Causes of the Watergate Scandal

Nixon's Personality

Nixon was quiet and kept himself to himself due to humble background and abusive father

He adored his mother

Didn't like those of privileged backgroud

Suspicious of others

After 1971, the 'pentagon papers' leak he wanted to stop further leaks 

Prone to spying on others

Sence of inferiority


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The CIA Trap Theory

CIA atttempted to stop agency falling under Nixon's control

Former CIA agent now a member of CREEP, James McCord, deliberatly botched the bugging of the democrats headquarters so to create political problems for Nixon

The White House wanted control over the CIA

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Hope of a Landslide Victory

1960- Narrow defeat believed Kennedy stole election through vote tampering in Chicago

1968- Narrowly defeated Hunphrey in a three way contest with wallace

1972- Planned to 'win big' and secure second term

- so he could be in office during the 200th anniversary of the declaration of independence (1976)

-Used any means possible, including bugging of opposition

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The Work of Nixon's Subordinates

Claimed illegal activities were the work of his subordinates

Many worked individually

White House involvment associated with Halderman and Erlichman

Nixon was forced to accept their actions 

Downfall of loyalties

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The Imperial Presidency

By the 1970's the Presidential office had gained lots of power

Rise of imperial presidency 

Had the power to launch nuclear missiles

President limited by constitution

But had power over FBI, CIA, NSA, and DIA, meaning he had the power to 'spy' on others

From 1970, White House co-ordinated the work of intellegence, plan to end social disorder

However once established was used against Nixon's opponents instead, e.g. the Democrats

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