The Watergate Scandal
the Republican Party again nominated Richard Nixon as their candidate for
President. In June of that year, five burglars were caught in the Democratic
Party campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C. The headquarters were in a group
of buildings named
The burglars had broken
in to copy documents and wiretap the telephones.
Reporters Hint at
stories began to appear about a possible
They said that people in the
White House might have helped plan and pay for the burglary. The
(Federal Bureau of
Investigation) began to investigate. It found evidence that two other people
were connected with the burglary. One of them was a lawyer for the President's
That was the group of
Republicans who were planning Nixon's campaign for re-election.
Nixon announced that the White House had also made an investigation. It showed
no one in the White House had been involved in the break-in. In November, Nixon
was re-elected as President.
1973, the seven people connected with the burglary went on trial. All were found
guilty and sentenced to prison terms. Then one of them revealed that witnesses
had lied in court. He also said that certain White House officials had told the
burglars to plead guilty so that the trial would end quickly. People began to
suspect that the White House was trying to
the truth about the
break-in. But President Nixon said he knew nothing about the break-in or a
Congress Holds Investigation
set up a special committee to investigate the break-in. Witnesses testified that
important White House officials had ordered or approved the break-in.
Dean testified that he had helped cover up the facts about the break-in.
He had been the
or President's lawyer.
Dean also testified that the
President had known about the cover-up and had ordered it to continue.
committee also learned that the President had tape-recorded conversations he had
held in his office. The committee asked for some of the tapes, but the President
refused to give them up.
Vice-President Agnew Resigns
another scandal troubled the Nixon
charged Vice-President Spiro Agnew with filing false tax returns and accepting
bribes. In October 1973, Agnew resigned. Gerald Ford became Vice-President.
President Nixon Resigns
Court ruled that the President had to give up his tapes. The committee found
that some tapes were missing. And part of one important tape had been erased.
But enough remained to show that the President probably was part of a cover-up.
A special House committee drew up
articles of impeachment,
or charges against the
President. They charged that the President had
justice (kept the courts
from finding the truth), had misused his powers, and had kept evidence from
Before the House of Representatives could vote on impeachment, the President resigned. On August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford became the new President.