Nixon & the Watergate scandal

By Jonathan Venegas

The scandal

The Watergate hotel was the site of a June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Five men were arrested and indicted for breaking and entering they were Virgilio González, Bernard Barker, James W. McCord, Jr., Eugenio Martínez and Frank Sturgis. Two other men tied to Nixon, E. Howard Hunt, Jr. and G. Gordon Liddy, were hit with conspiracy, burglary and violation of federal wiretapping laws. All men were either directly or indirectly employed by Nixon, Liddy was convicted of burglary and refuse to testify to the senate committee investigating Watergate.

Woodward and Bernstein were the reporters on this case in 1972 and later became known with investigative journalism, receiving wide acclaim for their journalistic work. In addition to breaking the story, their in-depth reporting and powerful writing sparked one of the greatest political upsets in American history: Nationwide news coverage; investigations by the House Judiciary Committee, Senate Watergate Committee and Watergate Special prosecutor; and, ultimately, President Nixon's resignation and the criminal conviction of many others.

5 Facts on the Watergate scandal

  1. The release of the Smoking Gun tape, among 64 recordings that Nixon was forced to surrender by the Supreme Court, ended the Watergate drama.
  2. The smoking gun tape showed Nixon ordering a cover-up of the break-in right after it happened in June 1972.
  3. The burglars used tape to hold open the latches on door locks at the DNC offices. A sharp-eyed security guard, Frank Wills, saw the tape and called police.
  4. The first Bernstein and Woodward report came on June 19, 1972.
  5. After Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson quit after refusing to fire Cox, and Richardson’s aide, William Ruckelshaus, was fired for not firing Richardson .