‘THOMPSON WAS A MOLE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE’….Fred Thompson’s political resume is a little on the thin side. He was a senator who developed a reputation for avoiding hard work; he was a high-priced corporate lobbyist; and in 1973, he was minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee.

That last one is apparently a point of some pride for the actor/lobbyist/lawyer. On his exploratory website, Thompson boasts that he “gained national attention” as the “hard-charging counsel” who took the “lead” in revealing the audio-taping system in Nixon’s Oval Office.

It all sounds quite impressive — just so long as you overlook the fact that Thompson was actually relentlessly partisan and anxious to protect Nixon during the Watergate investigation.

The day before Senate Watergate Committee minority counsel Fred Thompson made the inquiry that launched him into the national spotlight — asking an aide to President Nixon whether there was a White House taping system — he telephoned Nixon’s lawyer.

Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee knew about the taping system and would be making the information public. In his all-but-forgotten Watergate memoir, “At That Point in Time,” Thompson said he acted with “no authority” in divulging the committee’s knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon’s resignation. It was one of many Thompson leaks to the Nixon team, according to a former investigator for Democrats on the committee, Scott Armstrong , who remains upset at Thompson’s actions.

“Thompson was a mole for the White House,” Armstrong said in an interview. “Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was.”

Thompson may want to update that bio page on his exploratory website. He seems to have left out a few pertinent details.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.