How Watergate Unfolded

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It began with a bungled burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex early on the morning of June 17, 1972, and the arrest of five suspects. A security guard named Frank Willis had discovered tape-covered door latches in a Watergate stairwell and had called the police.

Two of the five suspects arrested possessed address books with the entries “W. House” and “W.H.,” scribblings that quickly linked them to two shadowy figures: E. Howard Hunt, a onetime CIA agent who had recently worked in the Nixon administration White House, and G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who was on the payroll of the Committee for the Reelection of the President, Richard M. Nixon’s campaign organization.

Nixon dismissed the break-in as “that pipsqueak Watergate” and John N. Mitchell, the reelection chairman, denied any link. But over the next two years, the burglary metastasized into one of the biggest scandals and constitutional crises in modern U.S. history.

Ultimately, Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment, and more than 30 government and Republican campaign officials were convicted of charges including perjury, burglary, wiretapping and obstruction of justice.

Nixon and his top aides attempted to cover up involvement in the break-in and in other political dirty tricks and intelligence-gathering operations that were employed in the 1972 reelection victory over Democratic challenger George McGovern. While the media and members of Congress ignored or played down the significance of the break-in, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two young reporters on the metropolitan news staff of The Washington Post, doggedly pursued leads that led to the highest levels of government.

Woodward and Bernstein were greatly helped by “Deep Throat,” a confidential source who was privy to the details of the FBI investigation. Yesterday, it was revealed that “Deep Throat” was W. Mark Felt, the FBI’s acting associate director at the time. The Post published remarkable findings – that a $25,000 cashier’s check earmarked for the Nixon campaign wound up in the bank account of one of the burglars; that Mitchell, while serving as attorney general, controlled a secret fund for intelligence operations against the Democrats; and that John D. Ehrlichman, a top Nixon aide, supervised covert actions of a special unit known as the Plumbers that burglarized the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

Within months of Nixon’s landslide victory, his administration and career began to unravel. On Jan. 30, 1973, Liddy and James W. McCord Jr., a former CIA employee and chief of security for Nixon’s reelection campaign, were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. White House Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst resigned on April 30. The Senate Watergate committee began televised hearings in May. The following month, The Post reported that former White House counsel John W. Dean III told Watergate investigators he had discussed the cover-up with Nixon at least 35 times, and Alexander P. Butterfield, former presidential appointments secretary, testified to the Senate panel in July that Nixon secretly taped his conversations and telephone calls from 1971 on.

Nixon’s firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox on Oct. 20 – which triggered the resignation of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and his deputy – and a unanimous Supreme Court ruling on July 24, 1974, telling Nixon to surrender 64 tape recordings, hastened the president’s demise.

With the House bearing down on him and moving toward approval of three articles of impeachment, Nixon announced his resignation on Aug. 8, 1974.

– Eric Pianin (Washington Post

If we lose our free, independent press, Democracy is lost and stuff like Watergate will happen every day. H*ll - it may already be happening for all we know.

If we only get our news from sources that always praise the government and one party, then we might as well be a communist state.

For kids born during the Clinton lies, tell me how they compare/contrast to this exactly…

I am not any kind of Nixon apologist, I am just trying to gauge the difference and why exactly this shook your generation so much…



thanks.

Because what Clinton did had nothing to do with the Constitutional duties of his office.

Really, I am astonished that 'mericans don’t understand very much about their government.

lying under oath doesn’t conflict with his constitutional duties?

Really, I am astonished to find out I don’t know anyting about the government!

Oh Boy! constitutional duties include getting laid…I want that job!

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lying under oath doesn’t conflict with his constitutional duties?

It’s not a black & white issue, so not necessarily.

WHAT????????????????????

Impeachment was put in to protect our system of government. Did what Clinton do threaten that?

The real weight of the issues is lives affected because of those lies. A lie is a lie, but the ramifications of a lie is more important than performing the lie itself.

How many lives were lost because Clinton got a blowjob and lied about it?
How many lives were lost because Johnson/Nixon lied about Vietnam?
How many lives were lost because Bush/Administration lied about Iraq?
How many lives were lost because Reagan/Bush lied about the Iran-Contra Arms deal?

How does oral sex compare to killing thousands?

Oral sex lead to thousands of unborn children!!! :laugh:

Quote (Mr Soul @ June 02 2005,13:52)
Oral sex lead to thousands of unborn children!!! :laugh:

I’m starting to see the Deep Throat connection here…

Tony (picker of low-hanging fruit)

oh, I see…it’s ok to lie to the country and stuff about something little like this…i am sure he would NEVER lie about anything else then, right. Just this? ok. glad we cleared that up.

guys…before this gets heated, because clearly you all care about Watergate more than I having lived it, let’s be clear about one thing. I am talking Nixon’s “coverup” of the actual break-in vs Slick Willie’s lie to the Grand Jury. I do not begin to talk about other Nixon events, lies, whatever.

Now, on the subject of the coverup vs the lie, what’s the difference?

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Now, on the subject of the coverup vs the lie, what’s the difference?

How many folks went to prison because of Nixon? How many when to prison because of Monica and Bill? There’s a difference between the meaning of “tricky dick” and “licky dick”.

Yes, you missed out on one of life’s great lessons. Seeing a president go down (so to speak) for the right reason.

Read this stuff… (especially Nixon’s Article 2: Abuse of Power.)

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/impeachments/nixon.htm
http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/impeachments/clinton.htm


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Article 1: Obstruction of Justice.

In his conduct of the office of the President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, in that: On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede and obstruct investigations of such unlawful entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities. The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan have included one or more of the following:

(1) Making or causing to be made false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States.

(2) Withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States.

(3) Approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counseling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings.

(4) Interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force and congressional committees.

(5) Approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payments of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities.

(6) Endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States.

(7) Disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability.

(8) Making false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation has been conducted with respect to allegation of misconduct on the part of personnel of the Executive Branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct; or

(9) Endeavoring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favored treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony.

In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

(Approved by a vote of 27-11 by the House Judiciary Committee on Saturday, July 27, 1974.)

Article 2: Abuse of Power.

Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, imparting the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies.
This conduct has included one or more of the following:

(1) He has, acting personally and through his subordinated and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

(2) He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.

(3) He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the President, financed in part with money derived from campaign contributions to him, which unlawfully utilized the resources of the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial.

(4) He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavored to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive; judicial and legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and the cover-up thereof, and concerning other unlawful activities including those relating to the confirmation of Richard Kleindienst as attorney general of the United States, the electronic surveillance of private citizens, the break-in into the office of Dr. Lewis Fielding, and the campaign financing practices of the Committee to Re-elect the President.

(5) In disregard of the rule of law: he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch: including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force of the Department of Justice, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws by faithfully executed.

In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

(Approved 28-10 by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, July 29, 1974.)

Article 3: Contempt of Congress.

In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of the President of the United States, and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, had failed without lawful cause or excuse, to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President. In refusing to produce these papers and things, Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgement as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In all this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial and removal from office.

(Approved 21-17 by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, July 30, 1974.)

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Now, on the subject of the coverup vs the lie, what’s the difference?

There’s a big difference - it’s called the subversion of government. Seriously, if you can’t see the difference, you have to look at the specifics of what Nixon was actually doing to understand. In addition, Nixon fired the AG when he said he wouldn’t stop the prosecution. For many Republicans, that was when Nixon actually crossed the line and they said he had to go.

Clinton lied about having sex with an intern after a special prosecutor had been investigating everything & anything he could find to bring him down. And lying about sex was all that he could find. Seriously, the Clinton investigation & impeachment was a sad day for our country.

And it was a sad day when Nixon did what he did too.

Well, OK clark, I have to agree, the perjury was a problem, no question about it, that was flat out wrong. In terms of constitutional crises, however, Nixon takes the cake. I like others am inclined to be more forgiving of Clinton, since he was hounded by repubs who only care about power, and not about the country, and it was sex, and not a coverup of a criminal act.

ok

Tom, thanks for a reasoned response. that’s what I was looking for…