Watergate Scandal Summary
The Watergate Scandal was one of the biggest scandals to rock the US. It occurred in the 1970s and changed the way the general public perceived politicians. However, for those who are not aware of the scandal, here is a summary of the Watergate Scandal.
On 17th June 1972, 5 men were arrested for breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Initially, it was assumed that it was just a simple burglary that went wrong. However, when investigations started, it was found out that the men had entered the office to repair bugs that they had installed into the office nearly a week earlier.
On further investigations, it was found out that the so-called burglars were some how connected to the White House and were given the task to spy on the Democrats. One of the "burglars" arrested was named Jim McCord Jr. He was the security officer for Richard Nixon's Committee to Reelect the President. Even a diary was found which had the contact number of E Howard Hunt, who was an intelligence agent and a member of the White House plumbers, which was a secret team of agents working at the behest of the White House. The investigators went on to figure out that the E Howard Hunt along G Gordon Liddy were the brains behind the first break in. Soon it was found that there were many agents responsible for spying on the Democrats. A check meant for Richard Nixon's reelection campaign was traced to the bank account of one of the burglars. This led the investigators to conclude that the campaign funds were being used to fund these illegal activities. However, even at this stage, it did not stop Richard Nixon, a Republican, to win the US president election.
James McCord sent a letter to the trial judge naming other people who were part of this conspiracy. With more and more evidence being unearthed, it was soon clear that Richard Nixon was personally involved in the scandal along with several members from his administration. It was also discovered that many of the conversations regarding the conspiracy took place in the Oval Office and these conversations were taped. Initially, Nixon denied the presence of the tapes, but due to US Supreme Court order, he was forced to hand over the tapes containing the damning conversations. However, some important conversations from these tapes were missing.
The US Congress was forced to begin the process of impeachment against Richard Nixon. However, before the culmination of the process, Nixon resigned on 9th August 1974. While Nixon himself did not serve any prison time, many of his aides were found guilty by the Grand Jury.
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