What was Watergate and why did it cause a US president to resign


the Watergate scandal that ended in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. on June 17 1972 five men were arrested for breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.  at the Watergate Hotel and office complex in Washington DC.

two of the arrested men were discovered to have links to President Richard Nixon’s re-election organization.  However the burglars denied being part of some wider political conspiracy. the White House too rejected any notion of a connection between the break-in and Nixon’s campaign and derided the whole event as a quote third-rate burglary.

however it turned out to be much more the incident at the Watergate didn’t impact President Nixon’s campaign. he was re-elected in a landslide in November 1972. but only months later the true consequences of the Watergate break-in would emerge the burglars were sentenced for their crime in January 1973.

They weren’t happy about it one of the former CIA officer Howard hunt had been demanding large sums of money to buy his silence another of the burglars, James McCord. CIA agent McCord decided that he wouldn’t tolerate being a scapegoat after sentencing. McCord wrote a letter to the presiding judge revealing that high-ranking Republicans associated with President Nixon had known about the break-in at the Watergate the letter was a bombshell.

previously the media had mostly ignored the Watergate break-in in its aftermath. McCord letter changed that and the media started to increase the pressure on President Nixon accountability. thorough independent investigation Nixon could no longer ignore or dismiss the growing scandal on April 30th 197 in an effort to seem like. he was punishing the people responsible for the Watergate break-in President Nixon requested the resignations of his two closest aides. chief of staff HR Haldeman and his domestic policy advisor John Ehrlichman Nixon also fired his white house counsel John Dean John Dean had suspected that. the White House was planning to accuse him as responsible for the Watergate burglary.

the subsequent cover-up to protect himself Dean started a co-op with Watergate investigators. who was working for the US Senate the Senate began public hearings about the Watergate affair in May 1973 that same month. Harvard Law Professor Archibald Cox was appointed as an independent special prosecutor whose job was to examine the whole matter and to press charges as necessary.

the following month former white house counsel John Dean testified to the Senate Watergate committee Dean revealed that he discussed with President Nixon. the Watergate break-in and the cover-up including Howard hunts demand for hush money. Dean testified that he warned Nixon. the Watergate affair was a quote cancer growing on the White House. if not stopped could a Nixon’s presidency in disgrace. Nixon ignored Dean’s warnings and proceeded to direct the cover-up testifying to the Senate in July 1973.

Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield confirmed the existence of a tape recording system in the Oval Office. the White House which Nixon had installed in 1971 that is everything that was said in the Oval Office was tape-recorded with that astonishing revelation the next step was clear the best way for Watergate investigators to find out what Nixon knew. when he knew it was to get hold of those tapes, so the tapes were subpoenaed by both the Senate Watergate committee. by special prosecutor Archibald Cox but Nixon refused to turn the tapes over in October 1973 Nixon tried to derail.

 The Watergate investigations Nixon ordered. the Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Archibald Cox Richardson resigned rather than comply so Nixon ordered.  the Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox Ruckelshaus to resigned rather than comply.

finally, Nixon ordered Solicitor General Robert Bork to fire Cox and Bork did so what happened the top two law enforcement officers in the country had just resigned to protest Nixon’s order to fire the man responsible for investigating possible criminal wrongdoing in the White House this was a so-called Saturday night Massacre.

Nixon’s drastic efforts to stop Archibald Cox alarmed many Americans it didn’t help that in the same month the vice president of the United States Spiro Agnew was forced to resign due to charges of income tax evasion and fraud while governor of Maryland congressman Gerald Ford was appointed to be the new vice president according to the provisions of the 25th amendment Nixon tried to compensate for his huge mistake with the Saturday night massacre by appointing a new prosecutor to replace Cox but Jaworski simply picked up.

where Cox left off and demanded that Nixon surrendered the Oval Office tape recordings the pressure on Nixon to come clean was mounting at the end of April 1974 instead of handing over the tapes. Nixon released edited transcripts of the tape recordings hoping that doing so would be considered an acceptable compromise it wasn’t Leon Jaworski sued Nixon to compel Nixon to release the tapes in July 1974.

the US Supreme Court ruled that Nixon must turn over the tapes between July 27th and the 30th of 1974, the House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon for obstruction of justice misuse of power and failure to comply with subpoenas from the House of Representatives seeing his position is hopeless.

on August 8th 1974 President Nixon announced his resignation in a televised address to be effective the following day.  Gerald Ford would become the next.

president and would thereby have the dubious distinction of being the only man to serve as vice president. a president who was not elected to either office on September 8th President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon Ford believed that the best thing for the country was to end the drama and put Watergate in the past although at the time Ford was widely criticized for pardoning Nixon the consensus now is that it was a wise decision it’s never been proven that President Nixon ordered the break-in at the Watergate or knew that it would happen what has been proven however is that Nixon was heavily involved in the cover-up right from the very start on June 23rd 1972 only six days after the break-in Nixon’s own taping system recorded him advising his assistants to try to use the CIA to block the FBI’s investigation in the Watergate break-in and Nixon was recorded telling John Dean in March 1973 that secretly obtaining a million dollars in hush money burglaries wouldn’t be a problem that

quote I know where it could be gotten in his oath of office Richard Nixon has sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States but while in office he actively worked to undermine the rule of law to protect himself in his associates the consequences of Watergate are still evident in the feelings of alienation and distrust many Americans feel toward their government okay so that was all.

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