Woodward and Bernstein and Sam Ervin and Howard Baker (along with guys like Fred Thompson and Rufus Edmisten) the Nixon Administration was bled out. The evil that was Nixon with his thuggish, ham-handed anti-communism and his foolish attempt to actually win the Vietnam War was over. America's defeat in SouthEast Asia had been secured and Nixon was banished in disgrace. Mission accomplished.
I'm sure most of you don't remember Watergate, or care. But when Hillary Clinton talks about a "right wing conspiracy" she speaks with the voice of experience because there was a left wing conspiracy out to get Nixon, and she was witness to it with a ringside seat. It was a well organized, concerted effort to forever drive a stake into the heart of one of the most effective anti-communists in US history and thereby advance the cause of socialism.
As brilliant as Nixon was in some areas, he was a total idiot in others. Overall Nixon was not a good President. He was a big government, establishment Republican. His economic policies sucked (he repeatedly ignored one of his advisors advice, a Prof. Friedman from the University of Chicago) and he cared not a whit for domestic issues. They were just the price a President pays for the fun part, foreign policy. THAT was Nixon's love, the international chess game of power politics, and he was damned good at it.
I'm not defending Nixon in any way, but the methods used against him, the lies, the deceptions in order to ruin him were just as bad as his crimes. When compared to previous administrations like LBJ's or Roosevelt's, hell he was an amateur.
After 40 years the facts are still coming in, but I think it's clear that Watergate was a coup d'etat. It was a conspiracy by the left to bring down a sitting President whom they hated and despised. Ironically as good as Nixon was at the foreign policy game, he was lousy at the Capitol Hill, Washington Post game.
The lesson here is politics is war, and our opponents will do anything and everything they can to win. What's also clear is that Republicans, especially our establishment Republicans, still haven't learned the simple fact that there are no rules in politics.