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Brief overview of the Watergate Scandal in American History

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  1. 1. The Watergate Scandal The Downfall of a President
  2. 2. The Watergate Complex
  3. 3. The President’s Men <ul><li>When Nixon took office, the executive branch was the most powerful branch in the government – it had taken on an air of imperial or supreme authority. </li></ul><ul><li>As he distanced himself from Congress, Nixon confided in a small and fiercely loyal group of advisers. </li></ul>HR Haldeman Chief of Staff John Mitchell Attorney General John Ehrichmann Chief Domestic Adviser
  4. 4. <ul><li>June 17, 1972 5 men were arrested after breaking into the DNC headquarters in Washington DC. </li></ul><ul><li>They were eventually linked to CRP – The Committee to Re-elect the President. </li></ul><ul><li>What were they doing there? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Placing listening devices (bugs) and gathering information on the Democrat National Committee’s election strategy </li></ul></ul>The Five Burgulars
  5. 5. 1972 – Presidential Election
  6. 6. <ul><li>The Senate Watergate Committee was a special committee convened by the US Senate to investigate the Watergate burglaries. </li></ul><ul><li>The Committee played a pivotal role in gathering evidence that would lead to the resignation of President Nixon. </li></ul>Senate Watergate Committee Chairman Sam Ervin (D)
  7. 7. <ul><li>White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon from July 1970 - April 1973. </li></ul><ul><li>He was the first Nixon administration official to accuse Nixon of direct involvement with Watergate and the resulting cover-up in press interviews. </li></ul>John Dean
  8. 8. <ul><li>Alexander Butterfield testified before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities on July 16, 1973. </li></ul><ul><li>His testimony, which revealed the White House's taping system, was a pivotal point in President Nixon's presidency. </li></ul>Alexander Butterfield
  9. 9. <ul><li>Nixon initially refused to release the tapes, claiming they were vital to national security. </li></ul><ul><li>A year long battle for the “Nixon tapes” followed and Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor , successfully took the president to court to get the tapes. </li></ul><ul><li>However, there was an 18 ½ minute gap on one tape. </li></ul>The Nixon Tapes
  10. 10. “ The Rosemary Stretch” <ul><li>President Nixon’s Secretary Rose Mary Woods claimed she accidentally recorded over 5 minutes of one of the tapes by stepping on the ‘record pedal’ of the machine. </li></ul><ul><li>She does not know what happened to the other 13 minutes. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>President Nixon wanted to dismiss/fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox from his office the next night—a Saturday. </li></ul><ul><li>He contacted Attorney General Richardson and ordered him to fire the special prosecutor. </li></ul><ul><li>Richardson refused, and instead resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; he also refused and resigned in protest. </li></ul><ul><li>Solicitor General Robert Bork eventually fired Cox, insisting that he believed the decision unwise but also that somebody had to obey the president's orders. </li></ul>Saturday Night Massacre
  12. 12. <ul><li>In the midst of Watergate, Vice-President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign because of improprieties as governor of Maryland. </li></ul><ul><li>Gerald Ford became Vice-President. </li></ul>Vice-President Resigns
  13. 13. <ul><li>Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the story of the Watergate break-in and consequently helped bring about the resignation of United States President Richard Nixon. </li></ul>Investigative Journalists
  14. 14. <ul><li>Deep Throat is the pseudonym given to the secret informant who provided information to Bob Woodward of the The Washington Post. </li></ul><ul><li>The informant provided key information that showed the involvement President Richard Nixon's had administration in the Watergate scandal. </li></ul>Confidential Source On May 31, 2005, Vanity Fair magazine revealed that William Felt (a 30 year FBI agent) was Deep Throat
  15. 15. <ul><li>The House Judiciary Committee (July 27, 1974) approved 3 articles of impeachment for Nixon: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>obstruction of justice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. abuse of power </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. contempt of Congress </li></ul></ul></ul>House Judiciary Committee
  16. 16. <ul><li>Before the entire House voted on the articles, Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974. </li></ul><ul><li>Nixon became the only President to resign in American history. </li></ul>The President Resigns
  17. 17. <ul><li>Official letter of resignation from President Nixon to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Newspaper Headlines
  19. 19. <ul><li>On September 8, 1974, President Ford issued Proclamation 4311, which gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he may have committed against the United States while President. </li></ul>Controversial Pardon
  20. 20. Explanation of Pardon <ul><li>In a televised broadcast to the nation, Ford explained that he felt the pardon was in the best interests of the country, and that the Nixon family's situation &quot;is a tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must.&quot; </li></ul>
  21. 21. THE END