President Nixon ordered his staff to investigate the Watergate scandal because of which of the following?
A) in response to growing interest in the matter on the part of Congress and the American public
B) to embarrass George McGovern
C) because he was ordered to do so by the special prosecutor
D) to silence the Pentagon Papers
The correct answer is A. Nixon was increasingly concerned about Congress' and the public's interest in the Watergate matter. Because it was an election year, and those involved were increasingly connected to the Presidency, there was growing suspicion that Nixon knew more about the break-in than he was willing to share. B cannot be the correct answer as McGovern had everything to gain by Nixon being embarrassed. Since it was Democratic headquarters burgled by Republican operatives, McGovern, the Democrat, was not about to be embarrassed by it; quite the contrary. The special prosecutor subpoenaed some of Nixon's records, but rather than cooperate, he did all in his power to thwart the investigation, even ordering the firing of the prosecutor, Archibald Cox. This was the famous "Saturday Night Massacre." There was no way to silence the Pentagon Papers, they were already out. They dealt with secret details of the Vietnam War. Nixon's operatives did break into the office of the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, but this was unrelated to the Watergate break-in.