Sunday, October 17, 2010

Essay on The Watergate Scandal

Richard M. Nixon and the Watergate Scandal Essay

Richard Nixon was the thirty-seventh president of the United States. He was very deceitful (The American President). Nixon told men to break into the Watergate Hotel, he had phone lines bugged, and he taped many White House conversations.

Richard Nixon was elected to the House of Representatives in 1947. In 1952 he became a member of the United States Senate and was running for Vice President with Eisenhower. Dwight Eisenhower won the election and Nixon became Vice President (

In the presidential election of 1960, Richard Nixon ran against John F. Kennedy. He lost and returned home to California. There, he ran for governor and lost in 1962 (

In November of 1968, Richard M. Nixon won the presidential election. He defeated Hubert Humphrey. He won in one of the closet elections in all American history (

On Saturday, June 17, 1972, five men left the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. They moved to a darkened garage. Wearing gloves to avoid fingerprints, they went into the office stairwell. They opened the door, which had been taped to prevent it from locking. They ascended the stairs to the sixth floor, where the Democratic National Committee keeps documents. They broke into files and stole documents and video cameras. They also planted bugging devices in the ceiling (Archer 1-2).



The security officer of the Watergate, Frank Wills, found the taped door and contacted the police at 2:00 a.m. (Archer 2). The police arrived and began searching the office building. When they saw lights on the eighth floor, they rushed up the stairs. Five men surrendered. They were caught carrying $1,300, tools, tear-gas, bugging devices, cameras, and film (Archer 4).

During this time, Nixon was vacationing in the Bahamas. He received a phone call saying that the burglars had been arrested. Knowing this, Nixon began figuring out a way to stop all leads that made it obvious that the men worked for him. Nixon was afraid that the men might tell of his involvement in the Watergate break-in and cause other evidence to surface (Archer 84).

When an investigation took place, Nixon had to cover up the fact that these men were employed by the United States government and worked in the White House. He had to do this so it would not effect his chances of reelection (The American Presidency). The men involved in the break-in were Barker, McCord, Hunt, Gonzalez, Martinez, Liddy, and Sturgis. These men would become known as the Watergate Seven (Cook 76).

The Washington Post began covering the Watergate story. Two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein, found out that Liddy and Hunt were two of the men involved in the break-in. When this was reported the White House put these two men under surveillance because they did not want anymore reports by Woodward and Berstein (Archer 109).

In the summer of 1972, Herbert Kalmbach, a presidential advisor, flew from California to Washington D.C. when he arrived he asked another advisor, Stans, for $100,000 . Kalmbach told Stans that this was for a special assignment that he had been given. Stans gave him $75,000. Kalmbach then gave Hunt, one of the Watergate seven, the money so he would not sell his story to the Washington Post (Archer 99). By the end of that summer, Kalmbach had paid the men of the Watergate Seven almost $230,000. When the FBI searched Howard Hunt’s office they found a gun, a walkie-talkie, and $10,000,000 in Nixon campaign contributions from Robert R. Mullen & Co. (Archer 96).

Nixon’s campaign was the most money ever spent before on a campaign. The total Republican funds were $58,000,000. The Democrats only had $14,000,000. That gave Nixon more influence on the public (Archer 62). The on November 11, 1972, Nixon was reelected. He crushed his opponent, Senator George McGovenrn. Richard Nixon took more than sixty percent of the votes, even after the Watergate break-in (

By the new year, trials for the Watergate seven had begun ( These men appeared before Judge James A. Belson (Cook 13). The five men, who actually broke into the Watergate Hotel, Hunt, Barker, Gonzalez, Martinez, and Sturgis, all plead guilty to breaking and entering. A few days later, Liddy and McCord were found guilty of conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping in the Democratic National Committee headquarters ( At the trials, Bob Woodward attended and took notes to help cover his story (Cook 13).

Later that year, Nixon called for all American troops to be pulled out of Vietnam ( Also, in April 1973, many of Nixon’s advisors started resigning. These men included Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Richard Kleindiest. Nixon also fired John Dean (

After being fired, Dean started thinking that the president had been taping conversations. Then Sam Dash questioned John Dean. Dash had been questioning minor witnesses. He had his legal aids back him up on all his questions. Alexander Butterfeild, advisor to Nixon, Began being questioned. His interogation was similar to Dean’s, with a few minor changes. Only Butterfield’s interogation made Nixon look good. When asked by Don Sanders, Sam Dash’s legal aid, Butterfield admitted that all White House conversations had been taped (Cook 135-136). In May 1973, the trials began. John Dean confessed to having spoken to Nixon Numerous times about the Watergate incident (

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