The Watergate Scandal Essay

546 Words 3 Pages
The Watergate Scandal


Watergate is the popular name for the political scandal and constitutional crisis that began with the arrest of five burglars who broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office in Washington D.C. on the night of June 17, 1972. It ended with the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon. The burglars and two co-potters-G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt were indicated on charges of burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping. Four monthes later, they were convicted and sentenced to prison terms by District Court Judge John J. Sirica, who was convicted that pertinent details had not been unveiled during the trial and proffered leniency in exchange for further information. As it
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Amid increasing disclosures of White House involved in the Watergate break-in and its aftermath, Nixon announced the resignations of John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldman, two of his closest advisers, in the dismissal of his counsel John W. Dean III. Growing suspicion of presidential involvement in the scandel resulted in an intensification of the investigation. Leaders in this inquiry included Judge Sirica, reporters for the Washington Post, the Ervin committee, and Archibald Cox, who was sworn in as special prosecutor in May 1973. Dean told the Ervin committee in June that Nixon had cover-up. A month later, former White House staff Alexander Butterfield revealed that Nixon had secretly tape-recorded conversations in his offices. Both Cox and the Ervin committee began efforts to obtain selected tapes. Nixon, citing EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, refused to relinquish them and
tried to have Cox fired. On Oct. 20, 1973, Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson, refusing to dismiss Cox, resigned in protest. His deputy, William Ruckelshaus, also refused and was fired. Nixon's solicitor general, who was next in command, then fired Cox. The "Saturday night massacre," as the events of that evening became known,
heightened suspicions that Nixon had much to hide. Leon Jaworski, who replaced Cox as special prosecutor on November 1, continued to press for the tapes. On Mar. 1, 1974, a federal grand jury indicted seven men, including Haldeman, Ehrlichman,…

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