Alexander Butterfield’s appearance before the Senate Watergate Committee was a pivotal moment in the unfolding scandal.
From the moment Butterfield confirmed the existence of an Oval Office taping system, the hunt for the tapes began. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to surrender tapes recordings, including the “Smoking Gun” tape that precipitated his resignation.
Butterfield’s confirmation came in response to a question from Fred Thompson, the committee’s minority counsel. Thompson went on to serve as a Republican senator from Tennessee from 1994 until 2003.
The committee’s chief counsel, Sam Dash, also questioned Butterfield.
- Watch Butterfield, in response to Fred Thompson, confirm the existence of the tapes (2m)
- Listen to Butterfield respond to a question from Sam Dash about how to find out what was on the tapes (1m)