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CHA3U1: Watergate Primary Source
Transcript of CHA3U1: Watergate Primary Source
G A T E
Watching Watergate unfold:
"One morning, I heard Liddy say, 'My boys got caught last night'...It got me thinking" E l e c t i o n o f 1 9 7 2 RICHARD NIXON vs. GEORGE McGOVERN Republican Candidate = Richard Nixon
Democratic Candidate = George McGovern Democrats' campaign already suffering and Nixon's campaign comparably perfect RESULTS GEORGE McGOVERN RICHARD NIXON DEMOCRATS REPUBLICANS Suffered when running mate Senator Thomas Eagleton forced to withdraw when hospitalized for depression
Democratic party regulars and labour union leaders cool towards liberal candidacy B E H I N D Almost complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam
Summits in Beijing and Moscow indicated easing cold war tensions
Solidified support among "middle Americans" President Nixon received 61% of popular vote and won every electoral vote except Massachusetts and District of Columbia However, it was later revealed that the victory was not won entirely fairly... S T O R Y T H E 1974 1972 June 17 The WATERGATE S c a n d a l CREEP Committee to Reelect the President Collected more than $50 million for campaign, some of which illegally received
Some funds used to finance "dirty tricks" against Democrats Investigation 1972 Formally abbreviated as CRP Suspicions grow as rumors surrounding President Nixon's alleged payment of $1 million to the burglars in bribing them to plea guilty and to not disclose any information at the trials escalate. Five burglars are caught breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Complex. 1. THE SCANDAL UNCOVERED After the initial investigation, miniature recording devices are discovered and it is evident that the men are connected to a plot in an attempt to "bug" the office. Evidence: Chapstick tubes containing hidden embedded microphones. The FBI are able to connect cash on hand from the burglars to a Republican slush fund (auxiliary monetary account/ reserve fund). 2. THE AFTERMATH News-reporters and journalists from papers like the Washington Post begin to investigate and are able to link several key members of the White House staff and CREEP members to the plot. Tensions in public opinion rise. After being cautioned to resign by several advisors following threats of being undoubtedly impeached, President Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign. As televised hearings proceeded, the public looked on exasperated as it was discovered that the President tape-recorded most of his conversations in the Oval Office. Eventually a total of 25 people connected to the administration were convicted in participation with the scandal. When the special prosecutor was removed on orders by Nixon due to his persistent demand in handing over the White House tapes, a serious protest for his impeachment arose. THE SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE From CHAPTER 34, Section 4: THE WATERGATE SCANDAL At first maintaining a position of innocence, and compromising by releasing written transcripts of the White House tapes that had been heavily edited, the President later complied to the Supreme Court order that ruled that he was to turn over the tapes. One tape provided direct evidence that on June 23, 1972, just six days after the break-in, the President organized a cover-up. 1974, August 8 The Media Key players in the... Reporters did both good and harm in exposing the conspiracy while increasing public speculation
Journalists from the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's contributions to the case helped unravel the conspiracy
People began to trust the media more than the government DISCUSSION QUESTION Is mass media coverage of significant historical events to blame for present day conspiracy speculations and distrust in the government? Or should journalists and reporters be praised for their efforts? Historians often argue that the Watergate political scandal made an entire generation skeptical about American politics. Why was this such a big concern? 1974, August 9 The next day, Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the thirty-eighth President. A month later after entering office, he granted an unconditional pardon to Richard Nixon. LONG-TERM IMPACTS "The night Nixon resigned I felt truly sad for the country. This was the first president driven from the office." #1 & The Impact of Media Involvement in the Investigation Process CONSIDER THIS: Should the media have been involved in the investigation in the first place? What are the underlying impacts? T O U N D E R S T A N D T H E M A G N I T U D E
O F T H E S I T U A T I O N. . . "And I always thought that it didn't have to happen that way. If Nixon had acted early and asked his entire campaign staff to resign, a lot of the mess could have been avoided." The government is the highest level of hierarchical management that oversees all other integrated federal organizations (F.B.I)
Nixon abused presidential power and circumvented the democratic system, creating an entirely dishonest and falsely constructed administration PRIMARY
DISCUSSION In an attempt to prevent another imperial presidency, Congress passed... War Powers Act of 1973
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act
Freedom of Information Act
Prolonged investigation and controversy led to an increasingly weak America overseas, which would almost inevitably be taken advantage of Your significant
passages How this impacted American politics in the future... ...and the events that followed Arguably the consequential fall of Saigon to the North as the U.S. was in a vulnerable state politically subsequent to the scandal
Major reforms in the ABA (American Bar Association) procedures DISCUSSION QUESTION In adhering to the legal procedures and outlines and practicing one's knowledge of legal matters, did this help or hinder the investigation process? Many of the figures involved in the scandal were lawyers or had a sufficient law background. #2 CONSIDER THIS: "I told Magruder that I had no intention of committing perjury. And he replied, "Well you may have to." I N S T R U C T I O N S DISCUSSION QUESTION Although both parties had their faults in the participation of the investigation, ultimately, which party, either the lawyers/investigators or the media were the real heroes in uncovering the plot? #3 The attempted cover-up constituted to the greater concern of distrust and apprehension in political affairs "I think the tragedy in all of this was that I saw a lot of young enthusiastic people make terrible mistakes and get chewed up in the gears." "Particularly people who had no direct involvement, but who perjured themselves to protect more senior people. So many people went to jail because they lied about the cover-up." T H A N K Y O U