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Constitutional protection.




A constitutional protection against misused executive power is contained in the following provision; "The President, Vice-president and all civil officers of the US, shall be removed from office on impeachment for treason, bribery or other high crimes "

Under the Constitution power was divided among the three branches of the national government: legislative (the Congress), executive (the President) and judicial (the Supreme Court), Each was given its own authority. These 3 powers established a so-called system of the checks and balances. This system gives each branch the means to restrain the other 2. For example, the President has the power to veto acts passed by Congress, but the Congress may override the veto by a two-thirds majority. But the Supreme Court has the power to declare Acts of Congress (or of any State legislature) or the actions of a President to be illegal (or unconstitutional) if they are in conflict with the Constitution.

The Watergate scandal was an American political scandal during the presidency of Richard Nixon that resulted in the indictment and conviction of several of Nixon's closest advisors, and ultimately his resignation on August 9, 1974. The scandal began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. The FBI, the Senate Watergate Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the press revealed that this burglary was one of many illegal activities authorized and carried out by Nixon's staff. They also revealed the immense scope of crimes and abuses, which included campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in as early as six days after it occurred. After two years of mounting evidence against the President and his staff, it was revealed that Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. Recordings from these tapes revealed that he had obstructed justice and attempted to cover up the break-in. This recorded conversation later became known as the Smoking Gun. After a series of court battles, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the President had to hand over the tapes; he ultimately complied. Facing certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and the strong possibility of a conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later, becoming the only U.S. president to have resigned from office.


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