Richard Nixon and Watergate
By: SHAYDE JONES
It later came to light that Nixon was not being truthful. A few days after the break-in, for instance, he arranged to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in “hush money” to the burglars. Then, he and his aides hatched a plan to instruct the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to impede the FBI’s investigation of the crime. This was a more serious crime than the break-in: It was an abuse of presidential power and a deliberate obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, seven conspirators were indicted on charges related to the Watergate affair. At the urging of Nixon’s aides, five pleaded guilty and avoided trial; the other two were convicted in January 1973.
1. A different kind of tape started off the scandals. 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.
2. Who made the famous “third-rate burglary” comment? That statement was made by press secretary Ron Zeigler at a press conference in Key Biscayne, Florida two days after the break-in. He also warned that “certain elements may try to stretch this beyond what it is.”
3. Bernstein and Woodward did the second story about the Watergate break-in. The first Washington Post story was filed by veteran police reporter Alfred E. Lewis on June 18, 1972. The first Bernstein and Woodward report came on June 19, 1972.
4. Other newspapers played important roles in reporting Watergate. The Post had an undeniable critical role in breaking the scandal, especially with scoops from a source called Deep Throat, but the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Newsday had scoops, too.
5. Robert Bork was a figure in the Saturday Night Massacre. The future Supreme Court nominee acted as solicitor general and fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox on October 20, 1973, after Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson quit after refusing to fire Cox, and Richardson’s aide, William Ruckelshaus, was fired for not firing Richardson .