Former Rep. M. Caldwell Butler, a Virginian congressman who came to office in the midst of President Richard M. Nixon’s impeachment, died early Tuesday. He was 89.
The Republican served Virginia’s 6th district from 1972 to 1983 and was a member of the Judiciary Committee. It was on that panel, that he voted, as a freshman, to impeach Nixon following the Watergate scandal. Out of the committee’s 17 Republicans, Butler was one of the six to join committee Democrats in recommending impeachment.
Butler’s wife, June, died last month.
The Judiciary Committee recognized the loss of the Roanoke congressman Tuesday, with Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., announcing Butler’s passing.
Goodlatte, the current representative for Virginia’s sixth district, remembered Butler as “a public servant in the truest sense of the word.”
“He was a friend of everyone who knew him and someone who I had great respect,” Goodlatte said. “He will be badly missed.”
At Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, ranking member John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., recalled serving alongside Butler on Judiciary, regularly exchanging views.
“Our friendship was never impaired by the different perspectives that we had on how government should run,” Conyers said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., also remembered Butler, calling him “a man of tremendous principle.”
Butler graduated with a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1950 and practiced law in Roanoke. He served in Virginia’s House of Delegates from 1962 to 1971.