Public Administration Considering Watergate Scandal

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Each employee of the United States has an obligation to both the country and its citizens. They are required to maintain unwavering loyalty to the nation’s constitution, abide by the stipulated laws, and uphold the ethical principles. This should overshadow the individual’s objective of public gain. The Code of Federal Regulations states 14 principles that restrict any civil servant or citizen to act within the constitution. The following segments of this assignment discuss the actions of the then-president to violate the constitutional regulations and the possible implications.

Written Analysis Based on the Watergate Scandal

Video and transcripts provided depict the unconstitutional actions of the then president of the United States, Richard Nixon. It all happens during the period before his re-election, where he tries to manipulate the election committee using his executive powers. He is associated with a break-in that occurred at the Democratic National Committee offices in Washington’s Watergate Complex (Films Media Group, 2013). Five burglars were caught sneaking into the offices of the DNC. This incident caused the Watergate scandal that lasted 2 years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an operation to determine if the president was indeed a crook after his gross misconduct. Not only did the FBI launch the investigation, but also the Washington Post and other local newspapers. To help in passing a fair and just verdict against Richard Nixon, the Attorney General appointed a special judge to whom he entrusted the whole procedure.

Potential violations based on 5 C.F.R. § 2635.101 (2017)

The arbitrary use of power by the president is termed as tyranny. This is so because it was later revealed that whatever went on at the Oval office was recorded, violating the use of power (Films Media Group, 2015). Richard Nixon violated the 7th principle of the Code of Federal Regulations. It requires every employee to put aside their private interests when performing their roles in the office (“Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR),” 2019). In this case, it is safe to refer to the president’s conduct as improper. Among the violations named by the Watergate committee convened by the Senate, three of them went against the Code of Federal Regulations. They include treason and bribery, deceiving the nation, and tyranny, as mentioned above.

Deception is portrayed where Nixon orchestrates cover-up to make it look like he did not order for a break-in into the DNC offices. When the Congress and the special prosecutor formulated a Watergate committee and demanded the tapes containing the recordings of what happened in the Oval Office, the president defied them. When the president realized that he had lost against the Congress, Senate, and the nation at large, he submitted the tapes.

Importance of a Code of Ethics in Institutions

The next segment explains the importance of institutions adopting a code of ethics. Institutions such as business organizations or public resource management organizations should consider the code of ethics as a necessity. Many firms tend to succeed in most aspects but fail overall due to a weak system of ethics. The presence of this element in an organization ensures that unethical behaviors among employees or staff are minimized (Sasso et al., 2008). Codes of ethics also allow to place sanctions in case of violation.

The code of ethics also helps an institution maintain its consumers. Consumers of various products are discouraged by the realization that the company they refer to products and services lacks strong ethical practices. It is, therefore, close to common knowledge that an organization lacking the code of ethics to govern its members suffers the damage caused by the publication of the firm’s lack of these regulations.

Reasons Citizens Need to Develop Trust and Transparency in Public Institutions

Employees within an institution need to develop principles of transparency and trust. Transparency might be omitted in cases where the employees are only looking to benefit themselves and not their employer. They seek financial improvement for themselves without following the organization’s procedures and protocol. Failure to follow the regulations as stipulated leads to poor performance by the employees. Trust should also be maintained amongst the staff. Ethical conduct and trust come in when an employee fails to follow the rules and still succeed in moving forward, causing the employer to lose trust in them.

Trust and transparency are depicted in the video where Richard Nixon develops a mistrust for the Congress and the Senate. The president tampered with the tapes by destroying significant parts of evidence that he thought could incriminate him (Films Media Group, 2013). This added even more weight to his guilt, leading him to resign in August 1974 before his impeachment. The 9th principle of the Code of Federal Regulations was violated in the case of misuse of Federal property (Berger & Tausanovitch, 2018). Apart from this form of violation, bribery comes into the picture. The video claims that a large sum of money was used for the cover-up illegally and unconstitutionally. The use of personal or governmental resources to facilitate unconstitutional procedures is a perfect reflection of the president’s disloyalty to the constitution, laws, and ethical principles.

The televised hearings, as revealed by the media concerning an interview with Richard Nixon, displayed his lack of honesty and statesmanship. Blatant lies revealed themselves in front of the whole nation, shocking the citizens and brewing feelings of betrayal. The support he had within the Congress and the population at large was reduced to almost none. His realization of the lack of support and the changed perception of the public towards him led to his resignation in 1974, being the first and only president to have done so.


In conclusion, this video should be a lesson directed to institutions in all sectors of a nation, such as health, economy, political powerhouses, educational institutions, and others. Organizational leaders have to ensure the attainment of previously mentioned principles, trust, and transparency. If these two are achieved in collaboration with the code of ethics, there will be a fluid interaction between all levels of the organization.


Berger, S., & Tausanovitch, A. (2018). Lessons from Watergate. Center for American Progress. Web.

Electronic code of federal regulations (e-CFR). (2019). IALS. Web.

Films Media Group. (2013). Built to last? Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Films on Demand. Web.

Films Media Group. (2015). Fallout & recovery. Films on Demand. Web.

Sasso, L., Stievano, A., Gonzalez Jurado, M., & Rocco, G. (2008). Code of ethics and conduct for European nursing. Nursing Ethics, 15(6), 821-836. Web.

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