Summarized by Eileen Bell
Lawyers Reflect On Their Roles In Watergate
Salt Lake Tribune 15Aug99 L5
By Carol Van Wagoner: Salt Lake Tribune
This article looks at two LDS lawyers, who were players in the Watergate
proceedings 25 years ago. Todd Christofferson and Lynn Wardle were
both returned missionaries from Utah, who had graduated from BYU and
then Duke University Law School. Brother Christofferson began working for
Judge John J. Sirica in 1972, Brother Wardle was hired two years later.
Judge Sirica was over the Watergate trials, and used both lawyers as
clerks through his investigations. Brother Wardle remembers, "He told
me I was to keep no diary, no journal and not to talk about any proceedings
with my wife." As he learned of the federal grand jury indictments against
top White House personnel, "That just blew me away. I couldn't believe it.
It felt like a brick wall was falling over. I realized I was in over my
Brother Christofferson realizes he had a rare experience working with
the judge. Once while driving with Sirica, "He was reflecting on what had
happened and what the case had become and said, `I hope you
appreciate this -- not many law clerks get an experience like this.' He
paused for a moment and said, `I guess not many judges do, either.' "
After Watergate, when the movie "All The President's Men" was being
filmed, one of the most famous actors in the western world came to
meet the judge. Brother Christofferson remembers that when the
actor left, Judge Sirica asked, " `Who's Robert Redford?' "
Following his time in Washington, Brother Christofferson worked as
general counsel for bank in Tennessee, then went home to Utah as a
member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brother Wardle has taught law at BYU for
the past 21 years. He is known for his support for Eagle Forum, and
his roles in Utah politics.