The Senate Watergate Committee chief counsel, Samuel Dash, crouched to confer with Fred Thompson (left) minority counsel, and Senator Howard Baker during a July 1973 hearing. (James Atherton/ Washington Post/ File)
By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | July 4, 2007
WASHINGTON — The day before Senate Watergate Committee minority counsel Fred Thompson made the inquiry that launched him into the national spotlight — asking an aide to President Nixon whether there was a White House taping system — he telephoned Nixon’s lawyer.
Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee knew about the taping system and would be making the information public. In his all-but-forgotten Watergate memoir, “At That Point in Time,” Thompson said he acted with “no authority” in divulging the committee’s knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon’s resignation. It was one of many Thompson leaks to the Nixon team, according to a former investigator for Democrats on the committee, Scott Armstrong , who remains upset at Thompson’s actions.
“Thompson was a mole for the White House,” Armstrong said in an interview. “Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was.” MORE
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