funds: From time to time presidents have refused to spend money appropriated by Congress. In response to President Nixon’s impoundments in 1972, the Budget Reform Act of 1974 was passed. The act requires presidents to notify Congress of funds they do not intend to spend. Congress must agree within 45 days to delete the item. If Congress doesn’t agree with the impoundment of funds, the president is required to spend the money. The act also requires presidents to notify Congress of delays in spending. Impeachment: Presidents can be removed upon impeachment and conviction. The House votes to indict the president. The impeached president must be convicted by a 2/3 vote of the Senate (which sits as a court, hears the

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