Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 4 weeks ago

Why was Richard Nixon impeached? Explain Watergate to me?


30 Answers

  • 5 days ago

    Watergate started as a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee, located in the Watergate Office building, which was part of the Watergate complex. When then-President Richard Nixon learned of the break-in, he also learned that individuals in his administration were responsible for ordering the break-in. While he did not participate himself, he tried to help cover it up by impeding government investigations. He was also going to be impeached for firing the special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and he was charged with abuse of power.

          He would not cooperate with subpoenas and queries for information, citing "executive privilege". Then John Dean, his attorney general, started talking, and revealed that there was a taping system in the White House. These tapes were subpoenaed, and President Nixon tried not to cooperate again. The initial refusal to turn over the tapes caused the tide to turn against him in terms of public support. The 18 1/2 minute gap on one tape made him look even worse. 

           One of the tapes, when played, revealed attempts to cover up Watergate and block investigations. Hush monies were paid. Earthy language used by the President on the tapes, shocked those for whom it was played. This particular tape became known as the "smoking gun" tape, for providing such clear evidence.

           Elder stateman and then-current Senator Barry Goldwater accompanied two other officials to go to the President and advise him that his support had all but eroded, and that he certainly would be impeached. His presence in this group made the news even more believable.

            Nixon then resigned, and the new President, Gerald Ford granted him a full pardon for any offenses committed. It was this pardon, and not the resignation alone, that avoided the outcome of an impeachment, which was about to be voted on. Hearings for a possible impeachment had begun, and were halted by the pardon.

  • 3 weeks ago

    He wasn’t. Unlike Trump, He was smart enough to resign before they started the process. As crooked as he was, Nixon was a hell of a lot more intelligent than Trump. He was actually well read, was an expert in international politics, especially regarding China and could actually speak Chinese...he was an all around scholar who could read and write in Latin, etc, ... he made Trump look like a garden slug in terms of intelligence. But yes, he was a crook and a hypocrite. Aren’t they all?

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    I’ll sum it up very quickly: Nixon was not impeached.  He resigned to avoid impeachment.  Nixon was going to be charged with obstructing an investigation into the Watergate scandal, which was one in which five burglars were arrested at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. for allegedly breaking into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters to steal private information on Nixon’s opponent in the 1972 presidential election: George McGovern.  It happened while Nixon was running for re-election as stated.  In addition, he also was charged with abuse of power by firing the Special Prosecutor assigned to investigate and Contempt of Congress (which meant he refused to honor subpoenas issued by Congress).

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Please do you own homework..there are so many good readings about it, including concise explanations and overviews.

    • and you need to shush, because at least he or she is creatively tackling homework and that's more than some do and I for one an willing to help anytime. 

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  • Cousin
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    Richard Nixon ordered plumbers to go to a building called "The Watergate" where he did not live, as a prank. We used not to allow that sort of childishness in a president. 

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    He was never impeached, although the process was starting.  He quit before they could impeach him.  Watergate was/is an apartment and office complex.  The Democrats had a place there that some republican operatives broke into to steal election info.  They were caught and the fingers pointed to Nixon.  For more detail, go read some of the many books about it.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Nixon was never impeached. He resigned before that could happen. There are dozens of books on the subject and probably thousands of articles. Start reading. No one can give a proper explanation here, far too complex.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Nixon wasn't actually impeached.  IIRC the House committee had approved articles of impeachment but Nixon resigned before they could be voted on by the whole house.  A delegation of Republican Senators actually went to the White House and told Nixon that if he were to be impeached by the House the Senate would convict him and remove him from office.  To head that off, he resigned, the only president to do so.

    As for Watergate, in 1972, Nixon was up for reelection and running against Democrat George McGovern, who polls showed he was going to absolutely destroy (which he did.  1972 is one of the great landslides in Presidential history).  In June of that year, a group of guys were caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee's headquarters which was located in the Watergate, a hotel and office complex in Washington (hence the name of the scandal).  The men had sophisticated bugging equipment, thousands of dollars in sequentially numbered bills, and address books containing the phone number of E Howard Hunt, a top Nixon staffer (under the brilliant disguise name of "W. House").  The leader of the group was a former CIA officer who now ran security for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP) a pro-Nixon political action committee.  Amazingly, the media didn't initially make a huge story out of the fact that a bunch of guys, some with connections to the White House and Nixon campaign, were caught bugging the headquarters of Nixon's political opponent.  There were only four reporters present at the arraignment and its presumed importance was signified by the fact that they sent then extremely junior reporters like Bob Woodward (just a few years at the Washington Post) and Leslie Stahl (just hired at CBS news).  The White House basically claimed that these were some rogue Nixon supporters who got overzealous in their support of the president and did something illegal on their own hook.  The media seemed to buy that story, at least initially. 

    Subsequent investigation, both by the FBI, the Congress, and the media, eventually destroyed these White House claims.  They were able to link Nixon's inner circle directly to the break in as well as other crimes (such as a theft of psychiatric records relating to a Pentagon whistleblower).  The public learned that there was a team nicknamed "the plumbers" in the White House whose job it was to "plug leaks" and deal with unflattering stories about the president, sometimes through illegal actions such as break ins.  The investigations also discovered a whole bunch of financial crimes, mainly related to campaign finance, which Nixon and his people had undertaken in order to try and cover up their involvement in the break in.  Their strategy for dealing with it basically involved having the burglars take the fall for the whole scheme and that required paying them off and paying for legal costs.  As part of this effort they diverted money which donors thought was going to legitimate campaign expenses to help finance the cover up.  The Nixon team also directed people to lie,  both to the court and to authorities, and exerted pressure on the FBI and other federal investigators to not fully investigate the crime.  Perhaps the most infamous of these efforts was the "Saturday Night Massacre" where Nixon ordered his attorney General to fire a Special Counsel who had been appointed to investigate Watergate.  When the AG refused he fired him and several other top Justice Department officials until he found one willing to carry out his orders. 

    There were three articles of impeachment adopted by the House committee.  The first two dealt with Nixon's actions in orchestrating the break in and covering it up.  The third dealt with Nixon's refusal to make documents and individuals available to Congress for the purpose of the inquiry.  Two other articles of impeachment were considered but voted down by the committee: one related to the extent of US bombing in Cambodia and one related to alleged tax fraud which Nixon had committed (the latter is the issue which prompted the famous declaration from Nixon that "I'm not a crook"). 

  • 3 weeks ago

    He wasn't , he quit ...

  • 4 weeks ago

    Simple...some Republican operatives broke into and entered the DNC headquarters at Watergate just outside DC. Their purpose was to dig up dirt on the Democratic POTUS candidate.

    Digging up dirt on the opponents is legal and done continually. But...a big BUT...breaking and entering is not legal. Nixon denied knowing anything about it under oath. But then the Nixon tapes were discovered and he clearly knew about the break in. So he perjured himself.

    And that's why impeachment was begun. He was not impeached however because he resigned in disgrace before the impeachment could conclude.

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