On June 17, 1972, five men broke into the Watergate Hotel. The five men, called “plumbers,” were arrested for burglary, wiretapping, and violations of campaign financing laws. Of course, they weren’t real plumbers. They were called plumbers because their job was to stop information from leaking to the press and the public. The thieves went through an underground garage so as not be spotted. The Watergate Hotel was also, at the time, the national headquarters for the Democratic party. They were trying to break into the D.N.C., the Democratic National Convention.  It was said that this represented an attack on free and open elections. They were sabotaging the Democrats and trying to help President Nixon be reelected. Many government figures were involved in the break-in and cover-up. One of the burglars was the security coordinator for the committee to re-elect Nixon. There were many government figures involved from the start. Immediately after the break-in, Nixon’s press secretary said that Nixon had no involvement in the scandal. The press, however, found evidence that said otherwise. Two reporters from the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, led the investigation. The reporters realized that some White House aides were linked to the case. They even found that some White House officials had tried to involve the CIA and the FBI in the cover-up. Nixon promised that he would appoint a special Department of Justice prosecutor to handle the case. Nixon appointed Archibald Cox as the head prosecutor for the case and the Senate Committee on Presidential Campaigns began having hearings in May,1973. John W. Dean III was a chief witness against Nixon in the hearings. He admitted he had played a major role in the White House cover-up. He was later sentenced to prison but only ended up serving four months of his term and was then released. During the investigation, the Senate committees found that Nixon had been recording conversations in the White House since 1971. It was thought that the tapes could be critical pieces of evidence for the case. Nixon refused to give up the tapes. He argued that the Constitution gave him the right as President to maintain the confidentiality of private presidential conversations.  Nixon was then sued by Cox and the committee, and the Judge, John J. Sirica, decided to review the tapes for himself, but Nixon still would not give them up.  Nixon offered to give up summaries of the tapes, but Cox declared that the summaries would be unacceptable in court. Nixon then ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Cox, but Richardson did not want to and resigned. . Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, but he also refused and resigned. Robert Bork was named as the acting Attorney General, and he agreed to fire Cox. Nixon then appointed Leon Jaworski, an American attorney, to succeed Cox.

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