After his 1972 divorce, the senator from Kansas moved into an apartment in Washington's new Watergate complex -- also home to offices of the Democratic National Committee. But the future Senate majority leader was in Chicago on the night of the break-in.
Then the Republican Party's national chairman, Dole was a vocal defender of the Nixon White House during the early stages of the Watergate investigation. U.N. Representative George Bush took over Dole's party post after the 1972 elections, but the senator remained a Nixon loyalist. In September 1973, he introduced an unsuccessful Senate resolution to stop live TV coverage of the congressional Watergate hearings. "It is time to turn off the TV lights," Dole said. "It is time to move the Watergate investigation from the living rooms of America and put it where it belongs -- behind the closed doors of the committee room and before the judge and jury in the courtroom."
Later, Dole was one of the most prominent GOP lawmakers to urge Nixon to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking the president's secret Oval Office recordings.
The Senate Watergate investigation cleared Dole of any involvement in 1974. But Watergate loomed as a major issue in Dole's difficult reelection campaign that fall. Dole retired from the Senate in 1996 to pursue his third unsuccessful presidential bid. He is now a Washington lawyer and lives in the Watergate.