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The Watergate Scandal Essay

1081 words - 4 pages

Watergate, the popular name for the political scandal and constitutional crisis which
broke out in 1972 during the presidential reign of Richard Nixon, remains a mysterious
happening even today. Some details, people, events, degrees of involvement, and reasons are
still unresolved. But what began as a third-rate burglary on June 17, 1972 escalated into a full-
blown scandal that had a resounding effect on how many Americans viewed the government of
their country.
     Richard Nixon’s presidency and Watergate triggered a first-rate national scandal whose
consequences still colour the nation’s politics. It alerted many Americans to the possible
existence of corruption within their ideal, democratic government.

     The many faces, places, and events that formulate Watergate are numerous; as varied as
the theories as to why and how Watergate actually occurred. Mystery and speculation surround
many of the happenings which became “Watergate”, a catch-all term of the events surrounding
President Nixon’s term of office from 1972-1974.
     On June 17, 1972, a night watchman discovered five burglars in the National Democratic
Headquarters (located in the Watergate Complex) in Washington, D.C. It was discovered that
these burglars (Bernard Barkers, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, James McCord, Jr., and
Frank Sturgis) were working on the Committee to Re-Elect the President (which dons the ironic
acronym CREEP). The break-in was actually an attempt to replace recording equipment which
had been planted in the Democratic Headquarters. Judge John Sirica sentenced them, once they
refuse to admit their involvement with CREEP, or indeed CREEP’s involvement in the burglary.
The burglars were known to the CREEP committee as “plumbers”, as they consistently stopped
leaks to the press about Nixon’s presidential plans.
     On the outset of Watergate, Nixon vehemently denies his government’s involvement in
this scandal. Taped conversations with the president later show that a desperate cover-up to
conceal Nixon’s involvement already began to take place. James McCord, Jr., relates the
involvement of others besides him and his four other “plumbers”, and the pressure to plead
guilty from the “others”.

     On April 30, 1973, growing media coverage began on Watergate as Nixon accepts
general responsibility for it, but denies specific responsibility. Nixon begins to force the
resignation of his advisors, his Attorney General, and others who had worked on the CREEP
committee. Upon these happenings, cracks began to appear in President Nixon’s “sealing” and
cover-ups of Watergate. The mysterious “Deep Throat”, jokingly named after a popular
pornographic movie title of the time, became an important press informant that leaked many
details to the press during the height of the Watergate scandal, especially to Washington Post’s...

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