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CHAPTER 25 - WATERGATE Section 3 – p.838-844. Battling Political Enemies  Nixon was determine to win reelection BIG (1972 Presidential election)  The.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 25 - WATERGATE Section 3 – p.838-844. Battling Political Enemies  Nixon was determine to win reelection BIG (1972 Presidential election)  The."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 25 - WATERGATE Section 3 – p.838-844

2 Battling Political Enemies  Nixon was determine to win reelection BIG (1972 Presidential election)  The “Enemies” List Nixon’s suspicious and secretive nature made the Whitehouse run like it was under attack from political enemies Aids (Charles Colson, created a list of prominent people who were unsympathetic to Nixon’s administration E. Kennedy, S. Jackson, D. Gregory, J. Fonda, S. McQueen, etc A plan to disrupt these people was drawn up  Wiretaps While Nixon ran on law and order, he ordered his followers to wiretap members of his own staff to see if/who was leaking information to the press Aides took this farther and wiretapped reporters and people on the list  The “Plumbers” After the Pentagon Papers were leaked, Nixon assigned a group of aides to find and FIX the leaks, called the “Plumbers” They found out Ellsberg leaked info, their goal then was to punish him

3 Nixon’s Reelection Campaign  John Mitchell – Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP) Special Fundraising created a “Slush Fund” to fund legal and illegal reelection activities HUGE amounts of money were raised before a new law made it illegal to raise money that way  Edwin Muskie The frontrunner was Edwin Muskie (democrat to run against Nixon in 1972) Stole letterhead, sent a discrediting letter and leaked it to a newspaper Letter made bad remarks about the French Canadians living in his state and claimed Muskie’s wife was an alcoholic. Muskie when on TV to refute the letter, broke down on camera  “Dirty Tricks Other methods used to disrupt the Democratic candidates Hecklers sent to campaign stops Spies sent to work in Democratic offices Spies sent to work in campaign offices of contenders

4 The Watergate Break-In  Within CREEP, a group formed to gather intelligence  Plan to wiretap most of the campaigns was rejected, too expensive  Plan to wiretap Democratic National Headquarters in DC Watergate Hotel was the DNC headquarters Break-in on June 17, 1972 was discovered (duct tape on basement door) Those arrested had money that could be traced back to CREEP Nixon contacted the CIA to get them to intervene and stop the FBI from investigating  The Cover-up became known as the Watergate Scandal Nixon was not involved in the planning or break-in but he was in on the cover-up Incident barely noticed by US public, Nixon would crush McGovern in ‘72 election 2 reporters, Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post, dug and dug, following the money until it could be connected with CREEP CREEP paid out hundreds of thousands in “hush” money to Watergate defendants, coached them to commit perjury to protect the President

5 The Scandal Unfolds  Nixon went on TV “ No one in the White House staff was involved in this very bizarre incident.”  Judge John Sirica did not believe the defendants LONG sentences to convince them to tell truth (up to 40 years) or they could cooperate for shorter sentences  Woodward and Bernstein Young and eager reporters from the Washington Post dug into the case Learned about secret funds raised by Mitchell  The Senate Investigation 1973- Senate Investigative Committee began their hearings James McCord agreed to cooperate for a shorter sentence Outlined the basic of how/what CREEP had been up to To protect himself, Nixon forced the top 2 aides to quit (Haldeman and Ehrlichman) Nixon went on TV and claimed he had cleaned out those responsible

6 The Scandal Unfolds John Dean testified that Nixon knew of the cover-up and that other White House staffers had done illegal things Alexander Butterfield testified of a secret taping system in the Oval Office (recording all of Nixon’s conversations and phone calls) Nixon, trying to show his openness, appointed Archibald Cox to investigate the secret tapes. Cox ordered the tapes released, Nixon refused, Cox persisted and Nixon fired him. Calls for Nixon to resign or be impeached began. Leon Jaworski replaced Cox and also ordered the tapes released Nixon released transcripts, Jaworski demanded the actual tapes Hearing began to determine if the Congress should impeach Nixon Voted that there was enough evidence to impeach Nixon on obstruction of justice, abuse of power and refuse to obey a congressional order

7 Nixon Resigns  On August 5, Nixon finally obeyed the order and turned over the tapes... With 18 ½ minutes erased Still the tapes gave undeniable evidence that Nixon was in on the cover-up  On August 8, Nixon appeared on TV and resigned Gerald Ford became president  The Watergate Scandal is one of the low points in US history Government had abused its power Several Nixon aides will go to prison Most Americans lost faith in the government But, the strength of the Constitutional system we have was shown to work... When abuse of power came to light, the problem was investigated and dealt with  On the day Ford took office, he was quoted as saying, “Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws, not of men.”

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