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Fifty Years After the Watergate Break-in

Stuart Streichler, Boston Review: Watergate’s Ironic Legacy

Looking back at how Watergate progressed, it remains unclear how much we can attribute Nixon’s undoing to the Constitution working or how much owes to lucky breaks and the unique collection of personalities involved. Even if the rule of law ultimately prevailed in Watergate, it has become more difficult to contest presidential power since. Paradoxically, in the process of dealing with President Nixon, the institutions involved—Congress, the Supreme Court, and the special prosecutor—set precedents that made it harder to check a runaway presidency.