The Watergate Scandal Essay

685 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 became increasingly evident that the Watergate burglars were tied closely to the Central Intelligence Agency and the Committee to Re-elect the President, some of Nixon's aides began talking to federal prosecutors. The defection of aides such as Jeb Stuart Magruder, assistant to CRP director John N. Mitchell, quickly implicated others in Nixon's inner circle. The Senate established an investigation committee heading by Sen. Sam Ervin, Jr., to look into the growing scandal. 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,...

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