Saturday, February 8, 2020

Watergate Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Watergate - Essay Example Finally, faced by a revolt from within his own party, he chose to step down. How did it come to this? The answer lay in the Watergate hotel complex and the break-in of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters there. The actions undertaken by Nixon and his lieutenants with regards to that event were unacceptable to Americans (Liebovich, 61). They belonged to a country like Romania or Guatemala. Americans had not died during the Revolutionary War against a tyrannical king only to have their president claim he was above the law. This paper will discuss the Watergate Scandal and the events leading to Nixon's resignation from the presidency. Following the discovery of the break-in to the Democratic National Committee's offices, both the courts and the media began to trace things up the chain of command. Reporters such as Woodward and Bernstein published stories linking some of Nixon's closest aides to the break-in. These men were then forced to resign. Congress began its own inves tigation, and Nixon also appointed Archibald Cox to be an independent investigator (Kutler, 330). The ties and connections between the burglars and Nixon were murky and complex. Every string that a reporter pulled ended up leading to another string or connection. So many people appeared to be either involved or trying to protect the president. During the hearings, one of the men who worked in the office of the president's counsel was asked if there was any sort of recording device in the Oval Office. It was revealed that Nixon had recorded all conversations (Kutler, 383). These tapes were subpoenaed but Nixon refused to release them, saying that they were covered by his executive privilege. This created a showdown. Most people felt that Nixon was refusing the release the tapes because they were incriminating. Nixon claimed that they had a great deal of privileged information on them. At this point, due to the many revelations, Nixon had lost the benefit of the doubt. Conversations o n the tapes showed that Nixon had discussed with John Dean the paying of blackmail money to the burglars (Liebovich, 60). Dean, the former White House counsel, later became a key witness against Nixon in the hearings. When the tapes were finally released, an 18 minute gap was discovered where portions of the tapes had been erased. This was thought by many to be a virtual admission of guilt, taking into consideration the massive mendacity that had to that point been supplied by the Nixon administration. Several more months passed. Nixon's men were indicted. Congress began to move towards a process of impeachment after more tapes revealed that Nixon knew more about the break-in than he had originally suggested. The result was that Nixon's position became untenable. He was extremely unpopular and his own party planned to vote against him. He decided to resign. A lot about this scandal is still unknown. One thing that it is easy to judge, however, is that this is an example of the maxim , the cover up is worse than the crime. The break-in was clearly illegal, but if Nixon had said at the beginning that this was bad and had turned the burglars in, it seems unlikely things would have ended up as they did. Instead, dozens of people became involved in illegal action—especially obstruction of justice—in trying to cover things up. Nixon thought he could fire special prosecutors at will. He relied on peoples' patriotism to protect himself. In the end, the American people had had enough of the spectacle he created. They were disgusted with him as their leader and he never recovered his reputation again. The coda of all of these events was surely the Frost/Nixon interviews of the late 1970s. These conversations, the first with Nixon since his

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