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The Watergate Scandal Under President Nixon

995 words - 4 pages

There are not many political scandals in the United States history, but when there is one, the scandal becomes immensely popular. The news stories focus on the public embarrassment for weeks. The Watergate Scandal in 1972 is one example of a major political ignominy. The Watergate Scandal, under the Nixon administration, had several immediate and long lasting political and social impacts on political life today.
Rumors can be dangerous in any situation, whether it be about a fight in high school or a potential crime committed by the Commander-in-Chief of the United States. Rumors involving suspicion against President Richard Nixon interfering with the Democratic Party began to arise in 1972-1973. Richard Nixon's political career began in 1946 as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He narrowly defeated Hubert Humphrey for the Presidency in 1968. The leader of the Committee to Re-elect the President, former Attorney General John Mitchell, began a massive fundraising campaign with the intention of spending that money on Nixon's reelection campaign. But competing fairly is not enough for some people. Two of Nixon's aides, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, schemed to wiretap the phones of several Democrats in order to hinder their plans. Although Nixon had not been involved in the planning of this, his actions after the crime, including requesting the FBI to call off the investigation and authorizing payment of 'hush money' to Hunt and others to keep his name clean from any form of conviction (Waggoner), were suspicious. As a person competing for the highest ranked job in the country, it is fathomable why he took risks in order to secure this highly-regarded position. But legal risks like investing money were not used by the Nixon administration. They felt confident in an illegal risk, committing a criminal act that would sabotage the opposition, and it ended up being detrimental to his chances, rather than improving his chances of being reelected.

Not all serious crimes are violent. The criminal act that stirred this entire scandal involved no harm to a specific person. On May 28, 1972, operatives working for the Committee to Re-elect the President ("CRP") burglarized the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") headquarters in the Washington, DC Watergate office complex, thus giving the name of the scandal. But the five burglars were caught and arrested inside the DNC headquarters. One burglar in particular was special, because he was the security director for the Committee. This unofficially proved that this organization was behind the break-in at the Watergate complex. The burglars were carrying several tools that could be used for spying and sabotage. For example, they were carrying chapstick tubes with hidden microphones planted inside of them (Watergate Files). Later that year, it was reported that a check linked to the CRP for $25,000 was deposited in the account of one of the burglars. Nixon can be quoted as...

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