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."
We've been wondered why the anti-Hollywood right swoons every time an actor decides to run for the GOP nod, but I'm now wondering about a different issue: how come these actor-turned-Republican presidential candidates always seem to have some history of being a mole for the bad guys?
Interesting fact: Among the members of HUAC during the period when Reagan provided them with lists of potential communists in the Screen Actors' Guild (of which he was president) was a California congressman named... Richard M. Nixon. And it all comes full circle.