President Richard Nixon’s Secret Conversations August 17, 2018 – Posted in: Essay Help Online, Free Essay Help Online

President Richard Nixon’s Secret Conversations

President Richard Nixon served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969 to 1974. In his term of office, the Republican recorded several secret conversations and telephone calls from 1971 until 1973. The secret recordings that were aimed at reducing cases of misinterpretation and errors that could occur during the time of reporting ended up being used as evidence against the president in the Watergate scandal. The president had refused to release the tapes to investigators who were looking into the scandal until he got an order form the Supreme Court of the United States. He subsequently faced impeachment in the House of Representatives and opted to resign.

Watergate Conversation

From the conversations on Watergate, it is shocking to note that the White House administration was the mastermind of a plan to cover-up a burglary at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at Watergate complex. It is reported that five men broke into DNC offices and took some valuables, including money. Federal Bureaus of Investigations established that the burglars had links with some officials in the presidential administration. President Nixon’s administration did all it could to resist the probes, hence taking the country into a constitutional crisis. It is shocking to learn that the president was directly involved in the breach of the constitution. In a June 23 conversation, the president heard asking his chief of staff, Harry Robbins Haldeman, “who is the asshole who ordered it (the investigation). In a September 15 conversation, the president was also heard congratulating John Dean, his legal counsel at the time, on the manner he handled the Watergate leaks.

The conversations also exposed how President Nixon felt about those who opposed the Vietnam war. Burr and Kimball observed that the presidential administration was behind the police harassment of the public during the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations; the demonstrators were arrested, tortured, illegally detained, and subjected to inhuman punishment. The claim can be justified by May 5, 1971, recordings where the president and Ron Zeigler – the press secretary at the time – told the media that future demonstrations would be handled the same way. From this context, it is clear that the president had dictatorial approach to governance and he disliked people who had contrary opinions.


The tapes further depicted the president as authoritative and intolerant to contrary ideas.  In June 1971 conversations, it is evident that  Nixon was forced to drop Howard Goldstein as an assistant commissioner for labor statistics because he differed with him on issues of statistics on unemployment and the place of  Jews in the government.

On a positive note, the contents of the secret conversations and recordings, to some extent, helped shape some of the policies in the country. Reeves notes that health care reforms resulted from the conversation between the president and domestic policy advisor .  It is also factual that Health Maintenance Organization Act that the president signed in 1973 proved useful in controlling costs, improving patient care, and facilitating coverage for the uninsured.

All in all, it is in no doubt that President Nixon violated the constitution in several occasions and tainted the image of the presidency as per the recordings. Were it not for the presidential pardon issued on September 1974 by his successor, President Gerald Ford, Nixon could have faced serious legal challenges for his actions during his tenure.


Works Cited

Richard Nixon: Online Exhibits:

U.S. History – Social Forces That Shaped America