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Richard Nixon (1913 -1994) | Watergate Scandal

Richard Nixon (1913 -1994) | Watergate Scandal

Top 1 in Top 8 Shocking Presidential Scandals in American History

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Unraveling Watergate: The Nixon Scandal That Rattled...

Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal

  • 37th President of the United States
  • Term: 1969- 1974
  • Scandals in 1972

The Richard Nixon presidential scandal was a major political scandal in the US. Despite having a quite basic name, The Watergate Scandal, its story, and its consequences even raised an alarm in the whole of America about unchecked presidential power and corruption. 

So, what happened?

On June 17, 1972, right before Richard Nixon was re-elected president, five men were arrested for attempting to break into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington. DC. They had been caught while planting listening devices and stealing important documents. The burglars were linked to the Committee to Re-elect the President, known as Nixon’s campaign organization. 

This event triggered an FBI investigation and led to suspicion of political motives. After that, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post began to unravel the story. Thanks to receiving some information from an anonymous informant called "Deep Throat", they connected the burglars to CREEP and the Nixon administration. As their reporting progressed, it became clear that Nixon's aides, including H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, had participated in covering up the break-in and obstructing the FBI's inquiry. Secret White House tapes also exposed Nixon's involvement in the cover-up.

Consequences

As mentioned, The Watergate Scandal had far-reaching consequences, most notably President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974, marking the first time a U.S. President had ever stepped down from office. This event was followed by President Gerald Ford's controversial pardon of Nixon, sparking national division. This presidential scandal eroded public trust in government and the presidency, giving rise to increased scrutiny by the media, a renewed emphasis on transparency, and legal reforms to prevent future abuses of power. Numerous individuals involved in the scandal faced criminal convictions for offenses like perjury and obstruction of justice. After all, this scandal remains a lasting symbol of the need for accountability and the rule of law in a democratic society.

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