Local News

Raleigh Lawyer Reflects On His Connection To Watergate Scandal

Posted May 31, 2005 9:27 a.m. EDT

— A Raleigh lawyer and lobbyist with a connection to one of the greatest mysteries in American politics spoke Tuesday to WRAL after the family of a former FBI official announced that he was the legendary "Deep Throat" from the Watergate scandal.

W. Mark Felt claims he was the anonymous source that gave Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein inside information about President Richard Nixon's Watergate coverup. Woodward confirmed Tuesday that Felt was "Deep Throat."

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In 1973, Rufus Edmisten had a front row seat to the Watergate hearings as deputy chief council for the Watergate Committee.

"We finally know who it is, and that's intriguing to me because I worked day and night for many years right there on Watergate wondering who in the world knows all this stuff," Edmisten said.

Only 31 years old at the time, Edmisten was the right-hand man of North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin, who chaired the Watergate Committee. It was Edmisten who served the papers demanding the Watergate tapes.

"I carried it down there in a little envelope that I still have here somewhere," Edminsten said. "I look back and see my long sideburns and think that right there, I was in the middle of all that."

Edmisten's office contains a pile of history that has always come with a mystery -- until now.

"It's sort of a letdown," Edmisten said. "I like that mystery."

After Watergate, Edmisten ran for governor of North Carolina and lost, but he did serve later as North Carolina secretary of state.

Today as a lawyer and lobbyist, he said he often finds himself back on Capitol Hill.