As Constitutional Crisis Looms, Republicans Act As Trump Co-Conspirators
As Donald Trump test the waters and lays the groundwork for firing Robert Mueller, his Republican co-conspirators in Congress are largely silent, saying they won’t discuss hypotheticals or that Trump’s comments “aren’t helpful”. But their refusal to stand firmly behind Mueller and to lay down their own red line that firing Mueller is impermissible simply gives Trump the green light to go ahead and do it.
But this is nothing new for Republicans in Congress. They were equally complicit with Trump in colluding with Russia during the campaign for their own advantage. They may not have had direct contact with the Russians like the Trump campaign, but they were well aware that the Russians were interfering in the election to not only help Trump but also down ballot Republicans and not only did they do nothing, they intentionally refused to help make the American public aware of the extent of the Russian efforts.
Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan refused to join a bipartisan statement on the extent of Russian hacking back in October of last year. Ryan and the House GOP leadership joked about the fact that not only Trump but also a GOP representative in Congress, Dana Rohrabacher, was probably being funded by the Russians. So it is clear the Republican leadership all knew that Russia was interfering on the election and were quite happy to let it continue as long as they benefited.
That collusion with Russia by the GOP leadership continues to this day, not only by allowing Trump to fire Comey with virtually no repercussions but also by not standing firmly behind Mueller and essentially giving Trump the OK to fire him. Earlier this month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) asked its Republican counterpart, the NRCC, to join together to “protect our committees and keep foreign adversaries and criminal actors out of our elections.” The NRCC dismissed the letter as a “political stunt”.
The fact of the matter is that Republicans in Congress do not take the Russian collusion investigation seriously. A recent Atlantic article showed that many of them view the issue as simply “partisan noise” or that any collusion “wasn’t anything malicious” but just an indicator of the Trump campaign’s inexperience. Others apparently believe this whole issue is a “media obsession” and that the Democrats are “overplaying their hand” by talking about potential treason and possible impeachment. None of those cited in the article, mostly anonymously, seem to have any grasp of the depth of Trump’s business with the Russians, clearly involving massive amounts of money laundering, before the campaign and how that might impact what came after.
But it is not just the area of Russian collusion where Republicans are turning a blind eye, it is to criminality of all sorts within this administration. There is the clear and constant violations of the Emoluments Clause by the President. He continues to force government and his own 2020 re-election campaign to funnel money into those businesses, either through rent or events at those locations. Just recently, it was revealed that Trump will be taking payouts from his businesses whenever he wants despite repeatedly saying he would isolate himself from the business.
Trump’s senior and probably most trusted adviser, Jared Kushner, has blatantly lied on his security clearance form and has now made at least two revisions and named over 100 meetings with foreign representatives after initially declaring he had none. In addition, Kushner and his family continue to push their contacts with Trump in order to find someone who will bail them out of their disastrous investment in 666 5th Avenue. The Secretary of State’s former company, ExxonMobil, was just handed a $2 million fine for violating US sanctions on Russia while Tillerson was head of the company and clearly aware of the illegal activity.
And now the President is floating the idea of firing Mueller and pardoning himself and his family, possibly preemptively. In addition, Trump is spending time trashing the reputations of virtually everyone in the FBI and DOJ in a further attempt to intimidate his investigators, as well as lay the groundwork for firing Mueller.
None of this provokes any reaction from Republicans in Congress, the very same group that spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to create a scandal out of Benghazi!. As Matt Miller writes, “[W]e are headed for certain crisis. Trump just will not, cannot allow this investigation to go forward…These leaks are partially intended to test the boundaries of what he can get away with. Like w/ Comey firing, silence is acquiescence.” And acquiescence is what he is apparently getting from his Republican co-conspirators in Congress. And when, not if, the crisis comes, Republicans in Congress will be just as guilty as Trump.
Originally published at tidalsoundings.blogspot.com on July 21, 2017.