US V. Nixon. By Paul Ziarko. Background.
By Paul Ziarko
The Watergate scandal occurred in 1972, during which a group of men broke into the democratic headquarters in the Watergate hotel, as time passed it was revealed by the Washington post through a tip from “deep throat” that the men that broke into the Watergate hotel were men that had connections to Nixon's campaign.
The purpose of this trial was to have Nixon subpoenaed into handing over recordings of conversations held in the White House that may have had connections to Watergate, however Nixon argued that he didn’t have to turn over the documents because of his “Executive Privileges.”
"Neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises."--Chief Justice Warren Burger
The outcome of the supreme court case was a unanimous 8-0 decision (8-0 because justice William Rehnquist recused himself) against Nixon, required him to turn the tapes over to investigators, and determined that if the president is subpoenaed for items that will not put the nation’s defense in jeopardy he must turn them over and can not be protected by executive privilege.