Fred the Mole

Fred Thompson, who served as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973, regularly leaked information from the committee to the Nixon White House.

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.”

I can’t say this is a big surprise; after all, Thompson bragged about it in his book. It’s also no surprise that Thompson sees nothing wrong in what he did. After all, the Rule of Law doesn’t apply to people like him.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Fred the Mole

  1. William K. Wolfrum

    This only helps him strengthen his base. His base being the 20% or so of Conservatives who actively want to overthrow the government.

    –WKW

  2. Melissa McEwan

    I was pretty much going to say the same thing Bill just said, lol.

    This seems to me to be one of those stories that’s worth holding onto, because it’ll be more useful if/when he’s the eventual nominee. Something to remember…

  3. Fred likes to paint himself as a Washington outsider, a “down-home, truck-drivin’ kinda guy” jes’ like regular ‘Murcans.

    Trouble is, he’s anything but. Thompson is, and was, part of the whole bought-and-paid-for ethos that people on both sides of the political spectrum are increasing decrying. He made TONS of money as a lobbyist and while in Congress was the go-to guy for favors. From an article in the June 25th Boston Globe:

    Republican Fred Thompson, who likes to cast himself in the role of Washington outsider, has a long history as a political insider who earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government.

    As a lobbyist for more than 20 years, billion-dollar corporations paid Thompson for his access to members of Congress and White House staff. During that time he was close to two Senate majority leaders, both from his home state of Tennessee — his political mentor Howard Baker and, more recently, his former colleague Bill Frist.

    During Baker’s tenure, Thompson lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that helped hasten the industry’s collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.

    More recently, while Frist led the Senate, Thompson earned more than $750,000 lobbying for a British reinsurance company that wanted to limit its liability from asbestos lawsuits.

    That history as a Washington insider is at odds with the image Thompson has sought to convey to voters.

    Dear God, please don’t let this country be taken in by another faux jes’ folks type who rolls up a sleeve or two and immediately has the American people eating out of his sticky little hands.

    PLEASE!

  4. This story didn’t surprise me, but I love having the detail.

    Dear God, please don’t let this country be taken in by another faux jes’ folks type who rolls up a sleeve or two and immediately has the American people eating out of his sticky little hands.

    PLEASE!

    Damn, you said it.

  5. Paen

    The sad thing is however that he would still make a much better president than the lunatic now in office.

  6. Arkades

    Republicans sure do like their outsider shake-things-up candidates to be well-connected and integrated with machine politics, don’t they? Oxymoronic doesn’t quite do it justice.

    I’m still trying to wrap my ahead around how so many people on the right can be pro-authoritarian, pro-establishment, yet also anti-government when the government largely *is* the establishment.

    But hey, I guess you can’t defend the status quo without having some status to begin with, huh?

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