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{{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use mdy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and President Richard Nixon's administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement. When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, the Nixon administration's resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such "dirty tricks" as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration, articles of impeachment,<ref>http://classes.lls.edu/archive/manheimk/371d1/nixonarticles.html</ref> and the resignation of Nixon as President of the United States in August 1974. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty and incarcerated, many of whom were Nixon's top administration officials.<ref name=convictions/>

The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on Saturday, June 17, 1972. The FBI connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon's campaign.<ref name="congressional quarterly vol 1"> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} This book is volume one of a two-volume set. Both volumes share the same ISBN and Library of Congress call number, E859 .C62 1973 </ref><ref name="smoking gun tape">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In July 1973, evidence mounted against the President's staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee. The investigation revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.<ref> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} </ref><ref> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} </ref> After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to release the tapes to government investigators, and he eventually complied. These audio recordings implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up activities that took place after the break-in and to use federal officials to deflect the investigation.<ref name="smoking gun tape" /><ref>The evidence was quite simple: the voice of the President on June 23, 1972 directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to halt an FBI investigation that would be politically embarrassing to his re-election. This direction was an obstruction of justice. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974.<ref>White (1975), Breach of Faith, p. 29. "And the most punishing blow of all was to come in late afternoon when the President received, in his Oval Office, the Congressional leaders of his party -– Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott and John Rhodes. The accounts of all three coincide… Goldwater averred that there were not more than fifteen votes left in his support in the Senate…."</ref><ref name="isbn0-394-40853-5"> "Soon Alexander Haig and James St. Clair learned of the existence of this tape and they were convinced that it would guarantee Nixon's impeachment in the House of Representatives and conviction in the Senate." {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> On September 8, 1974, his successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him.

The name "Watergate" and the suffix "-gate" have since become synonymous with political scandals in the United States<ref>Trahair, R.C.S including the recent "bend-gate" scandal regarding Apple's iPhone 6. From Aristotelian to Reaganomics: A Dictionary of Eponyms With Biographies in the Social Sciences. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994. ISBN 0-313-27961-6; Smith, Ronald D. and Richter, William Lee. Fascinating People and Astounding Events From American History. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1993. ISBN 0-87436-693-3; Lull, James and Hinerman, Stephen. Media Scandals: Morality and Desire in the Popular Culture Marketplace. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-231-11165-7; Hamilton, Dagmar S. "The Nixon Impeachment and the Abuse of Presidential Power," In Watergate and Afterward: The Legacy of Richard M. Nixon. Leon Friedman and William F. Levantrosser, eds. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992. ISBN 0-313-27781-8</ref> and in other English- and non-English-speaking nations.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Watergate scandal sections
Intro   Wiretapping of the Democratic Party's headquarters    Coverup and its unraveling    Final investigations and resignation    President Ford's pardon of Nixon    Aftermath    Purpose of the break-in   Reactions   See also    References    Further reading    External links   

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