Essay on Watergate: Richard Nixon and Reporters Bob Woodward

Submitted By lcneiswender
Words: 709
Pages: 3

In 1972 burglars were arrested inside the Democratic National Committee headquarters, located in the Watergate building in Washington D.C. These people were not just old burglars. They were a group who had already broke in before and put in wiretaps and took confidential documents. When they got arrested they were changing the wiretaps because the one previously put in was not working properly. The reason for them getting caught the second time was a guard had noticed that the locks had been taped shut on the doors so that they could get in after hours. After the arrests no had any idea that there might be a connection between them and the President, until detectives found copies of the reelection committee’s White House phone number among the burglars’ personal property. That August Nixon gave a speech where he swore his staff in the White House was not part of the burglary. Three months later he was elected to his second term in office. At this point Nixon was still denying any involvement in the illegal activities of the burglars. Even though he had already begun gathering “hush money” for the burglars a few days after there arrest. It had later come about that Nixon was not being honest. He and his aides hatched a plan to instruct the Central Intelligence Agency to impede the FBI’s investigation of the crime. This it self was a more serious crime than the robbery it self. It was an utter abuse of presidential power and a deliberate obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, seven conspirators were indicted on charges related to the Watergate affair. At the urging of Nixon’s aides, five pleaded guilty and avoided trial; the other two were convicted in January 1973. By that time, a growing number of people that included Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, trial judge John J. Sirica and members of a Senate investigating committee had begun to suspect that there was a larger scheme going on. At the same time, some of the conspirators began to crack under the pressure of the cover-up. Some of Nixon’s aides testified before a grand jury about the president’s crimes; they also testified that Nixon had secretly taped every conversation that took place in the Oval Office. The prosecutors hoped that they could get their hands on those tapes, then they would have proof of the president’s guilt. Nixon struggled to protect the tapes during the summer and fall of 1973. His lawyers argued that the president’s executive privilege allowed him to keep the tapes to himself, but the Senate committee and an independent special prosecutor named Archibald Cox were all determined to obtain them. When Cox refused to stop demanding the tapes, Nixon ordered that he be fired, leading several Justice Department officials to resign in protest also