The Watergate Scandal and Its Judgment
The Watergate Scandal and Its Judgment
Never has a situation such as Watergate arisen in the United States before. It was an attempt of monarchy, but because of the American government’s structured system, had failed miserably. Former president Richard Nixon had tried to secure himself a second term in office, and had gone to extreme, illegal measures in doing so. But no matter how ingenious the Watergate scandal had seemed, it proved that the constitution had the ultimate power above all.
Watergate will be known in history not only for the illicit actions of Nixon and his people, but also as a key factor to demonstrate the real supremacy of the Constitution. Nixon had tried to play dictator, but had been checked by Congress, who made sure the law of the country was sustained. They checked the president through many ways, such as putting into effect the twenty two bills of impeachment, ordering hearings for Watergate, using investigatory powers, and subpoenaing for the recorded oval office tapes. Congress followed the rules of the Constitution and made sure that all participants and actions in the Watergate scandal were properly dealt with.
In Watergate, many checks and balances were present. The United States had formed a system of government where one arm of authority could not prevail over another. For example, the Legislative branch checked the executive branch when they set up committees to inspect the actions of Nixon and his people. Another check was placed on the president when the Supreme Court demanded the tapes that recorded every single conversation that took place in the oval office. But Nixon had refused to give up the tapes for he felt he had the right to rebuff because he was the president.
The Supreme Court had the greatest position in giving the people of the United States justice. Several individuals had already been subpoenaed and in the end, it was decided that Nixon’s tapes would ascertain his fault or blamelessness. The Supreme Court continued to press against Nixon, demanding the tapes and he panicked for he knew they would prove his guilt. He gave instead edited transcripts of the conversations, but the Supreme Court had refused any replacements and demanded the tapes themselves. Nixon was held in contempt and was again commanded to hand over the tapes.
Congress also sustained a great role in Watergate. Specific committees were established, especially the Select Committee on Presidential conduct to specifically investigate the president and his people. The Senate had also ordered hearings for all individuals who were said to be involved in the scandal. The hearings injected fear into many of Nixon’s governmental officials, for now they would be tried under the highest form of judgment in the United States. Like flies, they dropped, one after one resigning from their governmental positions while others were thrown in prison.
Among all the heroes and heroines of the Watergate Scandal, I admire the mysterious “Deep Throat” the most. This person put himself/herself in great danger in giving information to Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post. He/She risked his position, even his/her life, in deceiving Nixon and his people. “Deep Throat” managed to bring integrity and honor to not only to bring justice to the government, but to the entire country and its people. His/Her identity will be kept a secret, but will be remembered in history forever as the great champion of Watergate.
The actions of former presidents Clinton and Nixon definitely do relate with each other. Although both were charged with perjury and the obstruction of justice, the intenseness of their proceedings cannot be compared. Clinton was tried for adultery and lying under oath, while Nixon was tested for many more things. Nixon had broken the law in more ways than a person could imagine. For instance, he had destructed government documents, laundered money in Mexico, audited tax returns, used undercover spies, committed perjury, kidnapped individuals, stole psychiatric documents, had a conspiracy to foster prostitution, held secret slush funds, paid to silence witnesses, wiretapped, planned to bomb a building, created bogus opinion polls, yet there are many more. It is true and unlawful of Clinton to lie to the government during the Lewinsky case, but Nixon had used and cheated all the citizens of America. He had stolen the people’s money from their pockets to fund his illegal activities. He had looked straight into the eyes of the public and lied. Clinton had made a mistake, while Nixon had committed felonies beyond imagination. Clinton was impeached in the end, and Nixon resigned from presidency before his judgment was announced. The outcomes of both ex-presidents were dissimilar, along with the extremities of each of their actions.
The Watergate scandal is a crime above the rest. It displays many key factors. It proves that the constitution is the only prevailing element in the United States, and that no one, not even our own president, is beyond it. Watergate is an example for all, showing that America will bring justice and order to this nation and maintain it for all its people.