The Watergate Scandal

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The Watergate Scandal

The Watergate Affair, is the worst political scandal in U.S. history. It led to the resignation of the president, Richard M. Nixon, after he became implicated in an attempt to cover up the scandal. "The Watergate Affair" refers to the break-in and electronic bugging in 1972, of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate apartment, and office building complex in Washington D.C. The term was applied to several related scandals. More than thirty administration officials, campaign officials, and financial contributors pleaded guilty or were found guilty of breaking the law. Nixon faced possible indictment after his resignation, received from his successor, Gerald Ford, a full pardon for all of his offenses he may or had committed (Branford 2).

In 1971, Nixon created the Special Investigation Unit, know as the "plumbers", their job was to plug all new leaks. Later that year, his agents broke into the office of Dr. Lewis Feilding, and Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, who had given copies of the Pentagon Papers, a secret account of U.S. involvement in Indochina, to newspapers. After Nixon learned of the break-in, he and his top advisors decided to say that the break-in had been carried out for naitonal security reasons(Watergate 3). Later in 1971, H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff, was notified by an assistant, Gordon Stachan, that the U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell and John Dean, counsel to the president, had discussed the need to develop a "political intelligence capability" at the Committee for Reelection of the President(CRP). Some of the personnel and tactics identified with the activities became associated with efforts aimed at the Democrats. In early 1972, Mitchell assumed a new position as director of the CRP and discussed political espionage plans with Dean. Mitchell also provided the proposal to break-in to the Watergate(Branford 3). On June 17, 1972, police arrested five men at the DNC...
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