ton, D. C. , on the evening of June 17, 1972. 2 They were there to plant electronic bugging devices in the telephones of top Democratic party officials.

Once caught, these seven 'plumbers,' as they were called by the media -- including one E. Howard Hunt, a former U. S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent and writer of spy novels who was working for the Nixon ReElection Committee -- were, in time, traced to the White House.

That bungled effort to break into the Democratic party headquarters led to the demise of President Richard M. Nixon. The five conspirators arrested that night were Bernard L. Barker, a Florida realtor and former CIA agent involved with the Bay of Pigs operation; Virgilio Gonzalez, a Miami locksmith who had come from Cuba prior to Fidel Castro's rise to power; Eugenio R.

Martinez, who worked in Barker's real estate company and was an anti-Castro Cuban with CIA connections; James W. McCord, Jr. , a security person with the Republican National Committee and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (chaired by former Nixon Attorney General John N. Mitchell); and Frank Sturgis, who had also worked at the CIA. Hunt and another more eerie member of the group, G. Gordon Liddy (who was then counsel to the Finance Committee to Re-Elect the President and who had been a former FBI agent and former member of the White House staff), were arrested later and charged with the break-in along with five compatriots.

'The job at Watergate had been a Hunt-Liddy job,' 3 and that meant White House involvement. Within hours of the arrest of the five burglars, high officials in the Nixon administration, including Chief Counselor for Domestic Affairs in the White House John Ehrlichman, and Nixon's Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, were meeting to develop damage control plans.

In less than one week, on June 23, 1972 (as the nation was to find out the following summer when the tapes were released), President Nixon himself was to become irrevocably involved in the cover-up. The later revelation of White House involvement led to his decision to resign. On that fateful day, Nixon met with Bob Haldeman, who informed the president that Nixon's counsel John W. Dean III and former Attorney General and head of the Committee to Re-Elect the President John Mitchell had recommended that the CIA be called in to obstruct the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in. ton, D. C.

, on the evening of June 17, 1972. 2 They were there to plant electronic bugging devices in the telephones of top Democratic party officials. Once caught, these seven 'plumbers,' as they were called by the media -- including one E. Howard Hunt, a former U.

S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent and writer of spy novels who was working for the Nixon ReElection Committee -- were, in time, traced to the White House. That bungled effort to break into the Democratic party headquarters led to the demise of President Richard M. Nixon. The five conspirators arrested that night were Bernard L. Barker, a Florida realtor and former CIA agent involved with the Bay of Pigs operation; Virgilio Gonzalez, a Miami locksmith who had come from Cuba prior to Fidel Castro's rise to power; Eugenio R.

Martinez, who worked in Barker's real estate company and was an anti-Castro Cuban with CIA connections; James W. McCord, Jr. , a security person with the Republican National Committee and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (chaired by former Nixon Attorney General John N. Mitchell); and Frank Sturgis, who had also worked at the CIA. Hunt and another more eerie member of the group, G. Gordon Liddy (who was then counsel to the Finance Committee to Re-Elect the President and who had been a former FBI agent and former member of the White House staff), were arrested later and charged with the break-in along with five compatriots.

'The job at Watergate had been a Hunt-Liddy job,' 3 and that meant White House involvement. Within hours of the arrest of the five burglars, high officials in the Nixon administration, including Chief Counselor for Domestic Affairs in the White House John Ehrlichman, and Nixon's Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, were meeting to develop damage control plans.

In less than one week, on June 23, 1972 (as the nation was to find out the following summer when the tapes were released), President Nixon himself was to become irrevocably involved in the cover-up. The later revelation of White House involvement led to his decision to resign. On that fateful day, Nixon met with Bob Haldeman, who informed the president that Nixon's counsel John W. Dean III and former Attorney General and head of the Committee to Re-Elect the President John Mitchell had recommended that the CIA be called in to obstruct the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in.