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Gordon Liddy, Who Organized Watergate Burglary, Dies at 90

G. Gordon Liddy, the former FBI agent and White House staffer imprisoned for organizing the 1972 Watergate burglary that led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon, has died. He was 90. He died March 30 at his daughter’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, according to the New York Times, citing his son Thomas P. Liddy, who said that his father had Parkinson’s disease and had been in declining health. Liddy was a member of the Committee to Re-Elect the President and the former chief operative of the “plumbers” unit, created by the Nixon administration to stop information leaks to journalists. He proposed a series of illegal acts, known as Operation Gemstone, to weaken the Democratic Party’s chances of electoral victory by gathering political intelligence and catching officials in compromising situations. “I saw Democrats as being dangerous to the country,” Liddy said in a 2014 radio interview. “I wanted to prevent them from being able to damage the country further. So I chose to make use of the special knowledge that I had as a result of the FBI and so forth. That was it.” The bugging of the Democratic National Committee’s offices in the Watergate complex in Washington was part of a plan that he had discussed in 1972 with Attorney General John Mitchell, White House Counsel John Dean and Nixon aide Jeb Magruder. On June 16, 1972, five men broke into the Watergate building to fix wiretaps planted weeks earlier in the Democratic headquarters. The burglars were arrested by police, acting on a tip from security guard Frank Wills. With the help of W. Mark Felt, then FBI associate director and the anonymous source known as “Deep Throat” who revealed his own identity in a 2005 article in Vanity Fair, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein followed the trail to the top levels of the White House in their investigation of the crime’s two-year cover-up. After a Senate inquiry, during which Dean testified against Nixon, secret tape recordings of Oval Office conversations were revealed. Seven White House aides, including Liddy who helped supervise the break-in from a vantage point across the street, were indicted. The president resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, after trying to foil the FBI’s investigation of Watergate. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world. To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app. Have a story to tell? Fill out this survey for a chance to have it featured on Bloomberg Quicktake: Connect with us on… YouTube: Breaking News on YouTube: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:
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