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50th Anniversary of Watergate

From the crime to the consequences
Watergate
Posted at 3:45 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 18:56:16-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fifty years later, the Watergate scandal is remembered in broad strokes.

Burglars broke into Democratic headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, President Richard Nixon mounted a cover-up and eventually was forced to resign.

But the scandal was built from a million pieces, relevant then, largely forgotten now. Like the piece of tape found by a security guard that night, used by the burglars to block the latch in the basement entrance of the building. It's not likely many remember “Gemstone,” code name for a secret wiretap operation.

Or that 69 people were charged with a Watergate-related crime. Old obscurities are getting a fresh look on Friday's anniversary.

It took close to two years for Richard Nixon to be driven from the presidency in disgrace after the Watergate break-in 50 years ago.

On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested inside the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington.

Revelations by the press, a methodical Senate inquiry and dogged work by investigators exposed the crime's ties to Nixon's circle and his ensuing cover-up.

On Aug. 9, 1974, after the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment, Nixon stepped down.

A month later, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon.

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