Richard Nixon's Impeachment In The Watergate Scandal

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“I am not a crook.” With this famous quote, the United States 37th President Richard M. Nixon denied any criminal involvement in the Watergate Scandal. Nixon’s relentless denial and other subsequent incriminating factors made it a simple decision for the House of Representatives to impeach him. The impeachment of Richard Nixon can be examined through the Watergate Scandal, the cover-up and investigation, and the resignation from presidency. After finishing his first term as president, Richard Nixon was doing everything possible to be re-elected. The Watergate Scandal started in the early morning of June 17th, 1972. Five burglars, connected to Nixon’s re-election committee, broke into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in …show more content…
Each article began with a quote stating how President Nixon failed to uphold the Constitution, it read, “…in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States…” (“Articles of Impeachment”). The House of Representative charged Nixon with the first article of impeachment, obstruction of justice. Nixon engaged personally and through his subordinates and agents to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation (“The History. . . Nixon”). Perhaps, his most severe act was paying large sums of monies to silence witnesses. In the second article, Nixon was charged with abuse of power. For example, he authorized federal agencies to conduct electronic surveillance for purposes unrelated to national security (“Articles of Impeachment”). Lastly, he was charged with contempt of Congress for not releasing all the tapes upon Congress’ demand (“July 27. . . Impeachment”). Additionally, due to the crimes Nixon committed, an indictment was pondered upon by the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Office. “Article I, section 3, clause 7 of the Constitution provides that a person removed from office by impeachment and conviction ‘shall nevertheless be liable to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to the Law.’ ” However, nowhere in the Constitution does it state the guidelines regarding a president who has resigned (Gray and Schamel). Knowing he was inevitably going to be impeached and hoping to thwart a further criminal indictment, Richard Nixon resigned as president on August 8th, 1974 in the middle of his second term. Six weeks after the new president Gerald Ford was sworn in, he pardoned Nixon for any crimes he committed while in office (“Watergate