Presidential Reorganization

Archive Report

Watergate Focus on While House Staff

Disclosures That Assistants Misused Their Authority

The unfolding of the Watergate scandal is subjecting not just President Nixon and some of his former top aides to intense public scrutiny and questioning. It can be said that the presidency itself is very much on trial. As portrayed in the press and congressional hearings, the existing White House staff system made it possible for presidential assistants to misuse power of almost unlimited scope in Nixon's name without audit or accountability. Moreover, there is the contention—raised by the President himself in his defense—that the system left him isolated from events he should have been informed about.

“For non-Americans,” the British philosopher and historian Arnold Toynbee wrote recently, “the strangest and most questionable feature of ...

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