Today, Fred D. Thompson is known as a U.S. senator from Tennessee, as a presidential candidate, and as an actor, most notably for his portrayal of District Attorney Branch on Law and Order. It was with the Senate Watergate committee, however, that Thompson first appeared before a television audience. Thompson earned a law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1967 and then served four years as assistant U.S. attorney. In 1973 Watergate committee vice-chair Howard Baker appointed Thompson to serve as minority counsel. Together, Baker and Thompson pursued the truth of President Richard Nixon’s role in the Watergate burglary and cover-up.