1973 January 30

Watergate Burglary Leaders Convicted; Scandal Deepens


Two former officials of President Nixon’s 1972 re-election effort, G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord, were convicted on this day for the June 17, 1972, burglary of Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate office complex. McCord was one of five people caught inside the Democratic Party Headquarters. The other four had previously pled guilty. Liddy and E. Howard Hunt were in another hotel room across the street. Hunt had also pleaded guilty.

The Watergate Scandal gripped the nation for over two years, exposed a number of abuses of presidential power, and eventually led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974. The criminal convictions of the burglars, however, caused the Watergate scandal to deepen. McCord soon handed Judge John Sirica a letter stating that his plea of guilty had been coerced by the White House and that part of his plea was perjury. Sirica read the letter in open court, and this explosive allegation led to further investigations of the entire Watergate affair.

Learn more; read Gordon Liddy’s incredible memoirs: G. Gordon Liddy, Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy (1980)

Read Judge John Sirica’s account of the Watergate trial: John J. Sirica, To Set the Record Straight: The Break-In, the Tapes, the Conspirators, the Pardon (1979)

Learn more about Watergate: Stanley Kutler, The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon (1990)

Read the Senate Watergate Committee report: https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=144965

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