The Watergate Scandal Research Paper

The break-in occurred in where burglars attempted to access the Democratic National Committee office housed in the Watergate building. The break-in took place on June, 17, 1972 at a time when there was internal division and where the United States was involved in the Vietnam war. The breaking in was linked to President Nixon, and the aim was to wiretap phones and steal top-secret documents. The break-in led to what was called the Watergate scandal involving President Nixon who wanted to use it as an advantage of his reelection campaign. The break-in resulted in the wiretapping of the office and the theft of secret documents. The wiretaps in the Watergate building did not work correctly, and the burglars had to return to fix them. The security guard noted the tapings on the locks and informed the police who caught the burglars in the act of setting other wiretaps. The event led to what is known as the Watergate scandal, which involved President Nixon, as the burglars were part of his reelection team.

The White House taping system was installed under the directions of President Nixon. It was more sophisticated than the recorders that had been left by President Lyndon Johnson. The recorders were in the oval office and the visitor’s room and recorded all discussions that took place in those areas. The discovery of the tapes came about when security officers discovered various prowlers trying to install a microphone on the door. The taping system was discovered, and Archibald Cox and the Senate Committee demanded that the president hand over the tapes (Berkin et al., 2013). The president was reluctant and used his lawyers who said that he had executive privilege. The continued persistence of the committee for the tapes to be handed over led to the firing of Cox and the eventual resignation official in the Justice Department and it led to what was called as the Saturday night massacre. The Supreme Court eventually ordered President Nixon to hand over the tapes, which would significantly incriminate him especially in bringing to light his involvement in the Watergate scandal. He finally gave in to their demands and released the tapes on August 5, 1974. Nixon then opted to resign and saved himself the shame of being impeached by the House of Representatives. He was to be impeached for obstructing justice, abusing power and violating the Constitution. The tapes revealed most of his accomplices especially the chief of staff H. R. Haldeman.

The “18 1/2 minutes of silence” represent part of the tapes that was erased and that involved a conversation between President Nixon and his chief of staff Bob Haldeman. The conversation was part of a 69 minute taped conversation on the Watergate scandal. The identities of those who erased the tape are steeped in mystery and are yet to be found.

Haldeman was chief of staff of President Nixon and was instrumental in his reelection in 1968 (Liebovich, 2003). Haldeman was part of the re-election campaign in 1972 where President Nixon won again but after the Watergate scandal, he was indicted on various charges of obstructing justice, perjury and conspiracy. Haldeman was imprisoned in 1995 together with other co-conspirators, but Nixon was left out though he did not respond or take responsibility of having propagated the Watergate scandal. Gerrard Ford pardoned him and therefore he was not incarcerated, and no charges were therefore laid against him.

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