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August 09, 1974 - Image 8

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Michigan Daily, 1974-08-09

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Page Eight

THE MCHIGAN DAILY

Friday, August 9, 1974

PageEigh TH MICIGANDAIY Frday ugut 9,197

Watergate
WASHINGTON (tP - Water- ing catalogue of alleged mis-
gate was merely a footnote on deeds, bringing Nixon's leader-
the Nixon presidency at first, ship and honesty into question.
an aberration in his re-election But it remained the poisonous
campaign. But it grew, an- core. Eventually a grand jury
grily, into a scandal that stone- would find probable cause to be-
walling couldn't hide and presi- lieve the President was involv-
dential power couldn't stop. ed in a criminal conspiracy to
While the skeleton of the story thwart the Watergate investi-
was unearthed piecemeal, the gation.
full involvement of the Nixon Nixon had promised coopera-
men in the break-in and cover- tion with investigators, b u t
up was known only to them- yielded tapes and documents
selves for nine months after only when other alternatives
five men crept into Democratic had failed. He exhausted every
party headquarters to bug and avenue, from ignoring congres-
pry. sional subpoenas to fighting his
BUT THEN, in the incredi- case in the Supreme Court.
ble months of March and April And after the House Judiciary
1973, the silence was breached Committee recommended an ar-
and the scandal burst over ticle of impeachment based on
men in the highest councils of the subpoenas and the Supreme
government, finally staining Cort ruled against him, Nixon
Richard Nixon himself. admitted he withheld three cr-
The President might have cial tapes, "a serious act of
ridden it out, like he did so omission for which I take full
many other personal challenges, responsibility and which I
had it not been for his fateful dee Eregret."
decision in 1971 to activate an UNTIL THEN, the President
unseen taping system designed had continually asserted his in-
to preserve every word said nocence, battling a crisis of
while he was in his offices. confidence that nibbled inexor-
Nixons stbbor refual shabv at his public support.
Nixon's stubborn refusal to aThe President's actions in the
yield those tapes brought the Watergate aftermath were the
first full-blown cry for his im- genesis of the first article o
peachment. And it was the impeachment recommended by
tapes themselves, with their re- the House Judiciary Committee
velstions of knowledge and sub- to the full House of Representa-
terfuge, that produced the tives. It said that Nixon "in Vio-
most damning evidence against lation of his constitutional duty
Richard Nixon and the men who to take care that the laws be
surrounded him. faithfully executed, has p r e-
W A T E R G A T E quickly vented, obstructed, and imped-
became a code word for scan- ed the administration of j u s-
dals that embraced a bewilder- tice.."
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bugged
The story of the Watergate had h
-break-in is too well known to partic
require extensive recounting. he sa
Under the direction of t w o an i
former White House aides, Gor- coons
don Liddy and Howard H u n t Dea
five men with CIA backgrounds ducte
twice broke into Democratic he w
National Committee headquart- the pi
ers in the, plush Watergate of- wie
fice complex. The first entry wiret
on Labor Day 1972, was to plant Nixon
bugs and photograph files. The Nixon
second, on June 17 - when the keeph
burglars were arrested - was White
to correct a transmitter mal- finger
function and to copy more docu- that
ments. and s
THE BURGLARS were found ON
to have been paid with funds ion
from the Committee for the Re- ing 0
election of the President, which trict.
as a result won the popular ed a
acronym CREEP. The mission, allegii
according to some testimony, ants
was approved by former Atty. itirvi
Gen. John Mitchell, Nixon ' s volvel
one time law partner and cam- On
paign director. The fruits of the the W
wiretaps went to the committee and it
of the testimony, into the White that c
and, again according to some i"tens
House. Water
Charles Colson testified t a to set
when Nixon learned of t h e The
break-in "he was so furious that ctiT
he had thrown an ashtray a th
across the room at Key Bis- Ns th
cayne and . . . was just as out- e.t
raged over the fact that any- ent
body even remotely connected
with the campaign organization $inh
would have anything to do with dienst
something like Watergate." ticha
But the June 23 Nixon taone a spe
shows he ordered a halt to the
FBI's probe of the break-in, IN
didn't want to "second g u e s s' the pI
Mitchell and the rest." He said House
later, "I was aware of the ad- the of
vantages this course of action psych
would have with respect to lins- On
iting possible public exposure of most
involvement by person.s con- confir
nected with the re-election com- veale
mittee." that
1969,
The President insisted from cludin
early on, "The White House for na

Nixon era

ad no involvement in lhis
-ular incident." In August
id that was confirmed in
vestigatioh conduc.ed by
el John Dean.
an was to say later he con-
d no investigation and that
orked overtime to thwart
robe.
September 1972, seven men
indicted for burglary and
apping and conspiracy.
complimented Dean on
ng involvement from the
House by "putting your
s in the dikes every time
leaks have sprung here
prung there."
MARCH 23, at a court ses-
convened for the sentenc-
f the burglars, U.S. Dis-
Judge John Sirica disclos
leter from James McCord,
ng pressure on the defend-
to plead guilty, of per-
in the trial and of the in-
ment of others.
April 17, Nixon came into
Ihite House briefing rom
n a short statement s a i d
in March 21 he had been
live new inquiries int the
gate matter "as a result
rio'is charges which came
attention."
taoes show the feverish
tv inside the White House
e scandal been to unri-
in Anril 30 Nixon announc-
e resignations of Halde-
Ehrlichman, Atty. Gen.
;-d Kleindienst and the fin-
'fDean. He gave Klein-
's successor, E1l i o t
rdson, authority to name
cial prosecutor.
THE ensiling days carne
uhlic disclosure that White
agents had burglarized
ffice of Daniel Ellsberg's
atrist.
May 2, Nixon issued his
detailed statement 'o date,
ming what had been re-
d in news media earlier;
there were wiretaps in
an intelligence plan in-
g breaking and entering
tional security and a spec-

ial investigations unit known as
the plumbers.
Of Watergate, Nixon said he
had no advance knowledge of
the burglary, that he sought to
prevent disclosure of possible
CIA involvement, and that he
never authorized or knew about
offers of executive clemency for
the defendants.
The Senate Watergate com-
mittee hearings began and on
July 16, former White H ou s e
aide Alexander Butterfield dis-
closed the White House taping
system.
Immediately the struggle be-
gan as both the Senate commit-
tee and the newly appointed
special prosecutor Archibald
Cox subpoenaed tapes.
COX WON first a district
court decision and then in the
appeals court. He was ordered
to stop his efforts and refused.
In the Saturday Night Massacre
in October, Richardson and his
successor as acting attorney
general resigned rather t h a n
fire Cox, who was finally dis-
patched by the country's third
attorney general in as many
hours.
As telegrams by the thous-
ands flooded Congress in pro-
test, the first impeachment talk
began in earnest. Nixon named
a new special prosecutor, Leon
Jaworski, who picked up where
Cox left off. More subpsenas,
first from Jaworski, then from
House impeachment pro'ers.
At the end of April this
year, Nixon responded to a
House subpoena for tapes by
making transcripts of 46 con-
versations public.
The impact was stunning, but
not in the way the W h i t e
House hoped. They showed a
President concerned with fend-
ing off investigations by "stone-
walling," or "going the modi-
fied, limited hang-out" route.
They also showed the discus-
sion of hush money for Hunt
and the President's resoonse,
"for Christ's sake, get it."
In July, the House Judictary
Committee made public its ver-
sions of key tapes together with
a stunning amount of evidence
gathered for its impeachment
probe. And later in the month,
the committee voted to recain-
mend three articles of impeach-
ment to the full House. Water-
gate, again, was the corner-
stone.
At first, Ziegler derided the
committee as a kangeroo court.
But the bipartisan nature of the
vote made impeachment a "for-
gone conclusion," as Nixon
himself conceded.
His revelation that he had or-
dered the FBI's Watergate in-
vestigation blunted six days af-
ter the break-in - because the
probe was leading to the Presi-
dent's men - placed Nixon in
grave jeopardy at the Senate
trial that would surely ensure.

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