A great lawyer, public servant and friend of Washington and Lee School of Law died yesterday. M. Caldwell Butler, who most famously became the first Republican on the House Judiciary Committee to announce that he would vote for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon, was lauded today as being “free of politics,” something barely fathomable in our time.
Below: Congressman Butler with President Nixon in the Oval Office in December 1973.
After retiring from public life to return to the practice of law in Roanoke, Butler donated his professional papers to W&L Law, where they are housed in the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives. These papers include one of the most extensive documentations of the Nixon impeachment.
Below: Butler’s annotated reading copy of his speech announcing he would vote for impeachment, July 25, 1974.
Here is a sampling of tributes in today’s press:
M. Caldwell Butler, a Key Vote Against Nixon, Dies at 89, New York Times, July 29, 2014 (http://nyti.ms/1qLNBji)
Ex-Rep. Caldwell Butler, key figure in Watergate summer, dies at 89, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 29, 2014 (http://bit.ly/1pr6vZ5)
Caldwell Butler dies, recalled as being “free of politics’, The Roanoke Times, July 29, 2014 (http://bit.ly/XgWgwU)