Watergate Scandal In The 1970's

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Watergate The Watergate scandal is one of the most popular political scandals to occur within the United States in the 1970’s. It is widely known as Watergate for the illegal and covert activities covered up under the Nixon administration at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. It all began when the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office were broken into on June 17, 1972. Five men wearing business suits and surgical gloves arrested in the middle of the night with illegal bugging devices at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. (Feldstein, 60). The burglars turned out to be part of a wide-ranging political espionage and sabotage operation run by President…show more content…
Many still searched for clues to put him and his administration behind the scandal. When it came into light that the Nixon administration had been behind the scandal, President Nixon resigned in August of that year. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage action before it happened, he took steps to cover it up later, raising “hush money” for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from examining the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members (HISTORY.com). His successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned Nixon for all the crimes he “committed or may have committed” while in office (HISTORY.com). Although Nixon was never prosecuted, the Watergate scandal changed American politics forever, leading many Americans to question their leadership and think more critically about the presidency (HISTORY.com). Many gatherings between Nixon and people within his administration were recorded within the White House and many of them bring into light the feelings Nixon showed towards what had happened. Nixon’s response to Watergate comes across as unclear at times and Nixon’s meeting with H.R. Haldeman in the Oval Office give one some sort of…show more content…
Attorney General Elliot Richardson appointed a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, to investigate the entire affair; Cox and his staff began to uncover widespread evidence of political espionage by the Nixon reelection committee, illegal wiretapping of citizens by the administration, and corporate contributions to the Republican party in return for political favors (Columbia, 6th Edition). In July 1973, it was revealed that presidential conversations in the White House had been tape-recorded since 1971; Cox sued Nixon to obtain the tapes, and Nixon responded by ordering Richardson to fire him (Columbia, 6th Edition). Richardson resigned instead, and his assistant, William Ruckelshaus, also refused and was himself fired. Solicitor General Robert Bork finally fired Cox in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre (Columbia, 6th Edition). In July 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that such recordings were not privileged and Nixon announced his resignation knowing he would face impeachment if he did not. The Saturday Night Massacre in long term goes to exemplify that even the president is not above the

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