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32.2 Watergate: Nixon’s Downfall

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1 32.2 Watergate: Nixon’s Downfall
Essential Questions: What events together, are known as the Watergate scandal? Why was the Watergate scandal one of the most serious constitutional crises of American History?

2 Key Terms Watergate H.R. Haldeman John Ehrlichman John Mitchell Committee to Reelect the President Judge John Sirica Saturday Night Massacre

3 Watergate: Key Dates June 17, Watergate Burglaries September Watergate Burglars indicted January Burglary Trial begins March 20, James McCord’s Letter to Judge John Sirica April 30, Resignation of Dean, Haldeman, and Erhlichman May Senate Investigation Begins October Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox sues to obtain the Nixon tapes October 20, Saturday Night Massacre March Mitchell, Ehrlichman, and Haldeman indicted July 24, Supreme Court orders Nixon to give up un-edited tapes July 27, House Judicial Committee votes to impeach Nixon August 5, Nixon releases unedited tapes August 8, Nixon resigns

4 Nixon’s White House Imperial Presidency
Executive Branch of gov. had become to powerful by Nixon’s election Constitutional checks on executive power went ignored under Nixon The “President’s Men” Trusted group of advisors around Nixon H.R. Haldeman, John Dean, John Ehrlichman, John Mitchell 1972 Reelection Campaign Wanted to win landslide victory- By any means necessary Democrats nominate George McGovern

5 H.R. Haldeman

6 John Ehlrichman

7 John Mitchell

8 John Dean

9 The CRP & The Plumbers The “Plumbers”
Group that was meant to stop leaks from the Nixon Administration to the media Also aided Nixon through other- sometimes illegal- ways CRP- Committee to Re-elect the President Headed by John Mitchell Organization and funding for Nixon’s re-election campaign

10 CRP

11 Burglary at Watergate June 17, :30 a.m. DC police arrest five men that had broke into the DNC offices at the Watergate Complex Men arrested were part of the “plumbers” Trying to steal information and wiretap the phone lines at the DNC James McCord, former CIA agent and official in the CRP is one of men arrested Instead of admitting to it, Nixon decides to cover it up Why? Did not gain much media attention during the 1972 Campaign Defeats George McGovern in a landslide

12 Watergate Complex


14 George McGovern

15 Watergate Investigation
Burglars Indicted in September bribed with nearly $500,000 From CRP for their silence Nixon orders CIA to stop FBI investigation National Security Issue Trial begins in Jan. 1973 All but McCord plea Guilty McCord found guilty McCord hints to Judge John Sirica that high profile members of the Nixon administration knew about break-in

16 Judge John Sirica

17 “There can be no whitewash at the White House”
April 30, Nixon fires Dean, Haldeman, and Ehrlichman Goes on National TV announces that Attorney General Elliot Richardson will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Watergate May Senate begins investigation into Watergate- led by N.C. Senator Sam Ervin Members of the Nixon Administration began to testify- and revealed much about the cover-up

18 Sen. Sam Ervin (D- N.C.)

19 “What did the President know and when did he know it. ” – Sen
“What did the President know and when did he know it?” – Sen. Howard Baker John Dean- revealed the president had been deeply involved in the cover-up John Mitchell quickly denied that claim Alexander Butterfield- exposed that Nixon had taped almost all of his presidential conversations The “Nixon Tapes” became subject of a year long battle between the Senate and White House

20 The Saturday Night Massacre
Archibald Cox, special prosecutor took Nixon to court in October of 1973 over the tapes Nixon ordered Attorney General Richardson and his deputy to fire Cox – They refused and were fired Robert Bork did fire Cox, but Cox’s replacement, Leon Jaworski continued investigation Other Problems: VP Spiro Agnew is forced to resign for accepting bribes Gerald Ford become VP Revealed Nixon hadn’t paid his taxes- led to famous “I am not a crook” statement

21 Archibald Cox

22 Nixon’s Fall March Grand Jury Indicts Haldeman, Mitchell, Ehrlichman, and four other aids on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. April 30, Nixon releases tapes- although edited – does not help Nixon’s public image Refused to release unedited tapes July 24, Supreme Court orders Nixon to release the tapes July 27, House votes on Impeachment Charged with Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of Power, and Contempt of Congress

23 Resignation August 5, Nixon releases the unedited tapes- Revealed Nixon knew, and actively covered up the FBI investigation August 8, Nixon Resigns- Ford become President Reflection Question: What primary effect do you believe the Watergate scandal had on the American Public?

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