17 Jun 2012

Watergate anniversary

1:23 pm on 17 June 2012

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, which brought down an American president.

Five burglars in business suits were arrested at 2.30am on 17 June 1972 at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office building in Washington DC. They were trying to install bugging devices.

The next day the Washington Post reported one of the burglars used to work for the CIA and was a Republican Party security consultant with links to the White House Committee to Re-Elect the President.

In October the FBI revealed the break-in was part of a widespread campaign of dirty tricks and sabotage against the Democrats.

The ABC reports the scandal ultimately led to congressional hearings and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Twenty men associated with the adminstration or the 1972 re-election campaign were sentenced to prison.