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Senate Select committee on Presidential Campaign Activities interview with Alexander Butterfield, July 13, 1973

Senate Select committee on Presidential Campaign Activities interview with Alexander Butterfield, July 13, 1973

Alexander Butterfield, a former Nixon aide, revealed the existence of a secret White House taping system in an interview with the Ervin Committee. Given a copy of the interview notes, Butterfield added handwritten comments disputing or clarifying certain points. A few days later, the Ervin Committee called Butterfield to testify and questioned him about the tapes.

Click here to see excerpt:


Butterfield then stated, “There is tape in the Oval Office. This tape is maintained by the Secret Service…”

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Senate Select committee on Presidential Campaign Activities interview with Alexander Butterfield, July 13, 1973

Investigating the Watergate Scandal

On June 17, 1972, burglars broke into and wiretapped the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington, DC. Evidence later revealed President Richard Nixon’s re-election committee had authorized the break-in. To investigate the matter and fulfill the public’s right to know, the Senate convened the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, headed by Senator Sam Ervin. The Ervin Committee discovered White House tape recordings that incriminated President Nixon and led to his resignation from office.