Frank H. Strickler, a longtime Washington lawyer who defended two of President Richard M. Nixon's top aides, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, during the Watergate trials of the 1970s, died March 29 at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. He was 92.

He had heart disease, his daughter Betsy Strickler said.

Strickler, a onetime federal prosecutor, joined one of his law partners, John J. Wilson, in defending two of the highest-ranking figures implicated in the Watergate scandal. Haldeman was Nixon's chief of staff, and Ehrlichman was a presidential counsel and adviser for domestic affairs.

The wide-ranging Watergate investigation began after five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic national headquarters at the Watergate office complex on June 17, 1972.

Haldeman and Ehrlichman stoutly denied any connection to the Watergate burglary, and Strickler and Wilson sought to have the charges quashed. As the investigation led by special prosecutors Archibald Cox and, later, Leon Jaworski, moved forward, Haldeman and Ehrlichman resigned their White House posts in April 1973.

In February 1974, after consulting Strickler and Wilson, Ehrlichman rejected an offer from Jaworski to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy in return for testimony against other defendants. Ehrlichman hired other lawyers and was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Strickler and Wilson continued to represent Haldeman through his trial in late 1974.

Haldeman was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Both he and Ehrlichman served 18 months in federal prison.

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