By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
The ghost of a great Republican U.S. senator has been revived in the closing hours of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Howard Baker of Tennessee once asked witnesses appearing before the Senate Watergate Committee: What did President Nixon know and when did he know it? What did the president know about the break-in at the Democratic Party offices, the coverup and all that followed that infamous scandal of 1973-74? We found out. Nixon resigned. The rest is history.
Now comes the latest iteration of that query. What did Donald Trump know about the danger facing Vice President Mike Pence during the Jan. 6 riot at Capitol Hill and when did he know it? Trump’s lawyers say he didn’t know anything. Two GOP lawmakers — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Tommy Tuberville — say something quite different. They told Trump that Pence was in trouble and that the mob was looking for the VP as he sought to do his constitutional duty of certifying the 2020 presidential election results.
Trump didn’t respond. He didn’t express concern about Pence’s well-being. He did nothing to quell the violence.
Will any of this change minds? Hardly. Still, I am intrigued by the channeling of a long-departed political icon — Sen. Baker — into this current bit of drama.