Thompson also called for the pardoning of Scooter Libby:
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."
Thompson and his campaign will attempt to spin these efforts as a man being loyal to his party.
Thompson declared in a June 6 radio commentary that Libby's conviction was a "shocking injustice . . . created and enabled by federal officials." Bush on Monday commuted Libby's 30-month sentence, stopping short of a pardon.
The intensity of Thompson's remarks about Libby is reminiscent of how he initially felt about Nixon. Few Republicans were stronger believers in Nixon during the early days of Watergate.
"In retrospect it is apparent that I was subconsciously looking for a way to justify my faith in the leader of my country and my party, a man who was undergoing a violent attack from the news media, which I thought had never given him fair treatment in the past," Thompson wrote. "I was looking for a reason to believe that Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, was not a crook."He later admits that he was wrong, which to my mind points to a blind loyalty betrayed and tells me that I don't want this person as a president. The article is not altogether flattering to the Democrats either. For instance, we get an insider's view of the political theater that went on when the reporter notes that there was bickering as to whom would get to ask the question that would reveal the taping equipment in the White House. Thompson was allowed to ask the question and the Democrat who wanted to ask it says that he felt (still feels?) "cheated".