Fred Thompson, Watergate Investigator, Dies In Nashville
There is that famous line of questioning from Watergate Republican Counsel Fred Thompson that stunned the nation in 1973. The answer from Alexander Butterfield provided the start of the end for the Richard Nixon Presidency.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson, the Watergate investigator-turned-actor-turned national political figure, died today at 73 from lymphoma.
The exciting career for Thompson included being assistant U.S. attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1972. It was at that time he became campaign manager for Republican Sen. Howard Baker’s re-election.
When the Senate appointed a special committee to investigate alleged crimes by the Nixon administration in the 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters at Washington’s Watergate Hotel, Baker was ranking minority member, and Thompson was hired as Republican counsel.
Talk about being the right man at the right time!
Thompson was among the first people outside the administration to learn of President Nixon’s secret Oval Office taping system. It was Thompson who asked Nixon’s former deputy assistant, Alexander Butterfield, the question that led to Butterfield’s public revelation of the tapes on July 16, 1973.