The Watergate Scandal Essay

This essay has a total of 2033 words and 11 pages.

The Watergate Scandal



The Watergate Scandal
Essay written by Unknown
The Watergate Scandal was a series of crimes committed by the President and his staff, who
were found to spied on and harassed political opponents, accepted illegal campaign
contributions, and covered up their own misdeeds. On June 17, 1972, The Washington Post
published a small story. In this story the reporters stated that five men had been
arrested breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The
headquarters was located in a Washington, D.C., building complex called Watergate. These
burglars were carrying enough equipment to wiretap telephones and take pictures of papers.


The Washington Post had two reporters who researched deep into the story. There names were
Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, they discovered that one of the suspects had an address
book with the name and phone number of a White House official who could have been involved
in the crime. The reporters suspected that the break-in had been ordered by other White
House officials.


In a press conference on August in 1972, President Nixon said that nobody on the White
House Staff was involved in the crime. Most of the public accepted Nixon's word and
dropped the questioning. But when the burglars went to trial four months later, the story
changed rapidly from a small story to a national scandal. It ended only when Richard Nixon
was forced from office.


Watergate was connected to Vietnam, it eventually exposed a long series of illegal
activities in the Nixon administration. Nixon and his staff were found to have spied on
and harassed political opponents, planned contributions to the campaign, and tried to
cover-up their illegal acts. These crimes that they did were called the Watergate scandal,
named after the building that it happened.


For years Nixon was carrying on the crimes and they were not noticed until now. 1969 was
the really date in which Watergate was really beginning. It all started when the White
House staff made up a list called "enemies list". Nixon had enemies which include 200
liberal politicians, journalists and actors. Most of these people made a public speech
against the Vietnam war. Nixon's aides formed a conducts tax audits on these people that
he thought were enemies. He also had agents find out secret information that would harm
them.


Nixon was always worried about govt. Employees revealing secret info. To the news paper or
any sort of press. The presidents agents helped him by wiretapping phone lines that
belonged to reporters in order to find any revealing some material. Nixon was so worried
that during the Cambodia bombing he had to wiretap his own staff members.


On June in 1971, The New York Times formed work that was published about the history of
the Vietnam War, these were known as the Pentagon Papers. They got the information from
secret government papers. The papers blamed the policies that were formed and caused the
beginning of the war in Vietnam. Daniel Ellsberg, a former employee , gave the documents
to the paper. Nixon became very angry by their publishes.


Nixon tied to make Ellsberg's actions a form of treason, but he was not content to take
him to court. Instead he made a secret group of CIA agents they were called the "plumbers"
this is a name made up because they cover up leaks, such as the pentagon papers, that
could hurt the White House. While they were searching for info. They found Ellsberg's
psychiatrist's office. They discovered nothing wrong. The next time the plumbers are
involved is the next election.


Nixon was always worried about having enough votes for the election in 1972. Nixon was
concerned that Edmund Muskie of Maine would win because he was the strongest Democratic
candidate. Hoping to wipe out Edmund from the competition, the plumbers began to play a
bunch of so called "dirty tricks". They issued make believe statements in Muskie's name
and told the press false rumors about him, so that they could publish it to the public.
And most of all, they sent a letter to the New Hampshire newspaper starting that Muskie
was making mean remarks about French Canadian ancestry. All of these aides forced Nixon to
begin getting above Muskie in the elections.


Overall, the Democratic nomination went to George McGovern, a liberal senator from South
Dakota. His supporters included many people who supported the civil rights, anti-war, and
environmental movements of the 1960s. McGovern had fought to make the nomination process
more open and democratic. Congress had also passed the 26th amendment to the Constitution
allowing eighteen-year-Olds to vote. As a result, the 1972 Democratic Convention was the
first to include large numbers of woman, minorities, and young people among the delegates.


McGovern's campaign ran into trouble early. The press revealed that his running mate,
Thomas Eagleton, had once received psychiatric treatment. First McGovern stood by
Eagleton. Then he abandoned him , picking a different running mate. In addition, many
Democratic voters were attached to Nixon because of his conservative positions on the
Vietnam War and law enforcement.


Meanwhile, Nixon's campaign sailed smoothly along, aided by millions of dollars in funds.
Nixon campaign officials collected much of the money illegally. Major corporations were
told to contribute at least 100,000 dollars each. The collected much it clear that the
donations could easily buy the companies influence with the White House. Many large
corporations went along. As shipbuilding tycoon George Steinbrenner said "it was a
shakedown. A plain old-fashioned shakedown"


The final blow to McGovern's chances came just days before the election, when Kissinger
announced that peace was at hand in Vietnam. McGovern had made his political reputation as
a critic of the war, and the announcement took the wind out of his sails. Nixon scored an
enormous victory. He received over 60 percent of the popular vote and won every state
except Massachusetts. Congress, however, remained under Democratic control.


On January of 1973, two months after Nixon had won the presidential election, the misdeeds
of Watergate began to surface. The Watergate burglars went on trial in Washington D.C..,
courtroom. James McCord, one of the burglars , gave shocking evidence. A former CIA agent
who had led the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, McCord worked for the Nixon
re-election campaign. McCord testified that people in higher office had paid people "hush
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