Watergate Scandal

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Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, presided over a career of firsts. He was the first Republican candidate to participate in the first nationally televised presidential debate, he was the first president to visit the People’s Republic of China, the first president to nominate a vice-president under the terms of the 25th Amendment, and on August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon became the first president to resign from the office of the presidency. The Watergate Scandal began as a crime, grew to cover-up, and ended with the resignation of a leader of the free world. This scandal caused the downfall of what had been a thriving administration.

Prior to 1972, the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. was a lavish hotel with an office and apartment complex. Soon it would become the birthplace of what would become one of the greatest scandals of a presidency. In the 1972 presidential campaign, the Nixon Administration formed the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), lead by Attorney General, John Mitchell. This committee launched a substantial fundraising campaign to generate as much funding as possible before it became mandatory to report campaign contribution. The money would be used to fund any project necessary to re-elect the president, although Nixon was already widely popular among the American people.

The money was put to use in an innovative, and illegal, way. After rejecting two previous propositions, on March 30, 1792, Attorney General Mitchell approved a plan calling for the wire-tapping and infiltrating of offices of the Democratic National Committee at the cost of $250,000. Two aides, G. Gordy Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, were behind the plot that became known as “Gemstone”. Two months after being ...

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... served 5 ½ years as President when he left office at 10:00 a.m. on August 9. Vice-President Gerald Ford assumed the office of the presidency and served the remainder of Nixon’s term.

The Watergate Scandal toppled an administration that was succeeding at renewing American spirit and resolving many of the major issues the country faced at this time. Americans saw their elected leader, the most powerful man in the world, exploit his power and stand in the way of the America justice system. President Nixon aimed to heal the pain America was suffering through when he took office. In many cases he made great progress, but because of his mistakes and the poor decisions of the people around him, he succeeded in reopening the wounds before leaving office. The Watergate Scandal changed the dynamics of American government and would maintain its impression for years to come.
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