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Watergate Scandal Essay

Definitions:

1. Impeachment- (in congress or a state legislature) the presentation of formal charges against a public official by the lower house, trial before the upper house

2. The “plumbers”- secret White House special investigations unit established in1971 during the Nixon presidency

3. Perjury- the willful giving of false testimony under oath of affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry

4. Judicial Review- the power of a court to adjudicate the constitutionality of the laws of a government or the acts of a government official

5. Subpoena- the usual writ for the summoning of witnesses or the submission of evidence, as records or documents, before a court or other deliberative body

6. CREEP- in 1972 the committee to re-elect the president

7. Separation of Powers- the principle or system of keeping the government broken up into different branches; the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government

8. Indictment- a formal accusation initiating a criminal case, presented by a grand jury and usually required for felonies and other serious crimes

U.S. v. Nixon (1974)

1. What were the three reasons that Nixon gave for refusing to turn over the White House tapes? 1. He argued that the courts lacked the power to compel production of the tapes 2. Because the dispute was between the president and the special prosecutor, it was an executive branch conflict not subject to judicial resolution 3. Even if the Court were the proper branch to decide the scope of the privilege, the need for executive confidentiality justified the application of the privilege in this case

2. What do these reasons state about Nixon’s understanding of the division of powers within the federal government? Nixon didn’t have an understanding of the division of powers within the federal government or he was so desperate in hiding his guilt he would say anything to try to hide what he did

3. What did Chief Justice Burger say about the origins of executive privilege? Chief Justice Burger argued that this controversy was to be held in front of the court rather than the president’s discretion because “it is the duty of the courts to say what the law is.” Burger asserted that the executive privilege flows from the Constitution and the court is the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution.

4. Do you agree or disagree with the analysis that United States v. Nixon expanded the power of the presidency? I agree with the analysis of U.S. v. Nixon in saying that the outcome was unfavorable Nixon but expanded the power of the presidency. This also resolved problems to come about executive privilege

Transcript of White House Tapes, June 23, 1972

1. Haldeman tells Nixon, “the F.B.I. is not under control”. Why does the FBI need to be controlled? They want to control the FBI because they can find out things they don’t want them to. The FBI was able to trace the money which gives them a good lead on the case. Also, random informants have been giving the FBI information

2. What is Nixon’s plan for dealing with the F.B.I.’s investigation of the Watergate break-in? He wants to say that he thinks this will open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again and he wishes for the country that they not go any further into the case.

3. What does this excerpt imply about the relationship between the F.B.I. and C.I.A.? The FBI agents who are investigating Watergate are also part of the CIA

4. What does this tape reveal about Nixon’s view of his power as president? He takes his power for granted and he thinks he can do whatever he wants. Nixon doesn’t seem very nervous or worried about anything and I don’t think he really thought he would ever get caught

5. Why is this tape called “the smoking gun” tape? It is a conclusive piece of evidence. The tape directly proves Nixon knew about the Watergate break-in.


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