Overview

What was Watergate?

Watergate Hotel, Washington DC

Watergate is a general term used to describe a complex web of political scandals between 1972 and 1974.

The word refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. In addition to the hotel, the Watergate complex houses many business offices. It was here that the office of the Democratic National Committee was burgled on June 17th, 1972.

The burglary and subsequent cover-up eventually led to moves to impeach President Richard Nixon. Nixon resigned the presidency on 8 August 1974.

Watergate is now an all-encompassing term used to refer to:

  • political burglary
  • bribery
  • extortion
  • phonetapping
  • conspiracy
  • obstruction of justice
  • destruction of evidence
  • tax fraud
  • illegal use of government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI
  • illegal campaign contributions
  • use of public money for private purposes

Most of all, Watergate is synonymous with abuse of power.


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