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“I am not a crook” Nixon and the Watergate Scandal.

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Presentation on theme: "“I am not a crook” Nixon and the Watergate Scandal."— Presentation transcript:

1 “I am not a crook” Nixon and the Watergate Scandal

2 Directions Read through these slides carefully. Use the web and your textbook to answer questions and complete special tasks embedded throughout the PowerPoint file for tomorrow (in blue text). You will be asked to come to the front of the room to plug in and share your responses to several questions. Suggested sources:

3 The Election of 1972 Nixon continues to appeal to the “Silent Majority” and uses the “Southern Strategy” again: he attacked “hippies” and radicals, attacked school desegregation to win Southern support His diplomatic successes in China and the Soviet Union won him wide support among Americans Who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 1972?

4 CREEP Nixon left nothing to chance in 1972! Nixon creates the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) to ensure his reelection Attorney General John Mitchell resigns from the Justice Department to become the chairman CREEP raises $60 million illegally, $350,000 used for “dirty tricks”

5 CREEP creates “The Plumbers” The “Plumbers” were created to stop leaks of information and destroy enemies of Nixon First target of the plumbers: Daniel Ellsberg, the Defense Department analyst who leaked “The Pentagon Papers” to the press

6 Daniel Ellsberg What were “The Pentagon Papers,” and why did Ellsberg release them? What did “The Plumbers” do to try to destroy Ellsberg?

7 Operation Gemstone What did Nixon’s men propose doing in this top secret operation?

8 A break-in at the Watergate CREEP aide G. Gordon Liddy has an ambitious plan: break into Democratic National Headquarters, plant wiretaps, and copy documents Wiretaps ordered at Democratic National Committee office in Watergate Hotel on June 17, 1972; a security guard foils the break-in White House cover-up begins immediately Despite this event, Nixon wins 61% of popular vote and wins in Electoral College, 520-17

9 The cover-up Nixon tells the CIA to stop the FBI from investigating the case Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post investigated the Watergate break-in, and found that two of the Watergate conspirators, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy worked for CREEP They write a series of articles about the illegal activities of CREEP; find that the burglars were paid “hush money,” discovered many other illegal activities Their secret source: “Deep Throat”

10 Who actually was “Deep Throat?” His identity was hidden for over thirty years!

11 The burglars go on trial Early in 1973, the Watergate burglars went on trial before federal judge “Maximum John” Sirica One of the defendants, John McCord, admits that the White House had lied about their involvement and had pressured the burglars to “plead guilty and remain silent.”

12 Ervin Committee Hearings May-November, 1973: Senator Sam Ervin chairs televised special Senate investigation uncovers the president’s use of government agencies to harass his enemies, The White House’s role in the Watergate break-in, and illegal campaign contributions. Special Counsel John Dean admits that there was a cover-up, and that President Nixon directed it. White House aide Alexander Butterfield revealed that Nixon had installed a secret taping system in his office that had been used since 1971.

13 Other problems Vice President Spiro Agnew pleads “no contest” to income-tax evasion and accepting bribes in October, 1973. He resigns as Vice President, is fined $10,000, and is given three years probation. Nixon nominates Congressman Gerald Ford to replace him. Nixon’s personal finances come under investigation in 1973 as well. He had paid $800 a year in income tax even though he had earned $200,000 each year. $10 million in federal funds were spent on his personal real estate properties and his daughters’ homes. He later agreed to pay $400,000 in back taxes.

14 The tapes Nixon refused to hand the tapes over to special prosecutor Archibald Cox. On October 12, the Court of Appeals rules that the tapes must be turned over. On October 20, Nixon promised to offer summaries of the tapes and ordered special prosecutor Cox to stop trying to obtain the tapes. Nixon then ordered Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire Cox. He refused to so, and resigned. Nixon then asked the Deputy Attorney General to fire Cox. He resigned as well. Robert Bork, the Solicitor General, eventually fired him. This turn of events was known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

15 What was the impact of the “Saturday Night Massacre on the American people?”

16 The tapes (cont.) Nixon released printed and edited transcripts of his tapes in April, 1974. They revealed that he and his men as petty, vulgar men, constantly scheming to “get their enemies.” The phrase “expletive deleted” was used repeatedly in the transcripts. There were gaps in the tapes as well. Nixon refused still to actually turn over the tapes. What was the decision in the Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Nixon? What was its importance?

17 Impeachment proceedings begin July, 1974: House Judiciary Committee meets to decide on Articles of Impeachment against Nixon: Three articles of impeachment drafted 1. Obstruction of justice for impeding the Watergate investigation 2. Abuse of Presidential power for using government agencies to harass his enemies 3. Contempt of Congress for refusing to obey a congressional subpoena to release the tapes

18 The end August 5, 1974: Nixon admits that he withheld evidence and turns over his tapes Tapes reveal that Nixon ordered the cover-up of the break-in, obstructed justice, and lied about his role for over two years August 9, 1974: Nixon resigns, Gerald Ford sworn in as President (first U.S. President that was not elected as President or Vice President): “Our long national nightmare is over.”

19 President Ford pardons Nixon A month later, Ford pardons Nixon! Why did Ford make this decision, and what was the impact of the pardon on America? speeches/740061.htm speeches/740061.htm

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