The five burglars, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugennio Martinez, Frank Sturgis, and James McCord, with the help of E. Howard Hunt Jr. and G. Gordon Liddy, broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex to install illegal listening devices so Nixon's advisors could hear private Democratic conversations. These men called themselves "plumbers" because they were plugging up the leaks in the Nixon administration.
Five burglars arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington D.C. This was their second break-in. They came back to fix the broken electronic listening bugs.
The Washington Post
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post reporters, significantly helped to uncover the crimes regarding the Watergate incident. The Washington Post submitted an article stating that while John Mitchell was serving as the U.S. attorney general ran a Rebublican fund to gather secret information about the Democrats and use it to the Republican advantage. After the shocking news, Mitchell was thought to be connected with the break-in at Watergate.
The 1972 Elections
Richard Nixon was reelected president with one of the largest victory margins on record. The exact date is questionable.
The Trials Begin
The trial regarding the "Watergate Seven" begins. The five burglars and the two men who took charge in organizing the scheme went on trial with Judge John Sirica hearing them.
The Senate Gets Involved
Concerned about the Watergate scandal, the U.S. Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate the break-in. Witnesses were televised as they testified that several members of the White House had been involved in the burglary or the cover-up.
James McCord Tells the Truth
Just before his sentencing, James McCord, one of the five burglars, wrote a letter to Judge Sirica stating that he and the other defendents had lied at the persuasion of John Mitchell, the U.S. attorney general, and John Dean, Richard Nixon's lawyer. The letter also stated that Michell approved of the wiretapping and the defendants had been bribed to keep silent.
Nixon's Lawyer Accuses Nixon
John Dean, Nixon's laywer, states that Nixon knew about the Watergate cover-up since it began. However, two men, Bob Haldeman and John Erlichman, still insisted that Nixon knew nothing.
Alexander Butterfield Helps the Watergate Committee
Alexander Butterfield, the former deputy assistant to the president, reluctantly admitted that Nixon had a recording of every conversation that happened within the Oval Office since 1971. This information allowed the Watergate Committee to find out what Nixon knew, when he knew it.
Archibald Cox Demands Tapes
Archibald Cox, the prosecutor in charge of investigating the Watergate incident, demanded that Nixon hand over the tapes and other White House documents along with the Senate committee. Nixon refused, claiming he had an executive right to keep them from Congress and the Senate.
Subpoena Issued by the Watergate Committee
The Watergate Committee issued a subpoena, which forces a person to show in court or give evidence to investigators. This particular subpoena commanded Nixon to hand over the tapes. In response, Nixon claimed he had an executive right to keep the tapes from Congress and the courts. Judge Sirica ruled that although Nixon was elected and is said to represent all people, he still must follow the law.
The Saturday Night Massacre
Again, Nixon refused to hand over the tapes, but made a compromise. He would let Senator John Stennis listen to a few of the tapes and take notes to give to the rest of the Watergate Committee. Archibald Cox refuse the offer, and Nixon asked Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused and resigned. Nixon then asked the deputy attorney general, William Ruckelshaus, to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus refused, as well and was fired. The socicitor general, Robert Bork, finally...
The Saturday Night Massacre Continued
fired Cox. This was known as the Saturday Night Massacre because several senior White House officials lost thier jobs due to Nixon's stubbornness, not because anyone was killed.
Some Tapes Released
Fred Buzhardt, a member of the White House Counsel, told Judge Sirica that two of the nine tapes that had been requested, were never made. Many believed he was lying.
The 18.5 Minutes of Blank Tape
Judge Sirica was notified that there was an eighteen and a half minute gap in one of the tapes. The gap was on June 20, 1972, in the middle of a conversation between Nixon and Bob Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff. The White House claimed that five minutes of the tape had been accidentally erased, but it was testified that the 18.5 minutes had been purposely erased.
State of the Union Address
In this speech, Nixon promised to cooperate with the Watergate Committee in finishing off the case. Exact date questionable.
Another Subpoena Issued
Nixon refused to hand over all the tapes again, but he give up some, none of which placed any blame on Nixon for the crimes at Watergate. However, Nixon's tone shocked the public. He cursed frequently and sounded mean and very concerned about enemies.
Impeachment Hearings Began
Nixon's impeachment hearings began with the House Judiciary Committee.
Nixon Must Release Tapes
The Supreme Court ruled that Nixon had to release all of the tapes.
First Article of Impeachment
The House Judiciary Committee adopted the first article of impeachment, charging the president with an attempt at stopping the Watergate investigation. One of the tapes proved that he had ordered the FBI to stop the investigation. He had finally been caught for trying to cover-up a crime against the Democratic Party.
Nixon formerly resigned after addressing the nation the night before, not admitting to committing any crimes, but confessing poor judgement.
The new president, Gerald Ford grants Nixon a pardon for any crimes and offenses against the U.S.