Burglars’ Trial Begins

Burglars’ Trial Begins

Opening arguments begin in the trial of the seven men accused of involvement in the Watergate burglary: Liddy, Hunt, Barker, McCord, Frank Sturgis, Eugenio Martinez and Virgilio Gonzalez. The trial is presided over by U.S. District Judge John Sirica, an Eisenhower appointee. Though the defense tries to portray the burglars as having worked alone and completely independently —led only by Liddy with no White House involvement — Judge Sirica is extremely skeptical. Five of the defendants — Hunt, Barker, Sturgis, Martinez and Gonzales — plead guilty and refuse to answer any of Judge Sirica’s questions about what motivated the break-in.15

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