And Good Riddance!
Richard Nixon commits his first act of perjury as President.
Today, 9 August 2009, marks the 35th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation as President.
Nixon disgraced himself and his office countless times engaging in more criminal activity than you would find on Al Capone’s rap sheet, though he is best known as the man behind Watergate.
Watergate is a general term for a series of political scandals, which began with the arrest of five men who broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Washington, D.C., office/apartment complex and hotel called The Watergate on 17 June 1972.
The attempted cover-up of the break-in ultimately led to Nixon’s resignation.
Investigations conducted by the FBI, Senate Watergate Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the press revealed that this burglary was just one of many illegal activities authorized and carried out by Nixon's staff.
The information culled from those investigations was leaked to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward by W. Mark Felt, Associate Director of the FBI: The man known for decades only as “Deep Throat.”
Those investigations revealed an immense series of crimes and abuses, including campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, wiretapping on a massive scale—including the wiretapping of the press and American citizens—and the existence of a secret slush fund—laundered in Mexico—to pay those who conducted such illegal operations.
Part of the slush fund was used as hush money to buy the silence of the seven men who were indicted for the 17 June break-in: Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in as early as six days after it occurred.
For two years of a constant stream of evidence mounted against the President and his staff—including former staff members testifying against them in a Senate investigation.
A major breakthrough for investigators came when it was discovered that Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.
Undeniable evidence, spoken by Nixon and recorded on tape, revealed that he had obstructed justice and attempted to cover up the break-in. This recorded conversation later became known as the Smoking Gun.
After a series of court battles, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Nixon must hand over the tapes to prosecutors; ultimately, he complied.
Facing certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and of a conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later, becoming the only U.S. President to have resigned from office.