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Watergate Scandal Summary

 

On June 16, 1972, a security guard at the Watergate Hotel in Washington , D.C. , discovered a piece of tape on the lock of the door that led to the National Democratic Headquarters.

This foiled break-in attempt at the Watergate scandal was part of a larger campaign by Nixon supporters to tarnish the reputation of Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party. Democratic candidates were harassed, subject to negative campaign ads, and on two separate occasions the National Democratic Headquarters were broken into. 

As soon as the attempted break-in at Watergate Hotel scandal became know, president Richard Nixon ordered the entire affair covered up. It became clear that the Nixon presidency had been involved in serious manipulation and abuses of power for years. Millions of dollars coming from Nixon supporters were used to pay for the cover-up in an attempt to hide the truth from Congress and the American people.

The investigation would introduce the American people to such people as John Ehrlichman and Bob Haldeman. Ehrlichman was the President and Chief of the Domestic Council and Haldeman was the Chief of Staff. Both would be fired in a desperate attempt to save the presidency.

The investigation would ask two questions which would forever live in political infamy.The questions were, "What did the president know?" and "When did he know it?"

The investigation into Watergate scandal Summary revealed that Nixon knew about the break-in from the beginning and that he was involved in the cover-up as it progressed.

In the early stages of the Watergate scandal almost of the media reported the break-in as a minor story with little national significance. This was until two young reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward who were working for the Washington Post began to dig deeper into the mystery.

Aided by an informant identified as Deep Throat, Woodward and Bernstein uncovered one of the significant stories of the twentieth century. They became the catalyst in forcing the first presidential resignation in American history.

As the Watergate scandal Summary investigation began testimony revealed that there was a taping system which was installed to record conversations in the Oval Office, Camp David , the Cabinet rooms, and Nixon's hideaway office.

Nixon argued that the tapes contained only private conversations between the president and his advisors. The Supreme Court did not agree. The court ordered the president to release the tapes.

The Nixon tapes were released in the 1970s and contained 18 minutes of silence that have never been explained.

In mid-1974, the House of Representatives approved the articles of impeachment against President Nixon.

They were: Article I: Obstruction of justice; Article II: Abuse of power; and Article III: Defiance of committee subpoena.

On August 8, 1974, Richard Nixon announced to the American people that he no longer had a political base strong enough to support his remaining time in office and resigned the presidency.

In 1996, 200 new hours of tape were released in the lawsuit of historian Stanley I. Kutler. The new tapes revealed that Nixon was intimately involved both before and after Watergate in abuses of power. A taped conversation on June 23, 1972, proved that Nixon and Haldeman talked about using the CIA to thwart the FBI investigation into the Watergate scandal cover-up.

 

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