Gordon Liddy, both members of the committee to re-elect the president. A third suspectwas E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA agent and White House aide. When the news broke President Nixon claimed that no one in the White House hadany prior knowledge to the burglary.
The break-in was part of an elaborate plan byCREEP to sabotage Nixon’s opposition for re-election. A week after the break in Nixonagreed to cover up the White House’s involvement in the break in. Nixon claimed thatany further investigation of the scandal was a threat to national security and needed tocease immediately. This plan seemed to work until early 1973 when the trial for theWatergate break-in began. Nixon had his chance to come clean at this time, but he chosenot to.
This only made things worse for him Once the trial began his involvement in thecover up became greater, and involved blackmailing by those who were on trial for theThe Watergate trial was brief, 5 of the defendant plead guilty and the other 2 wereconvicted by the jury. Before Judge Sircia sentenced the defendants there was a letterwritten by McCord read to the court that implicated that higher ups in the White HouseAdministration had prior knowledge of the burglary and had committed perjury. Nixon’scover up was beginning to come apart and he told the American public that he had noprior knowledge of the break in or the cover up that followed until March 21, which was alie. By April 30, 1973 Nixon was under extreme pressure and announced to America theresignation of his key advisors and legal consul. On May 22, 1973 Nixon came before theAmerican public and told of his involvement in the wiretapping and how he had helpedestablish the Intelligence Unit to protect any threat to national security. The summer of 1973 was a turning point in the Watergate Scandal.
The SenateWatergate Hearings began, and they were led by Senator Sam Ervin. The trial wastelevised and the American public was able to see the political sabotage and deception thatwas carried out by the White House. America learned of the hush money that was paidand the destruction of evidence to keep the affair under wraps. The testimony of John Dean in June of 1973 was particularly damaging to Nixon.
Dean’s testimony was clear, concise and to the point. He informed the committed of a setof tapes that were made in the Oval Office that would implicate Nixon’s involvement inthe scandal. Archibald Cox, who was the special prosecutor on the case wanted the tapes,and he demanded them from Nixon, who refused to hand them over. On October 20 ofthat year Cox again demanded the tapes and was prepared to get a court order for Nixonto turn them over.
In turn Nixon ordered attorney general Richardson to fire Cox, whichhe refused, as did the deputy attorney general. Both men resigned. On that Saturdaynight the solicitor general carried out Nixon’s wishes and fired Cox. With the threat ofImpeachment looming Nixon turned over the tapes.
While the struggle for the tapes wasgoing on there were additional charges brought against the president. On July 30, 1974 the committee voted on 3 articles of impeachment. Nixon wasaccused of obstructing justice, violating his oath, abusing his power, subverting theconstitutional rights of citizens, and disobeying subpoenas for White House records andOn August 8, 1974 Nixon went on national television announce his resignation. He admitted no wrong doing, but admitted to using bad judgmentBibliography: