Watergate Scandal

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Watergate Scandal
Your assignment is to research the Watergate Scandal and then compare and contrast it to another White House Scandal. When researching the Watergate Scandal you should become familiar with the following vocabulary:



G. Gordon Liddy

E. Howard Hunt

John Dean

Pentagon Papers

Daniel Ellsberg

“the plumbers”

Deep Throat

Woodward and Bernstein

The tapes

House Judiciary Committee

Gerald Ford

Write a one page summary of the events that led up to the resignation of Richard Nixon in August of 1974. Then, create a Venn diagram comparing the Watergate scandal to one of the following:

Andrew Johnson and the Tenure of Office Act

Teapot Dome

Iran – Contra


Comparison areas:

1. Nature of the illegal or improper acts

2. Official positions or posts of the people who committed the acts

3. President’s reaction to accusations

4. Impact of the scandal on the prestige of the Presidency

5. Short term outcome of the scandal

6. Long term outcome of the scandal

Be prepared to answer the following discussion questions in class:


Should the president have the right to more power and/or authority in a time of war or domestic crisis? Explain your answer.


Why did President Nixon want to use various government agencies to spy on opposition groups and individuals? Was he right or wrong for doing so? Explain your answer.


President Nixon said "When the President does it that means it is not illegal." Discuss whether there should be a time when an action or decision by the president, otherwise illegal, would be legal?


Did President Nixon know about the surveillance plan that took place at the Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate Complex? Did he approve it? Describe the reasoning behind the decision to conduct surveillance.


Is political intelligence an acceptable way to operate a political campaign? Describe examples of the use of political intelligence in today's political campaigns.


How did the Watergate scandal impact the public trust in the president? Our political system? Politicians in general?

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