Watergate Essay Research Paper Watergate ScandalWatergate was
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Watergate Essay, Research Paper Watergate Scandal Watergate was the name of the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States. It included various illegal activities constructed and carried out to help reelect President Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential elections. Watergate included burglary, wire tapping, violations of campaign financing laws, and sabotage and attempted use of government agencies to harm political opponents. It also involved a cover-up of conduct. There were about forty people charged with crimes in the scandal and related crimes. Most of them were convicted by juries or plead guilty. Watergate involved more high-level government officials than any previous scandal in the United States. It led to the conviction of former Attorney General John Mitchell and two of Nixon s top aides, John Erlichmen and H.R. Haldeman, in 1975. Former Secretary of Commerce Maurice H. Stans, a leader of Nixon s reelection campaign pled guilty to Watergate criminal charges and was fined $5000. Watergate also resulted in the resignation of Attorney General Richard Kleindienst in 1973. Watergate really began in 1969 when the White House staff made up a list of enemies. This so-called enemies list was kept of people the president s men wanted retribution on. Nixon had adversaries which included 200 liberal politicians, journalists, and actors. When people made public speeches against Vietnam, agents found out secret information about them that would harm them. The Nixon campaign routinely engaged in unethical dirty tricks . These deceptions were led by White House staffers Charles Colson, Special Counsel to the President; Deputy Campaign Director of the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP) Jeb Magruder; Dwight Chapin, Deputy Assistant to the President; and Donald Segretti, an attorney. These corrupt antics included following Democratic political candidates, assembling reprots on thier personal lives, forged letters on candidates letterheads, altering schedules of campaign appearances, placing harrassing phone calls, and manufacturing false information, then leaking it to the press. The goal of these tricks was to help eliminate the strongest candidates from the Democratic primaries. In New Hampshire, the campaign of front runner Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine was ruined. False rumors circulated to newspapers. The day before the election, Senator Muskie lashed out at the press. This damaged Muskie s eventempered reputation and contributed to his failure to win the 1972 Democratic nomination for the president. The Special Investigations Unit, better known as the plumbers unit, was created as a result of the Pentagon Papers being leaked to the New York Times in June of 1971. The Pentagon Papers were secret defense department documents on the American involvement in the Vietnam War. They revealed a pattern of government deception related to Vietnam. The Papers were leaked to the New York Times by Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, who worked on the staff of the National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger. The Nixon administration responded by stopping publication of the papers and charging Ellsberg with espionage. The plumbers were to block new leaks and control public knowledge of Vietnam policy. President Richard Nixon ordered domestic policy adviser, John Erlichman, to streamline leak plugging by creating the plumbers unit. Erlichman s deputy, Egil Krogh, Jr. and David Young, a member of the National Security Council staff, hired former FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy and former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt to run thier illegal secret operation. Plumbers set wiretaps, opened mail, and conducted break-ins in order to gain information about leaking. They targeted political enemies of the Nixon administration for harrassment. Ellsberg was at the top of that list. In September of 1971, the plumbers unit broke into the office of Dr. Lewis Fielding, Ellsberg s psychiatrist.