“From Watergate we learned what generations before us have known; our Constitution works. And during Watergate years it was interpreted again so as to reaffirm that no one - absolutely no one - is above the law.” -Leon Jaworski, special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the United States was experiencing disorder and hysteria as domestic and foreign issues; created stress and tension within the nation. In the late 1960s, when Richard Nixon was running for president, the nation saw the death of two influential people, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, brother of John F. Kennedy. Following the death of King, race riots broke out across the country. To add to the anger and tension, many students and young Americans began to protest the war in Vietnam. Nixon promised to restore order to the country if he were to be elected. Unfortunately for Nixon, the Democrats, who had control of both sides of Congress, were prepared to block many of Nixon’s initiatives. Thus, CREEP (the committee to re-elect the president) began its corrupt path towards getting Nixon into office, even going as far as to break into the Democratic Party's National Committee headquarters located in the Watergate office in the nation’s capital ("Watergate: The Scandal That Brought Down Richard Nixon"). The Watergate scandal, which led to the first resignation of a United States President, changed the political landscape of the nation through its impact on Americans' trust in the government and its employees, its effect on government ethics, and its influence on journalism and the rise in investigative reporting.
June 17, 1972, was the date of the infamous Watergate break-in ("Watergate: The Scandal That Brought Down Richard Nixon."). The five men who broke in attempted to bug the offices, take photographs of the contents of a file drawer, and steal about $2,300 in cash. The burglars, Edward Martin, Frank Sturgis, Eugenio R. Martinez, Virgilio R. Gonzalez, and Bernard L. Barker, were charged with burglary and with possession of implements of crime (Lewis). One of the men was a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, three were native born Cubans, and the other was said to have trained Cuban exiles (Lewis). They were also said to have been working for CREEP ("Committee for the Reelection of the President Collection: Frederic Malek Papers."). Some believed that the men had joined simply because they would be paid well. Others speculated that whoever set up the break-in promised to help the Cuban exiles with their problems in their home country. The scandal was shrouded in mystery as soon as it broke out.
Initially, however, the crime was not taken too seriously. The White House called it “just a third-rate burglary attempt” (Majerol). Nixon denied all rumors that the White House had a role in the break-in. Americans initially believed Nixon and the media and didn’t realize that the nation was stepping...