Political scandals are not strangers to the United States. They date back as far as 1830, with the presidential sex scandal and Thomas Jefferson, and in 1875 with the Whiskey Ring and President Ulysses S. Grant (Time and Again 1). Today we have the Iran-Contra affair with Ronald Reagan and Whitewater with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Even with these, it can be argued that Watergate could possibly be the worst scandal in the history of the United States. Richard Milihous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, and the only President to ever resign his office.
He was born the second f five sons, in Yorba Linda, California. His parents were Francis Anthony and Hannah Milhous Nixon. His career started in 1945 when he accepted the candidacy for a seat in the 12th congressional district which he won. He was elected to United States Congress in 1946, he then entered into the Senate as the youngest member ever in 1951. Only a short two years later he became the second youngest vice-president in history at the age of thirty nine.
He served two terms as vice President under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1969 he won his bid for the The Iran-contra affair was more of a U. S. foreign policy affair. This scandal came about in November of 1986 when President Ronald Reagan admitted to the selling of arms to Iran. The overall goal was to improve relations with Iran, but it soon came to light that it was more of a trade of arms for hostages deal. Later it was found that some of the profits from the sale of the arms to Iran went to the Nicaraguan “contra” rebels. On Dec. 4, 1992, President George Bush pardoned all the people involved with the scandal and no charges were filed against The latest of all scandals is the Whitewater affair. The Whitewater affair is an ongoing investigation into a bad Arkansas eal-estate adventure in the late 1970, and its connection with the now defunct Arkansas savings and loan company, and with President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary.
The Whitewater development company started in 1979 and had the investors Bill Clinton, the Governor of Arkansas, his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, a attorney for the Rose law firm, James B. McDougal the owner of the Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. The group purchased some land which later turned out to be a bad venture. Sometime later the savings and loan went bankrupt at a cost of sixty million dollars to the taxpayers. There was allegations of the iversion of funds from Whitewater through the Madison Saving and Loan to cover some of the campaign debts of the Clinton’s. There were also allegations of whether the Clinton’s gained income-tax benefits from the failure of Whitewater that they were not entitled to.
To date no charges have been filed against President Clinton or his wife Hillary The whole Watergate scandal, brought about charges of political bribery, burglary, extortion, wiretapping, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, tax fraud, and illegal use of the CIA and the FBI, campaign contributions and taxpayers money for private matters. In all, more than 30 administration officials and other people in the Nixon administration pleaded guilty or were found guilty of illegal acts (Time and The term Watergate” came from the Watergate Hotel in Washington D. C.
In addition to a hotel, the Watergate complex houses many business offices, one which was the headquarters for the Democratic National Committee. It was here that the great scandal got its very start (Farnsworth 1). In the early morning hours of June 17, 1972 a security guard at the Watergate Hotel called police about a robbery. Later, five men were arrested with evidence that linked them to the ommittee to re-elect the President (NARA,1).
After the Watergate scandal had been uncovered, another group of illegal activities came to light. It was found that in 1971 a group of White House officials commonly called the “Plumbers” had been doing whatever they deemed necessary to stop any leaks that were originating from the White House. A grand jury later indicted John Ehrlichman and Special Counsel, Charles Colson and others for the burglary and the break-in at the office of a psychiatrist to get damaging material on Daniel Ellsberg, the person that had published classified documents called the Pentagon Papers.
It was also later discovered that the Nixon administration had received large sums of illegal campaign funds and used them to pay for political espionage and pay more than five hundred thousand dollars to the five men that burglarized the Watergate Hotel (Infopedia,1). In 1972 , White House officials also testified that the Nixon administration had falsified documents to make it look as though John F Kennedy had been involved in the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam, and that they had also written some documents accusing Senator Hubert H. Humphery of moral improprieties(Infopedia
After the Watergate burglars were linked to the committee to re-elect the President, official investigations were put into action. As more and more evidence pointed toward presidential involvement, the media became more confident and aggressive. Bob Woodard and Carl Bernstein two reporters from the Washington Post, were very instrumental in the development of teams of investigative reporters around the world. The term “Deep Throat” became a very common phrase for the anonymous official who leaked valuable information to the reporters Woodard and Berstein(Farnsworth 6).
Other leaders in the investigation ere Judge Sirica, The Sam Ervin committee and special prosecuter Archibald Cox was sworn in as the special prosecutor in May 1973. As Cox and the Ervin Committee pushed the President for tapes that had been made in the White House, Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elloit L. Richardson to dismiss Cox as special prosecutor. On Oct 20, 1973 Elloit L. Richardson turned in his resignation, refusing to fire Cox. William Ruckeishaus, the deputy Attorney General also refused to dismiss Cox and was fired by Nixon.
This turn of events came to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre” and heightened the idea that the president as more involved than previously thought (Grolier 1). Eventually Archibald Cox was dismissed as special prosecutor by the Solicitor-General Robert Bork(Farnsworth 4). Between May and October of 1973, during special Senate hearings, Alexander Butterfield disclosed to the senate committee that some White House tapes existed. Archibald Cox and the Senate Watergate Committee began their push to listen to the tapes. Nixon claimed “Executive Privilege” and refused to turn the tapes over for review (Farnsworth 4).
The President, on April 30, did release some edited transcripts of Oval Office conversations. All the tapes had suspicious gaps. Not very satisfied with what they had received, Judge Sirica subpoenaed additional tapes. When Nixon refused to release the additional tapes the case went before the Supreme Court. The court decision was that Nixon could withhold any tapes that was of concern to National Security, but insisted that Watergate was a criminal matter. This ruling later led to the case of UNITED STATES V. RICHARD NIXON On August 5,1974, Nixon than released three more tapes to the public.
One of the tapes clearly revealed that he had taken many steps to stop the FBI’s investigation in the Watergate burglary. The tape also made it clear that the president had been actively involved in the cover-up from the very beginning(Grolier 1). The fight for the tapes started in the period between May and October of 1973 when Alexander Butterfield disclosed to senate hearings that the tapes existed. The tapes led to the firing and resignation of many people, and allegations against Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s secretary, that she had deliberately erased select portions of the tapes as they were being released ( Farnsworth 4).
Although Nixon did release the tapes a few at a time, and what were released may have been edited, not all of the tapes ave been released to this day. This is why the tapes were given the Although not all the tapes and files were released, the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff ,a part of the National Archives and Records Administrations, Office of the Presidential Nixon administration, is custodian for all the historical materials of the Nixon administration.
Their holdings include, some forty million pages of textual material, the audiovisual records, approximately five hundred thousand photographs, four thousand videotapes, four thousand, four hundred audiotapes, nine hundred and fifty white House tapes and one million feet of motion picture ilm, and more than thirty thousand gift items (NARA I). The Nixon Presidential Materials Staff have some of the records available for research. The material open to the public is approximately two thousand two hundred and ten cubic feet of textual materials. They also created a special flies unit.
The special files unit was created in September of 1972 and was to provide a storage location away from the White House Complex to store the selected sensitive files. These complete files are of a highly sensitive nature and consist of papers of the Office of the President, the staff secretary, the offices of H. R. Haldernan, John Dean, Charles Closon. The following are the other groups that make up the special files and are only portions of the files(NARA1). Desmond Barker Jr. Special Assistant to the President (1 cubic foot) John R. Brown Ill Staff assistant to H.
R. Haldeman (I cubic foot) Patrick J. Buchanan Special Assistant to the President (9 cubic feet) Stephen B. Bull Special Assistant to the President (2 cubic feet) Alexander P. Butterfield Deputy Assistant to the President (3 cubic J. Fred Buzhardt replaced John Dean as Counsel to the President (2 Dwight Chapin President’s Appointments Secretary (14 cubic feet) Charles W. Colson Special Counsel to the President (45 cubic feet) John W. Dean Counsel to the President (37 cubic feet) Harry Dent Deputy counsel and Special Counsel to the President (4 John D.
Ehrlichman Counsel to the President (23 cubic feet) Alexander M. Haig Senior Military Assistant to the President (16 H. R. Haldeman President’s Chief of Staff (140 cubic feet) President’s Office Files (38 cubic feet) President’s Personal Files (65 cubic feet) This is only a partial list of the files that are at the Nation Archives and Records Administration and the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff(NARA 2). Richard Nixon, facing White House impeachment and probable Senate Conviction, became the first U. S. chief executive to resign on August 9, 1974 (Grolier 1).
It was later reported that, Richard Nixon had arranged a deal with Vice-President Ford. The arrangement was, if Ford would full fill two requests, that Nixon would step down and make Gerald Ford the President. Those conditions were, Richard Nixon was to receive a full pardon and that Ford would make sure that any information about Nixon’s involvement with the anti-Castro operations would be totally concealed (Secret 1972 2). With Gerald Ford stepping in to fill in the remainder of the term, Ford gave Nixon a full and absolute pardon in September Harry Robbins Haldeman was Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff.
Haldeman was found guilty of conspiracy , obstruction of justice and perjury in the Watergate cover-up. Haldeman was given a four year sentence and was paroled on Dec. 20, 1978 after serving eighteen months. He later published a book about the scandal entitled The Ends of Everette Howard Hunt was a CIA agent and an presidential aide. Hunt was the director of the Watergate burglary at the Democratic National Headquarters. For his part in the burglary Hunt was given a eight year sentence. He was paroled on February 23, 1977 after serving thirty two months.
Hunt went on to publish dozens of spy thrillers into the John Newton Mitchell served as the Attorney General of the United States. He became chairman of the Committee to Re-Elect the President in March of 1972. He was sentenced to four years for his conviction on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. He went on to live quietly in Washington DC after his release from prison in January John Wesley Dean was the counsel to the President. Dean testified hat the President was involved in the cover-up and also admitted his own involvement.
He served a term of September 1974 to January 1975 G. Gorden Liddy was recruited for the White House staff by Attorney General John Mitchell. For Liddy’s involvement in the Watergate burglary at the Democratic Headquarters and the break-in at Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, he received a twenty years prison sentence. On April 12, 1977, President Carter changed Liddy’s sentence from twenty to These are just a few examples of the more than 30 Nixon officials that admitted their quilt or were found guilty of illegal acts.