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January 24, 2012. What was Watergate and how did if affect America? Quiz Section 1 Hope you did your homework! Watergate Presentations Tomorrow Homework: Study . When Richard Nixon took office in 1968, the executive branch of government had become the most powerful branch of government.

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january 24 2012
January 24, 2012
  • What was Watergate and how did if affect America?
    • Quiz Section 1
    • Hope you did your homework!
    • Watergate
    • Presentations Tomorrow
  • Homework: Study
slide2

When Richard Nixon took office in 1968, the executive branch of government had become the most powerful branch of government.

slide3

The expansion of the power of the presidency originated with Theodore Roosevelt and continued to expand even further during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

slide4

Nixon continued to expand the powers of the presidency through impounding funds for federal programs and ordering troops to Cambodia without congressional approval.

slide5

Lyndon Johnson increased presidential authority by using the Tonkin Gulf Resolution as a basis for waging war on Vietnam.

slide6

Nixon believed with his powers that the people didn’t want him to be on their level but to maintain an “imperial presidency.”

slide7

The president choose a small group of loyal advisers as he distanced himself from Congress, that became known as “The President’s Men.” These men also felt they were above the law and helped in Nixon’s 1968 election. Now they would help direct White House policy.

slide14

On June 17, 1972, five men were caught breaking into the campaign headquarters at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington, D.C.

slide15

The group’s leader was former CIA agent, James McCord who was also a security coordinator for a group known as the Committee to Reelect the President (CRP).

slide16

The burglars planned to photograph documents outlining the Democratic Party’s strategy and to place “bugs”, wiretaps, on the office telephones.

slide17

The CRP’s director was John Mitchell, who had resigned as attorney general to run Nixon’s reelection campaign.

slide18

With the president’s consent, the White House asked the CIA to urge the FBI to stop its investigations into the burglary on the grounds of national security.

slide20

The Committee to Reelect the President (CRP) handed out nearly $450,000 to the Watergate burglars for their silence after their indictment in September, 1972.

slide21

Throughout the 1972 reelection campaign, the Watergate Affair generated little interest among the American public and media.

slide22

However, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post kept the story alive.

In a series of stories, the two reporters using an anonymous source uncovered information that linked many members of the administration to the burglary.

slide23

The White House denied each new Post allegation and cast Nixon as a “global peacemaker” in his recent visits to China and the Soviet Union and his promise of peace in Vietnam.

slide27

A few days before the sentencing of the burglars, James McCord sent a letter to Sirica in which he indicated that he had lied under oath and hinted that members of Nixon’s administrated had been involved in the break-in.

slide32

Nixon also announced the appointment of a new attorney general, Elliot Richardson with authorization to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Watergate.

slide34

A special Senate committee, chaired by Senator Samuel James Ervin of North Carolina called for the “president’s men” to give testimony.

slide36

Senator Howard Baker repeatedly asked, “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

slide37

John Dean revealed that Nixon was deeply involved in the cover-up and that he along with other advisers had discussed strategies to continue the deceit.

slide40

The key to revealing what Nixon knew came from presidential aide, Alexander Butterfield, who revealed that Nixon had taped almost all of his presidential conversations to supposedly help him in writing his memoirs.

slide41

Elliot Richardson appointed Archibald Cox as a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

slide43

Nixon refused to turn over the tapes, and ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused and resigned.

slide44

Solicitor General Robert Bork finally fired Cox. This event became known as the Saturday Night Massacre.

slide46

Several months after the massacre, the House Judiciary Committee began examining the possibility of impeachment.

slide47

A few days before the massacre, Spiro Agnew had resigned after it was revealed that he had accepted bribes from Maryland engineering firms, as governor of Maryland and during his term as vice-president.

slide48

Acting under the 25th Amendment, Nixon nominated the House minority leader, Gerald R. Ford, as his new vice president which Congress quickly confirmed.

slide49

In March 1974, seven presidential aides were indicted on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury.

slide50

In the spring of 1974, Nixon told a televised audience that he was releasing 1,254 pages of edited transcripts of White House conversations concerning Watergate.

slide51

Investigators demanded the unedited tapes, which Nixon refused to do. The case was brought before the Supreme Court.

slide52

On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court ruled that the president must surrender the tapes and rejected Nixon’s argument that doing so would violate national security. The Supreme Court said that evidence involving a crime could not be withheld, even by the President.

slide53

Nixon maintained that he had done nothing wrong and at a November 1973 press conference emphatically declared, “I am not a crook.”

slide54

The House Judiciary Committee determined that there was enough evidence to impeach Nixon and on July 27, the committee approved three articles of impeachment.

slide55

The President was charged with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress for refusing to obey a congressional subpoena to release the tapes.

slide58

One gap of 18 ½ minutes containing a conversation between H.R. Haldeman and Nixon was explained as an accidental erasing by Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s secretary.

slide59

A tape six dates after the Watergate break-in, dated June 23, 1972, proved that Nixon knew about the break-in and had agreed to the plan to cover up Watergate and obstruct the FBI’s investigation.

slide61

Before the Senate could announce the impeachment though, Nixon announced his resignation from the presidency, never admitting guilt, only that some of his judgments “were wrong.”

slide67

Eventually 25 members of the Nixon Administration were convicted and served prison terms for crimes connected to Watergate.

slide68

Watergate’s impact is still felt today as the media and the American pubic continue to be cynical about government and government officials.

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