Egil “Bud” Krogh, Jr. (born August 3, 1939) is an American lawyer who became infamous as an official of the Nixon Administration who was imprisoned for his part in the Watergate Affair. He is currently Senior Fellow on Ethics and Leadership at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and Counselor to the Director at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership.
Krogh was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Seattle, Washington; his father was a Norwegian immigrant. He graduated with highest honors from Principia College, Elsah, Illinois in 1961. After service in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer aboard USS Yorktown (1962–1965), he graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1968.
He was employed by Hullin, Ehrlichman, Roberts and Hodge, the Seattle law firm of family friend John Ehrlichman, and joined Ehrlichman in the counsel's office of Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. After Nixon was elected, Krogh helped with the arrangements for the inauguration. Krogh joined the Nixon White House as an advisor on the District of Columbia and later served as liaison to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. It was there he met G. Gordon Liddy.
Because of his work regarding illegal drugs, he managed the visit of Elvis Presley to the White House on December 21, 1970. Presley had arrived at the gate with a letter for President Nixon requesting a personal meeting to discuss how he could help the government fight the drug trade. The meeting took place and Nixon gave Presley an actual narcotics agent badge. Krogh wrote a book about these events: The Day Elvis Met Nixon (Pejama Press, 1994, ISBN 0-9640251-0-8).
Ehrlichman made Krogh head of the "Special Investigation Unit" in the White House, charged with investigating information given covertly to the press by administration staffers. Krogh and his associates were known familiarly as the "Plumbers"—a secret team of operatives charged with fixing "leaks." It was an unlikely choice: Krogh had a reputation as someone who obeyed the law so scrupulously that his friends gave him the ironic nickname "Evil Krogh". Theodore White would write "to put Egil Krogh in charge of a secret police operation was equivalent to making Frank Merriwell chief executive of a KGB squad." Krogh brought Liddy into his new office.
When the administration decided to pursue the Pentagon Papers leakers, it was Krogh who approved the September 1971 burglary of the office of Lewis Fielding, the psychiatrist seeing Daniel Ellsberg. Liddy and E. Howard Hunt would commit the actual break-in. Ehrlichman, who himself went to prison for Watergate related crimes, would later write in his memoirs this was an example of "such doubtful personal judgment ... that it has to be said [Krogh] materially contributed to the demise of the Nixon administration."
Krogh's employment with the SIU was terminated when he refused to authorize a wiretap. On November 30, 1973, Krogh pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to violate Fielding's civil rights and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He was sentenced to two to six years in prison, though he served only four-and-a-half months.
Krogh was disbarred by the Washington State Supreme Court in 1975. He successfully petitioned, after failing to do so in 1977, to be readmitted to the practice of law, based on his recognition and acceptance of his wrongdoing, in 1980.
He and his son Matthew Krogh have written the book Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House (Public Affairs, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58648-467-5), and he is a frequent lecturer on the topic of legal ethics, having visited many schools, bar associations and other gatherings of lawyers and judges.
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