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By that point, therefore, the whole affair was being investigated by the Senate committee, Special Prosecutor Cox, and Judge John Sirica, not to mention Woodward and Bernstein of the and an increasing number of journalists from other major national newspapers.The penultimate act of the Watergate drama unfolded—delivered live to the homes of the American public—on July 13, when Nixon’s appointments secretary, Alexander Butterfield, let slip that the President had installed the soon-to-be-famous recording system.While the attention of the Washington press corps and the public at large remained fixed on the unfolding presidential campaign, Richard Nixon and senior White House personnel including Chief-of-Staff Bob Haldeman and domestic policy tsar John Ehrlichman devised a strategy to block the investigation.
During late 1972 and early 1973 the White House seemed to have succeeded in stalling the FBI investigation.
The official story put forth by the President’s men, however, began to fall apart on February 28, 1973, when L.
Once the dam of lies cracked, it quickly collapsed under the increasing flow of revelations that would eventually drown the presidency.
Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and US Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resigned on the same day (April 30) that Dean was sacked.
In the early hours of June 17, 1972, police officers arrested five men suspected of breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington DC’s Watergate office building.
This building would lend its name to the subsequent political scandal that led, just over two years later, to Richard Nixon’s resignation on August 8, 1974.
Woodward, we now know, had been tipped off by Mark Felt, the deputy director of the FBI.
The Bureau had itself become involved in the investigation of a mere burglary because once the police found wiretapping equipment, the investigation fell under its remit.
Moreover, it served as further evidence of Nixon’s tendency to abuse the power of his office.
What was still a (certainly growing) suspicion became a certainty when, after the Supreme Court in ordered the President to hand over the tapes, the smoking-gun conversation became public on August 5, 1974.