‘Old country lawyer’ defends his ‘harassment’

On this day in 1972: In one of the most memorable phrases of the Watergate hearings, Sen. Sam Ervin refers to himself as “just an old country lawyer.”

Sen. Edward Gurney, a Florida Republican, accused Democrat Ervin of “harassment” in his persistent questioning of Maurice Stans, chief fund-raiser for President Nixon’s reelection campaign.

“I’m just an old country lawyer,” Ervin replied. “I have to do things my way.”