Joseph Fred Buzhardt

Joseph Fred Buzhardt

Fred Buzhardt was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, on 21st February, 1924. After attending Wolford College he served in the Army Air Corps (1942-1943). This was followed be a period in the West Point Military Academy (1943-1946) and in the United States Air Force (1946-1950).

After studying law at the University of South Carolina he went to work for his father's law firm (1952-58). Buzhardt then joined the staff of Strom Thurmond where he specialized in military affairs.

1966 Buzhardt started his own private law firm. A supporter of the Republican Party he was appointed Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense in 1969. The following year he became General Counsel for Department of Defense.

Buzhardt was eventually drawn into the Watergate Scandal. In May 1973 Richard Nixon appointed him as White House Counsel for Watergate matters.

On 25th June, 1973, John Dean testified that at a meeting with Richard Nixon on 15th April, the president had remarked that he had probably been foolish to have discussed his attempts to get clemency for E. Howard Hunt with Charles Colson. Dean concluded from this that Nixon's office might be bugged. On Friday, 13th July, Alexander P. Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. Butterfield reluctantly admitted details of the tape system which monitored Nixon's conversations.

Buzhardt was now given the task of listening to the Nixon tapes. It was Buzhardt who discovered that there were "gaps" in some of the tapes. In the first week of November, 1973, Deep Throat told Bob Woodward that their were "gaps" in Nixon's tapes. He hinted that these gaps were the result of deliberate erasures. On 8th November, Woodward published an article in the Washington Post that said that according to their source the "conservation on some of the tapes appears to have been erased". It was later claimed by Jim Hougan (Secret Agenda) and John Dean (Lost Honor) that only a very small group of people could have known about these these gaps at this time. As a result some people suspected that Buzhardt was Deep Throat.

On 16th August, 1974, Buzhardt resigned from the White House and returned to private practice in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Fred Buzhardt died of a heart attack on 16th December, 1978.