Why did Watergate lead to the resignation of Nixon and why did the Lewinsky Affair not result in Clinton's removal from office?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is possible for people to disagree on this issue.  However, the general idea is that Clinton’s transgressions were not as directly related to governing as were those of Nixon.

In the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s wrongdoing was very closely connected to governing.  The original crime was committed in order to help Nixon defeat his political opponents.  He then used the power of his office to prevent the investigation from proceeding.  These were examples of him using his actual presidential power for illicit ends.

By contrast, Clinton’s transgressions were much more personal.  The underlying problem was based on marital infidelity.  Clinton then lied, essentially as a public citizen, when questioned about the infidelity.  He did not use his presidential powers to try to impede the investigation.  He did lie, but he did not try to abuse his power.

For these reasons, Clinton’s crimes were not seen as sufficiently bad to warrant removal from office.

drnichols | Student

I ahgree for the most part. With the Watergate incident, information was eventually discovered tha President Nixon had authorized the breaking into Democratic National Headquarters then essentially let his staff take the fall. He had liknks to his knoeledge or involvement covered up to distance himself. Tha was an illegal action as he withheld evidence from the Senate committee investigation the breakin.


Bill Clinton engsged in an unethical and/or immoral relation with a White House staff member. They were both of age as consenting adults so, the relationship was more of bad judgment than violating any legalities as Nixon did.