Watergate Sex, drugs, money, power, you name it and there is a scandal for it, but look back and you will see that from all the scandals there have been, Watergate was among the worst. The Watergate scandal had everything. From Nixon disgracing the presidency by lying to the country and abusing his power, to his committees being involved in illegal acts and a big cover up. All leading to little side roads of corruption and lies. Watergate is by far one of the worst presidential scandals in the history of the United States.
In the story of Watergate, five burglars were found breaking into democratic offices at the Watergate complex in Washington DC. The break-in was passed off as just another burglary, but when the burglars were found to have connections with the CIA, questions were starting to be asked. Then when the phone number of Howard Hunt was found in one of the burglars phone books, it made people think, “Why would one of the burglars have the phone number of one of the presidents men?” Then there is Richard Nixon, the man of the hour, plays the role of the president of the United States of America. The man that was voted into office by the people, and the man that swore to serve the people. When Watergate was uncovered, it revealed that the president was a liar and a cheat.
The president lied to our country, lied about his involvement, concealed self incriminating evidence, abused his power, and planed to have the CIA stop the FBI investigations. He was also deeply involved with the cover up and still lied about his involvement. During the times of the unraveling of Watergate, questions were asked about connections with the White House and the president, but when the president was asked about it at a press conference he assured Americans that “The White House has no involvement whatever in this particular incident.” He was lying to the country like it was part of his job (Dorman 158). The lying did not end there, it went on and on for months, and as the scandal kept unraveling, “President Nixon and White House, and creep officials were deliberately misleading the public about the significance of the Watergate affair” (158). As Watergate was becoming a front-page article in the newspapers, new evidence was being uncovered. One piece of evidence that changed the peoples ideas of our president was the tapping of every conversation in the oval office “since about the 18th month of president Nixons term” (Kutler 368).
Those tapes would soon prove that the president was deeply involved in the scandal. During the trials, “the Nixon administration claimed that the March 21st, 1973 meeting was the first Nixon had heard of the cover-ups”, but after the tapes were heard it was discovered that Nixon was involved from the beginning (Heritage 36). The Nixon tapes brought out much controversy. The tapes alone could prove the president innocent or guilty, whichever one it was, Nixon refused to hand over the tapes. the courts then demanded the tapes, and Nixon still would not give them up.
After much struggle Nixon agreed to give a transcript of the tapes. The transcripts brought to light a significant amount of evidence against Nixon. The transcripts revealed payoffs, affiliation with the burglaries, and the OKs to the cover-up, But most important “the transcripts showed that Nixon had lied repeatedly after he had denied knowing anything about the conspiracy” (27). After much struggle, the courts finally got the tapes from Nixon, It was Archibald Cox that issued the subpoena for the tapes, and that started the bloodbath we now know as the Saturday night massacre. “The night of October 20,1973, possibly the most tumultuous in American political history, when the special Watergate prosecutor and the nations two top law officers lost their jobs within the space of an hour and a half.” (Heritage 38).
Soon the country would find a new problem with the tapes. “When the presidents lawyers were going over the tapes, they came along an 18 minute gap during a conversation with Nixon and Haldman” (34). Three weeks later, the gap was discovered, Rosemary Woods (Nixons secretary) testified that while transcribing the tape, she had accidentally erased perhaps five minutes when interrupted by a phone call, she said she had pressed the Record button instead of the Stop button and then kept her foot on the machines control pedal while speaking into the phone. (34) “Not everyone accepted this explanation; The maneuver would have been difficult to perform because of the distance between the recording machine and the telephone in her office” (34). Watergate was unraveling, and the story kept getting bigger. Nixon was just having to much fun in the white house.
Before he was busted, “He ordered the FBI to place wire taps on the phones of thirteen government officials, and four prominent reporters” (Fremon 28). Nixon was abusing his powers to the extent, and to him there seemed to be nothing wrong with it. Nixon needed the FBI to stop the Watergate investigation. Former attorney general John Michell knew that the FBI had a long-standing agreement with the CIA that neither agency would jeopardize the others operations. If the FBI could be convinced that the CIA had somehow been involved in financing or carrying out the Watergate burglary, the investigation could be curtailed on the ground of protecting “national security.” Dorman 159) Nixon then told the chief of staff: You call them [the CIA director, Richard M. Helms, and his deputy, Lt.
Gen. Vernon A. Walters] in. . .
. Play it tough. Thats the way they play it and thats the way were gona play it. . .
. Say: Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing. . . .
and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, dont go any further into this case– period! (Heritage 27) President Nixon was also deeply involved with the cover-up. When he was told about the burglary, he gave his full support to the cover-up plan. “On March 21, 1973 the president had a meeting with John Dean, and the president agreed that one million dollars should be raised to silence the burglars” (Kutler 247-257). The president also agreed in a March 21, 1973 meeting with John Dean, to get money to payoff Mr. Hunt (Heritage 34).
President Nixon also made some statements to the public, saying that there was no White House involvement with Watergate. In one statement he said: Within our own staff, under my direction, Counsel to the president, Mr. Dean, has conducted a complete investigation of all leads which might involve any present members of the White House or anybody in the government. I can say categorically that no one in the White House staff, no one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident. (Dorman 167) Actually, Dean had conducted no such investigation and had given him no such assurances (168). Without question, the most notorious examples of dirty politics in the nations history occurred during president Nixons 1972 re-election c …