Undate photograph of President Richard M. Nixon shaking hands with musician James Brown. (Rolling Stone)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Four decades later, Watergate's "what ifs" are tantalizing.
What if a security guard hadn't noticed tape on a door latch outside Democratic headquarters at the Watergate office building.
What if a calculating president hadn't taped his private words for posterity?
And perhaps most intriguing: What if Richard Nixon had simply come clean about the break-in and cover-up and apologized?
Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the break-in in which burglars working for Nixon's re-election committee were caught red-handed inside the Democrats' Watergate offices.
But despite all the years since of investigation, reporting, trials and historical research, there's still no simple answer to the scandal's central riddle: How did a clumsy raid that Nixon's spokesman termed a "third-rate burglary" became a constitutional struggle that ultimately expelled him from office?