Watergate Essay, Research Paper
Watergate The Watergate affair signifies the web of political scandals that plagued President Richard M. Nixon from 1972 until his resignation in 1974.On June 17, 1972, during the presidential campaign of that year, Washington, D.C., police officers arrested seven employees of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) , as they were breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex. Details soon emerged from the break-in news stories as well as a Senate select committee’s televised hearings. Not only had Nixon, his aides, and his reelection campaign conspired to sabotage the president’s Democratic challengers, but they were now attempting to impede the investigation of the Watergate case. This situation sounds a lot like the current Clinton scandal not in it s literal form but, its hidden legal meaning, which leans toward perjury conspiring, and the use of executive privilege. Like Clinton the lies caught up with Nixon when in July 1974, the House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment, charging the president with obstruction of justice. The Supreme Court rejected the president’s claim of executive privilege in United States v. Nixon (1974), upholding the Judges order that the tapes be produced. Responding to the Court’s decision and the committee’s vote, Nixon released eight transcripts of subpoenaed tapes; they provided the smoking gun evidence that he had violated the law and that he had known about the cover-up, which he had once denied. Whitewater It was in 1978 that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton joined with James B. and Susan McDougal to borrow $203,000 to buy 220 acres of land in the Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. They soon formed the Whitewater Development Corp., intending to build vacation homes. In 1982 Jim McDougal bought a savings and loan which he renamed Madison Guaranty. Like alot Savings and Loan s in that period, it lent mainly to insiders, and the McDougals skimmed depositors’ money for themselves. In 1985 Madison hired the Rose Law Firm, one of the partners was Hillary Clinton, to represent it. Also in 1985 the Whitewater land investment of the Clintons and McDougals was in trouble. The individual lots of the land development were not selling. Jim McDougal approached David Hale of Capital Management Services, Inc. Hale’s firm was authorized by the SBA to lend federally guaranteed and subsidized loans to small businesses operated by minorities and the disadvantaged. According to David Hale, McDougal told him that he wanted to clean up some problem loans with some friends in the political family. In February 1986, a meeting took place between Hale, Clinton, and McDougal. Hale said he felt pressured into approving an SBA loan for $300,000 to Susan McDougal who was a partner in Whitewater. McDougal and Clinton were not qualified for the loan under SBA rules. Clinton, Hale and McDougal then conspired to defraud the federal government. The loan was never paid back, and about $100,000 of it found its way into the whitewater acct.
In 1988 the Clintons asked for the deconstruction and liquidation of Whitewater. In 1992 the RTC sent a report to the Justice Department. The referral named both Clintons as “potential beneficiaries” of illegal activities at Madison because of the possibility that Madison depositors’ funds went to the Clinton campaign. Jim McDougal had withdrawn $30,000 out of the bank to help cover Clinton’s 1984 gubernatorial debts. The money was sent through a fundraiser for Clinton in 1985. Several of the supposed contributors have denied making any contributions and one named contributor wasn’t even alive at the time. In July of 1993, the FBI raided Hale’s office and found documents going over the illegal loan. Hale was under investigation for unrelated charges and offered to reveal incriminating evidence against Clinton in return for a plea bargain. U.S. Attorney Casey, a former Clinton campaign worker who had been appointed by Clinton, refused to plea bargain with Hale. But when the special Whitewater prosecutor came to Little Rock in 1994, he struck a plea bargain with Hale. Since the death of McDougal’s, Hale is the only key witness that OIC now has in the Whitewater matter. The White House has attempted to destroy Hale as a witness through a magazine.As you can see Clinton was also plagued with numerous scandals but always seemed to elude them. Until now they all seem to be catching up with him as they did with Nixon. Travelgate The White House abruptly fired seven career employees from the Travel Office on May 19, 1993, and accused them of mishandling money. The firings led to charges that Clinton administration officials tried to use the FBI to justify the firings in order to install political followers in the office. President Clinton ultimately apologized for the administration’s handling of the affair. The key reasons why this happened was because a Clinton associate, allegedly sought the firings after Travel Office employees rejected his plan to get the White House’s charter business for a company he partly owned. The department was then put in charge by a distant Clinton cousin, after this a memo was found asking Clinton to fire the current employees and put his relative in charge.They also believe that Hillary Clinton might have been behind the firings because the White House chief of administration, who actually fired the staff, told a House committee that Hillary Clinton pressured him in taking the action. So even this scandal is still under investigation at this current time by Kenneth Starr, who is seeking any kind of perjury the Clintons might have committed.In conclusion Clinton by far has led a more scandalous political life then Nixon but has been agile enough to evade these problems, he may go done in history as a brilliant but troubled President in the 19th Century.