Despite these revelations, Nixon's campaign was never seriously jeopardized; on November 7, the President was re-elected in one of the biggest landslides in American political history. The five burglars who broke into the office were tried by a jury, with Judge John Sirica officiating, and pled guilty or were convicted on January 30, As evidence, he cited a conversation taped on June 23 between the President and his Chief of Staff, H. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. The checks deposited into Barker's bank account were endorsed by Committee treasurer Hugh Sloan, who was authorized by the Finance Committee. According to Dean, this marked "the opening scene of the worst political scandal of the twentieth century and the beginning of the end of the Nixon presidency".
In one of the most difficult decisions of my Presidency, I accepted the resignations of two of my closest associates in the White House, Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, two of the finest public servants it has been my privilege to know. Ehrlichman subsequently denied this. This information became the bombshell that helped force Richard Nixon to resign rather than be impeached. Watergate prosecutor James Neal was sure that Nixon had not known in advance of the break-in. Because Attorney General Kleindienst, though a distinguished public servant, my personal friend for 20 years, with no personal involvement whatsoever in this matter has been a close personal and professional associate of some of those who are involved in this case, he and I both felt that it was also necessary to name a new Attorney General. No financial institution could accept or process a check on behalf of the committee unless a duly authorized individual endorsed it. During the critical meeting between Dean and Nixon on April 15, , Dean was totally unaware of the president's depth of knowledge and involvement in the Watergate cover-up. Only in this way would the issuing banks not be held liable for the unauthorized and improper release of funds from their customers' accounts. During this early period, most of the media failed to grasp the full implications of the scandal, and concentrated reporting on other topics related to the presidential election. Gordon Liddy, who led the Watergate break-in team, were stationed in a Watergate Hotel room while the burglary was underway. Barker's multiple national and international businesses all had separate bank accounts, which he was found to have attempted to use to disguise the true origin of the monies being paid to the burglars. A lookout was posted across the street at the Howard Johnson Hotel. Two months later, he was alleged to have approved a reduced version of the plan, including burgling the Democratic National Committee 's DNC headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D. Investigators' examination of the bank records of a Miami company run by Watergate burglar Barker revealed an account controlled by him personally had deposited a check and then transferred it through the Federal Reserve Check Clearing System. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. He wondered if this was due to the way Nixon was speaking, as if he were trying to prod attendees' recollections of earlier conversations about fundraising. These Chapstick tubes outfitted with tiny microphones were later discovered in Hunt's White House office safe. However, once Sloan had endorsed a check made payable to the Committee, he had a legal and fiduciary responsibility to see that the check was deposited only into the accounts named on the check. According to Dean, this marked "the opening scene of the worst political scandal of the twentieth century and the beginning of the end of the Nixon presidency". The investigation by the FBI, which cleared Barker's bank of fiduciary malfeasance, led to the direct implication of members of the CRP, to whom the checks had been delivered. The five burglars who broke into the office were tried by a jury, with Judge John Sirica officiating, and pled guilty or were convicted on January 30, In May , Richardson named Archibald Cox to the position. Liddy was nominally in charge of the operation, but has since insisted that he was duped by both Dean and at least two of his subordinates, which included former CIA officers E. The banks that had originated the checks were keen to ensure the depository institution used by Barker had acted properly in ensuring the checks had been received and endorsed by the check's payee, before its acceptance for deposit in Bernard Barker's account. When confronted with the potential charge of federal bank fraud, he revealed that committee deputy director Jeb Magruder and finance director Maurice Stans had directed him to give the money to G. Haldeman , in which Nixon asked, "Who was the asshole who ordered it? All of the secret meetings between Woodward and Felt took place at an underground parking garage somewhere in Rosslyn over a period from June to January
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