James McCord Jr., the retired spy who led the infamous Watergate break-in that precipitated the downfall of President Richard Nixon, is dead at 93. McCord died two years ago on June 15, 2017, but his death was not reported at the time by local or national news organizations. On June 17, 1972, four men and McCord broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., to fix faulty listening devices that they had planted weeks earlier. The odd-looking group of burglars, dressed in business suits, were discovered by a night watchman who called the police. McCord later testified that the White House had covered up its connection to the break-in, and implicated senior presidential aides in bribery, threats, and promises of clemency to secure silence. In January 1973, McCord and the burglars pleaded guilty. It was his testimony that broke the damn of Nixon’s Oval Office secrets, eventually ending in the president’s impeachment.
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