Senator Who Changed Focus Of Watergate Dies At 88

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker Jr., who asked what President Richard Nixon knew about Watergate, has died. He was 88.

FILE - This May 17, 1973 file photo shows Fred D. Thompson, Chief Minority Counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee, left, talking with Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn. during the Watergate hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington. . Baker, who asked what President Richard Nixon knew about Watergate, has died. He was 88. Baker, a Republican, served 18 years in the Senate. He earned the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike and rose to the post of majority leader. He served as White House chief of staff at the end of the Reagan administration and was U.S. ambassador to Japan during President George W. Bush's first term. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker Jr., who asked what President Richard Nixon knew about Watergate, has died. He was 88.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander confirmed Baker's death in a news release Thursday.

Baker, a Republican, served 18 years in the Senate. He earned the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike and rose to the post of majority leader. He served as White House chief of staff at the end of the Reagan administration and was U.S. ambassador to Japan during President George W. Bush's first term.

His question at the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings - "What did the president know and when did he know it?" - became famous. It instantly focused the nation's attention on the cover-up that - more than the Watergate break-in itself - eventually brought down Nixon's presidency.


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