“I’m situation and a big suspicion. “Crisis can indeed

“I’m not a crook”, said Nixon. It all started with his
second term of presidency when one night five men were arrested for burglary in
the White House Watergate office. This led to many suspicions about what actually
happened that night. Maybe
Nixon’s second term was planned from day one. It could all have been
just a lie. Maybe Nixon was hiding what he knew. There is evidence that he
didn’t want to reveal. All of this led to a giant situation and a big
suspicion. “Crisis can indeed be an agony”.  

When the name Watergate is spoken we think of scandal in
the White House, lying, and a long investigation. The Watergate hotel was
luxurious, stylish, and futuristic. It was constructed by a political science
teacher from Australia. The first parts of the building were completed in September
1964. The building consisted of luxury
penthouses and high class, arrogant people. Only the wealthy could afford it.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the Watergate apartments and offices were
known to be commonly used by the Democratic Party. But later, no resident of
the Watergate apartments would suspect the name of their home would be forever
altered.

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In the late 1960s,
when Richard Nixon was running for president, the U.S. was mourning the death
of two influential people, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Following
the death of King, riots broke out across the country. To add to the tension,
many students and young Americans were protesting the war in Vietnam. Nixon
promised to restore order if he were to be elected. The Democrats, who had
control of Congress, were prepared to block many of Nixon’s plans. A committee
called CREEP (committee to re-elect the president) began its corrupt path to
getting Nixon into office again. Even going so far as to break into the
Democratic Party’s National Committee headquarters located in the Watergate
office in the nation’s capital.

June 17, 1972 was the
date of the Watergate break-in. The five men who broke in attempted to bug the
offices, take photographs of file drawer documents, and steal over $2,000 in
cash. They were trying to find secret
documents and “dirt” on the Democratic National party that could help reelect
President Nixon. The men involved were Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, and
Eugenio Martinez. These men were Cuban exiles from Miami. Two other men who
were associated with the burglary were ex-CIA agent E. Howard Hunt and ex-FBI
agent G. Gordon Liddy. All the men were carrying lock picks, tear-gas guns,
cameras, and electronic listening devices for the break-in. They were also
carrying brand new one hundred dollar bills. The men were caught by a Watergate
hotel security guard. Several men including Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John
Mitchell, Gordon Strachan, Robert Mardian, Kenneth Parkinson, and Charles
Colson were eventually indicted by a grand jury for cover-up of the Watergate
burglary.

Initially, the crime
was not taken too seriously. People thought it was just a botched burglary
attempt.  Nixon denied all rumors that
the White House had a role in the break-in. Americans believed Nixon in the
beginning.  Investigators later learned that some of the men in the burglary were
part of the Nixon reelection committee. This created suspicion which lead to
the launch of a full investigation.

            The
White
House tried to contain the investigation by making it very difficult to get
information. The goal was to keep Nixon unattached to the scandal and to keep
the burglars quiet. One of many problems the White House faced during this time
came from former White House lawyer, John Dean. The FBI revealed that Dean had
sat in on interviews they conducted during the Watergate investigation. Nixon
refused to allow Dean to testify and argued Dean should only be allowed to talk
about things that could be harmful the public. Dean knew a lot of information
that would embarrass the President.

 Another problem that arose during the course
of the Watergate scandal came from the burglars themselves. Most of the men that
played a role in the break-in wanted some sort of payment to keep quiet. The
burglars threatened tell everything if they weren’t promised some money in
return. Nixon eventually decided to pay the burglars for their silence but then
there was no one to take the fall for this crime so things began to unravel as
the burglars started talking.

One of the burglars
mentioned the names of John Dean and Jeb Magruder, a Deputy Director of CREEP.
Not long after, both Dean and Magruder decided to tell the truth and the story
of Watergate. After this information was revealed, the White House went into panic
mode. The FBI director, Patrick Gray, resigned after it was discovered that he
had destroyed some evidence relating to Watergate. Then, Nixon fired Dean after
he had revealed that two of Nixon’s top aides, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman,
were involved in the cover up. Soon after, Haldeman and Ehrlichman resigned.

James McCord, who had
worked for the CIA and the Nixon reelection committee, also revealed
information that would put Nixon in a bad light. McCord wrote a letter to Judge
Sirica that revealed that the defendants were pressured into pleading guilty
and remaining silent. The letter caused an uproar and made many Americans
believe that Nixon had been involved in the scandal from the beginning. As the
scandal revealed more during the trials and testimonies of many witnesses, the
American people began to lose trust in the government.
            This trust was further tested when White House
official, Alexander P. Butterfield, revealed that Nixon had been tape-recording
conversations in the Oval Office. Americans seemed to disapprove of the bugging
as well as Nixon’s actions when he refused to give the tapes for the
investigation. Nixon used the excuse that the tapes would bring harm to future
presidents. He offered a compromise suggesting the White House could listen to
the tapes and give a summary to prosecutor Archibald Cox and to the Senate
Watergate Committee. Cox refused to go along with Nixon’s plans so Nixon had
Cox fired and the investigation was sent back to the Justice Department.  

Nixon eventually provided
the tapes to Judge Sirica although one of them had an eighteen minute gap. Judge
Sirica was shocked by the content of the tapes. Nixon used vulgar language and
ethnic insults. The tapes also discussed blackmail to keep people quiet.

As the president’s
popularity declined, many Americans called for his impeachment. In a nationally televised speech, Nixon promised to never
resign from office, but it became clear that he was involved in the Watergate
scandal and the cover up. On August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon became the first
president ever to resign. Nixon knew he would have to spend all his time trying
to defend himself and not on the issues of America. On the same day he
resigned, Vice President Ford was sworn in as the new president of the United
States.

Was Watergate
necessary? Nixon used campaign funds to hire men to spy on the Democrats in
order to win the election. As the election came and went, it proved that he did
not need to do these horrible things. Nixon won the 1972 election with 62% of
the overall votes over George McGovern.
            Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California
in 1913. After completing his undergraduate studies at Whittier College, he
graduated from Duke University School of Law and returned to California to
practice law. He and his wife Pat moved to Washington in 1942 to work for the federal
government. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He
was the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party presidential
nominee in the 1952 election. Nixon served for eight years as vice president,
becoming the second-youngest vice president in history at age 40. In 1960,
Nixon beat out Vice President Hubert H.
Humphrey to run as the Republican Party presidential candidate. He ran an unsuccessful presidential
campaign, barely losing to John F. Kennedy. He then lost a race for Governor of
California to Pat Brown in 1962. He moved his family to New York and became a
partner in a leading Wall Street law firm in 1963 claiming he was done with
politics.

In 1964, Nixon campaigned for republican presidential
nominee, Barry Goldwater, and was one of the few not blamed for the lack of
success. Then again in 1968,
he ran for the presidency and was elected, defeating incumbent Vice President Hubert
Humphrey.

After Nixon’s
resignation he wrote a series of books that tells the story of his life

including:  RN:
Memories of Richard Nixon, The Real War, Leaders; Real Peace: A Strategy for
the West, No More Vietnamese, In the Arena and Beyond Peace.

In Conclusion, The Watergate scandal was a series of lies,
triumph, and defeat. Nixon was in his second term of presidency when the public
realized what was really happening. This event will change the perspective of
politics forever. But everyone knows you have to move on from defeat and that
is exactly what President Nixon did. On September 8, 1974, President Ford granted Nixon a “full, free, and
absolute pardon”, which ended any possibility of an indictment.