miércoles, 17 de junio de 2015

June 17: Five agents of the White House are arrested for entering and stealing documents at the offices of the Democratic National Committee, in an attempt by some members of the Republican Party to listen illegally to Democratic Party phone calls in 1972, which became known as the Watergate scandal that eventually toppled the President Richard M. Nixon.

A photo of the Watergate Complex taken from a DC-9-80 inbound to Washington National Airport on January 8, 2006.

The Watergate cover-up was a political scandal in the United States that occurred in 1972 during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, culminating in bringing charges to some very close directors to the President, and the resignation of the latter, in August 9, 1974.

The Burglary: On June 17, 1972, five men — Bernard Barker, James McCord, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez —  broke into the Democratic National Headquarters office in the Watergate complex in Washington. They were discovered by security guard Frank Wills, and arrested that night.

The scandal began with the arrest of five men for the raid on the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., on June 17, 1972. Nixon and his staff conspired to conceal the raid just six days after the fact.

Headline from Washington Post identifying McCord as a 'GOP Security Aide.'

After two years collecting evidence against the President´s environment, which included members of his team testifying against him in an investigation by the United States Senate, it was revealed that Nixon had a recording system with magnetic tapes in his office, and had recorded a lot of discussions within the White House. These tapes showed he had obstructed justice and tried to cover up the theft. These recorded conversations would be known as "The Smoking Gun".

After a series of legal battles, the Supreme Court of the United States decided unanimously that Nixon had to hand over the tapes that he finally relented.

With the certainty of an accusation by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later. He thus became the only American president who has resigned.

Headlines from The Washington Post

His successor, Gerald Ford, would grant a controversial pardon for any federal crime that was committed during Nixon´s tenure.

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States of America