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Nixon The Villain?: The Watergate Scandal

1340 words - 5 pages

A scandal now known as Watergate occurred on June 17, 1972. This scandal occurred when five men were caught trying to wiretap the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. At 1:55 A.M., Frank Wills, a security guard at the Watergate hotel, discovered evidence of a break-in and called the police. The five men, who broke into the hotel, tried to wiretap the sixth floor where the headquarters was but failed. Though it now makes sense, it was a surprise to many people when Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reported that the men involved in this break-in were directly or indirectly involved with Richard Nixon’s reelection committee known as CREEP. The five men involved in the break-in, as well as two others, faced jail time for their roles in the Watergate scandal in January of 1973. In March of 1973, James McCord, one of the burglars, wrote a letter to a judge where he admitted that there was an attempted cover-up of the burglary.
Though it has been nearly forty years since this scandal occurred, evidence of Nixon’s role in the Watergate scandal does not exist. To this day, no one knows if he was the one who ordered the break-in to occur at the Watergate Hotel in the first place. However, his role after the break-in initially occurred is now a well-known part of history. On June 23, 1971, Nixon and his White House Chief of Staff, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman recorded a conversation they had pertaining to how they would use the CIA to obstruct an investigation conducted by the FBI on the Watergate break-ins. During the recording, Nixon also mentioned that he asked the CIA to slow the FBI’s investigation down, claiming that an investigation done now would serve as a national security risk. When the Watergate tapes were discovered, the revelations on the tapes led to Nixon’s resignation because he did not want to be impeached. After the tapes implicated Nixon, a series of court battles ensued. These battles in court ultimately led to a Supreme Court ruling in which Nixon had to hand over the tapes, which he did. To avoid possible impeachment, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. However, Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor, pardoned the ex-president shortly after he took over the presidency.
Although history has established Nixon’s role pertaining to the Watergate scandal with concrete evidence, I believe that there was more to his role then met the eye. Although evidence as failed to establish that Nixon had anything to do with the actual break-in at the Watergate Hotel, does not mean that he was innocent of that crime. His tape recordings make me wonder if he was innocent. If he truly did not do anything, then he would not have felt the need to cover everything up and prevent the FBI from conducting an investigation. It was ironic that he committed a federal offense (obstruction of justice) while attempting to cover up another possible offense (espionage) that he may have committed. In my opinion, I think he felt...

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