UNDATED (CBS) -- This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. It was part of a scandalous chain of events that forced President Richard Nixon to resign and changed American politics forever. The two reporters who broke the story now say Watergate was only part of it.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were young, unknown Washington Post reporters the day they were called to cover a burglary at the Watergate complex in Washington in 1972.
They still remember the moment they realized just how big the story would be. Bernstein says, "We would have coffee every morning off the newsroom floor, put a dime, which it cost in those days for a cup of coffee, in the machine, and I felt this chill go down my back. And I said to Woodward, 'Oh, my God, this president is going to be impeached.'"
It was eight weeks after five men had broken into the Democratic Headquarters at Watergate. With some old fashioned investigative reporting, Woodward and Bernstein tied the break-in to the white house and Richard Nixon's reelection campaign.
Sunday, the two looked back on the story on CBS' Face the Nation and in a Washington Post article, their first joint byline for the paper in 36 years. Bernstein says, "What we found is that his White House became, to a remarkable extent, a criminal enterprise such as we've never had in our history."
Nixon repeatedly denied any involvement in the scandal. He said, "I neither took part in or knew about any of the subsequent cover up activities."
But his own audiotapes captured him discussing hush money with White House counsel john dean. On one of the tapes, you hear, "You could get a million dollars. And you could get it in cash. I, I know where it could be gotten."
Woodward says, "And that's what began kind of the unraveling of Watergate and the unraveling of who was Richard Nixon. And you listened to these tapes and it is - talk about blackmail, cover up, I mean..." Bernstein adds, "Blackmail of his predecessor in office, Lyndon Johnson."
Woodward and Bernstein say most people didn't even believe their story until Walter Cronkite went on the air with it. Cronkite said, "A high level campaign of political sabotage and espionage apparently unparalleled in American history."
Even the mystery of 'Deep Throat, the Watergate whistleblower, lasted until 2005 when Mark Felt, a retired associate director for the FBI, finally came forward. Woodward says, "We saw him on television and we actually, before he died, went out to seem him. And this was a man liberated because finally he could tell the truth."
To this day, Nixon is the only president in history ever forced to resign. For the two reporters instrumental in taking him down, there's still one thing that stands out. Woodward says, "As Carl and I have talked over the years, we keep looking for a tape where somebody says, what would be good for the country; what does the country need? It was always about Nixon."