Watergate and the Unindicted Co-Conspirator

Unindicted Co-Conspirator American History American Presidents Famous People Government Law and Politics Visual Arts

During the Watergate Era, in the first half of the 1970s, many of President Nixon's closest advisers faced criminal indictments for their bad actions (including breaking-and-entering and lying to investigators about what they knew and when they knew it).

This political cartoon—called Nixon, "unindicted co-conspirator" by Herb Block and published in the Washington Post on July 14, 1974—personifies what many people were asking at the time:

  • If so many of the President's closest advisers were conspirators, and were indicted as such, what did that make the President?
  • Was he a conspirator, too?
  • If so, why wasn't he indicted?

From the U.S. Library of Congress we learn:

By July 14, 1974, President Richard Nixon stood almost alone. His vice-president Spiro Agnew, pleaded nolo contendere [no contest] to a charge of tax evasion, and was forced to resign.

Many of Nixon's closest aides had been convicted of illegal activities. Nixon himself was named an "un-indicted co-conspirator" by the Watergate grand jury.

A few days later, the House Judiciary Committee recommended impeachment, and the Supreme Court required him to turn over all subpoenaed tapes. When even his closest friends, reviewing these tapes, agreed that the evidence against him was overwhelming, Nixon bowed to the inevitable, resigning on August 9.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 26, 2020

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy the U.S. Library of Congress.


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"Watergate and the Unindicted Co-Conspirator" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 26, 2020.
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