|W is for Watergate Scandal|
What: Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was caught in a scandal going into the 1972 re-election campaign. Five men were caught in the Watergate Complex in the Democratic Headquarters. They were all Republican, as well as co-workers of President Nixon. The biggest fact was that Nixon tried to cover up his actions, and denied any connection to Watergate. He later becomes involved in a court case, Nixon v. U.S., and is subpoenaed to turn over any tapes and recorded conversations from the Oval Office that he had. He was later brought up on three charges of impeachment, which resulted in Richard M. Nixon being the first president in U.S. history to resign from office, and Vice President Gerald R. Ford took over as a president.
Who: The “plumbers” are the con-men who would plug the leaks in the Nixon administration. These men were paid from White House funds, which is how they were eventually connected to Nixon. This scandal affected the careers of many of the people in the Nixon administration. John Dean, the head lawyer for the White House, was fired. H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, top advisors to the president, resigned during the scandal. On what has come to be known as the Saturday Night Massacre, Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus resigned after refusing to fire Archibald Cox. Archibald Cox was the special prosecutor who was appointed by Congress who was eventually fired by President Nixon that day.
|The Watergate Complex in Washington D.C.|
Where: The original break-in occurred at The Watergate Complex in Washington D.C. This scandal then made its way all around Washington including: the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Washington Post newsroom, and the Supreme Court.
When: In June 17, 1972 the actual break-in occurred. When Nixon was questioned repeatedly, he denied involvement. Overall, the cover up was in October 1972-January 1975. On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee charged Nixon with three articles of impeachment and on August 8, 1974 he resigned.
Why: Nixon really wanted to win the re-election of 1972. He barely won his first election, and he wanted to make sure to win the next one. The reason he broke in was to gain information on the Democrats so he could win the election.
Results: Nixon resigned right before he was impeached. A lot of trust was lost in the government on the part of the American people. Later, President Ford pardoned Nixon from any wrong-doing. This caused controversy amongst the citizens at the time. As a result of Nixon’s resignation, President Ford became the only president and vice president to not be elected into office.