Jan. 8, 1973: Watergate Trial Begins #TBT

WatergateCommittee
Watergate Committee (credit: United States Senate Historical Office)
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On this day 42 years ago, the trial of seven men accused of breaking and entering into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate began.

Before Judge John Sirica had even gaveled the trial, federal investigators had already discovered an off-the-books slush fund to underwrite their criminal activities. The accused and the funds were traced back to the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP), which was headed by former Attorney General of the United States, and President Richard Nixon’s former law partner, John Mitchell.

E. Howard Hunt, who had planned the heist, plead guilty at the trial — along with four of the other burglars. G. Gordon Liddy and James McCord, the other two burglars, refused to cooperate and were convicted of various charges, and sentenced to prison.