Watergate: Watergate Scandal and President Nixon Essay

Submitted By jcooks08
Words: 1789
Pages: 8

The Watergate Scandal has turned out to be a very complicated series of crimes committed by President Richard Nixon and his staff, who were attempting to spy on and harass political opponents, accepting illegal campaign contributions, and later tried to cover up their own misdeeds. Now a term synonymous with corruption and scandal, over a period of about 2 and a half years, the Watergate scandal persisted into a puzzle that required many twists and turns that ultimately led to the president’s resignation, amidst threats of impeachment. On June 17, 1972, The Washington Post printed a story reading, “5 Held in Plot to Bug Democrats’ Office Here” The five men, one of whom previously worked for the CIA, were arrested after breaking into the Democratic National Committee offices, which were located in a office complex known as Watergate. The men were caught trying to bug the offices of the plush Watergate, by “three plain-clothes officers of the metropolitan police department in a sixth floor office…where the Democratic national Committee occupies the entire floor.” At the time of the burglary there was no explanation as to why they would want to do this. Questions also lingered, “whether or not they were working for any other individuals or organizations.” The men were captured with lock picks and door jimmies, cameras, and many rolls of unexposed film for taking pictures. The FBI was brought in to investigate the burglaries. On June 19, 1972, News was released that one of the burglars was the salaried security coordinator for President Nixon’s reelection committee. “The suspect, former CIA employee…” also held “…a separate contract to provide security services to the Republican National Committee…” The White House still appeared to have no connection to the burglaries. Even releasing statements during a press conference, seemingly appalled at the actions of the men, and denying any involvement of the White House Staff. “The public took Nixon’s word and dropped the questioning.” By October of 1972, “FBI agents [had] established that the Watergate incident stemmed from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage…” handled on behalf of the reelection efforts of President Nixon. It had even been directed by officials in the White House and the Committee for the Re-Election of the President. During the investigation, it was uncovered that “hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nixon campaign contributions had been set aside to pay for as extensive undercover campaign aimed at discrediting…Democratic presidential candidates and disrupting their campaigns.” The recent release of the Pentagon Papers to the press, seemed to be part of what was bothering Nixon. He was very angry about their release, and evermore concerned about having enough votes to win the upcoming election of 1972. Even with the pending criminal activity, and the White House’s questionable involvement, Nixon won the election by a landslide, the following month. 1973, remained eventful, as January opened with the convictions of seven men, in the Watergate incident. Two of them being “former officials of President Nixon’s re-election committee…” were found guilty of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping. “Despite repeated attempts…to find out if anyone else…was involved in the conspiracy…”the defendants did not mention any other persons. The judge presiding over the case was not convinced, neither were reporters. The Senate however, had set up a committee, to continue the investigation into the White House’s involvement. By June of 1973, the case was getting complicated as many of Nixon’s council members had been fired or resigned behind the scandal, as it continued to unfold. And then testimony was released by a former presidential counsel, confirming that President Nixon was privy to information regarding the burglaries. The informant alleged that the president was not only aware of, but involved in the Watergate cover-up;