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Hello, Howard Baker!?

[The GOP debate is on CNBC right now.  Let’s use this as an open debate thread — Pach] 

Guess who’s back in the news, thanks to his appointment as Chairman of Fred Thompson’s Leadership Team? Howard “What did the President know and when did he know it” Baker of Tennessee, former ranking member of the Senate Watergate Committee, and mentor to Fred Thompson.

Fred’s brought Howard Baker out of retirement, so perhaps he can answer some questions about Fred’s role as counsel to the minority on the Watergate Committee. Specifically, inquiring minds want to know if then-Senator Baker was aware of Fred’s role as White House mole. Did then-Senator Baker know:

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. …

Fred Thompson’s career in politics and acting was launched with his service on the Watergate Committee. Won’t Howard Baker tell America whether Fred’s mole-role was authorized by the GOP membership of that committee? In other words, does acting with “no authority” mean he acted without your authority, Senator Baker? And if you did know about his mole-role, did the chairman of the committee know as well?

I can’t imagine North Carolina Senator and Watergate Committee Chairman Sam Ervin being happy that your main staffer was a direct pipeline into the Nixon White House.

Fred writes in his memoir:

“Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home” to tell him that the committee had learned about the taping system, Thompson wrote. “I wanted to be sure that the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action.”

Senator Howard Baker: Do you really think America needs yet another President who is entirely comfortable acting with “no authority?”

(YouTube Nixon Watergate montage by Plug)

P.S. I may have additional questions for Fred Thompson’s Leadership Team Co-Chairs at a future time. They are Liz Cheney (daughter of Darth) and George “Macaca” Allen.

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