President Nixon had electronic bugging devices installed in his office and his White House telephones, a surprise witness told the Senate Watergate Committee yesterday.
Alexander P. Butterfield, former aide to the president, said that the equipment was installed in the spring and summer of 1970 by orders of the president transmitted through former White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman and his aide Lawrence Higby.
Butterfield testified that the bugging devices were installed by the technical division of the Secret Service, and that he knew of their existence because he used to serve as the manager of White House-Secret Service relations.
He is now the head of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Butterfield, who was called to the stand on just three hours' notice, testified that he did not believe that former White House counsel John W. Dean III knew of the existence of the bugs.
Butterfield's comparatively brief appearance was followed by the originally scheduled appearance of Nixon's former personal lawyer Herbert W. Kalmbach.
Reading from a written statement, Kalmbach said that he did not participate in the planning of illegal or unethical activities. He testified that his involvement in the raising of funds to aid the defense of the original Watergate defendants was "prompted in the belief that it was proper and necessary to discharge what I assumed to be a moral obligation that had arisen in some manner unknown to me by reason of earlier events."
Kalmbach, who for three years had control of approximately $1.6 million in unspent funds from Nixon's 1968 campaign, also testified that he spent portions of those funds only under direction of Haldeman "or others clearly having the authority to direct such disbursements."
Kalmbach has previously said that none of the funds entrusted to him from the 1968 campaign were used to facilitate the purchase of the Western White House.