The Infamous Watergate Scandal
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The Infamous Watergate Scandal
"The Watergate Complex is a series of modern buildings with balconies that looks like filed down Shark's Teeth" (Gold, 1). Located on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. it contains many hotel rooms and offices. What happened in the complex on June 17, 1972 early in the morning became a very historical event for our nation that no one will ever forget.
The "Watergate Scandal" and constitutional crisis that began on June 17, 1972 with the arrest of five burglars who broke into the Democratic National Committee (DMC) headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington D.C. It ended with the registration of President Richard M. Nixon on August 9, 1974. (Watergate)
At approximately 2:30 in the morning of June 17, 1972 five men were arrested at the Watergate Complex. The police seized a walkie-talkie, 40 rolls of unexposed film, two 35-millimeter cameras, lock picks, pensized teargas guns, and bugging devices. (Gold, 75)
These five men and two co-plotters were indicated in September 1972 on charges of burglary, conspiracy and wire-tapping. Four months later they were convicted and sentenced to prison terms by District Court Judge John J. Sercia was convinced that relevant details had not been unveiled during the trial and offered leniency in exchanged
for further information. As it became increasingly evident that the Watergate burglars were tied closely to the Central Intelligence Agency and the Committee to re-elect the president. (Watergate)
Four of these men that were arrested on the morning of June 17, 1972 came from Miami, Florida. They were Bernard L. Barker, Frank A. Sturgis, Virgillio R. Gonzalez, and Eugenio R. Martinez. The other man was from Rockville, Maryland named James W. McCord, Jr. The two co-plotters were G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt. (Watergate)
The senate established and investigative committee headed by Senate Sam Ervin, Jr., to look into the growing scandal. As they were investigating, they related that the famous break-in was far more involved than what everyone had expected. (Watergate) The White Houses involvement of that morning first became evident when James McCord
wrote a letter to Judge Sirca. In this letter McCord explained that he wanted to disclose the details of Watergate. He made it apparent that he would not speak to a Justice department official of an FBI agent. Although his letter did unveil details, it made server
chargers. McCord justified that "Political pressure" (Westerfled 36) had generated many defendants to plead guilty and remain silent. He also claimed that there had been witnesses at the trail who had committed perjury in order to protect the people who headed the brake-in. McCord declared that he, his family, and his friend might be
in danger if he spoke out. (Westerfled 36-37)
The Senate Watergate Committee saw their chance to unravel the mystery of this scandal. The offered James McCord a chance to speak publicly. In his first meeting with representatives of this committee he named two more people that he claimed were involved in the burglary and cover-up. Theses two men were John Dean and Jeb Margruder.
Margruder was the second-in-charge of the CRP and Dean was a White
House aid. After hearing these substantial accusations the Senate Watergate Committee promptly subpoenaed John Dean and Jeb Margruder. (Westerfled 37-38)
After the next session with James McCord he took the whiteness stand and explained how Liddy had promised him an executive pardon if he would plead guilty. This began to question the White House involvement since only the president could present such a pardon. (Westerfled, 40)
Jeb Margruder was the next witness to testify. He admitted his own perjury to the Grand Jury and verified what McCord had said. While on the stand he also revealed another name to add to the list of those involved, John Mitchell. (Gold, 246-247)
The next witness scheduled to appear was John Dean. In Dean's testimony he exposed that the Watergate burglary had been only a part of a greater abuse of power. He said that for four years the White House had used the powers of the presidency to attack political enemies. They spied on and harassed anyone who did not agree with Nixon's policies. If a reporter wrote stories criticizing the White House they would be singled out for tax investigations. The White
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Watergate scandal, Saturday Night Massacre, John Dean, Leon Jaworski, Richard Nixon, Archibald Cox, United States Senate Watergate Committee, James W. McCord Jr., E. Howard Hunt, Watergate, Committee for the Re-Election of the President, John Ehrlichman
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