GOP Civil War And New Investigations May Indicate Deeper Concerns About Russian Collusion
It is a crazy day in politics today as we see the Republican party start to fracture into two pieces, the white nationalist nativist party and the traditional conservatives more focused on business and the rich. Of course, that does not mean there are not agenda items such as tax cuts for the rich that these two wings do not agree on. But the lightning rod in this split is, of course, Donald Trump. There is no finessing Trump’s unfitness for office any longer. It’s becoming more and more difficult to hide behind the mantra of simply focusing on passing the legislative agenda and ignoring Trump. Republicans in Congress must soon decide whether they are for Trump or against him.
Jeff Flake is a victim and a representative of this split, causing him to announce that he would not seek re-election. Flake was too unpopular with the Arizona Republican base because of his previous criticism of Trump. And even if he did manage to squeak through a GOP primary, his support of the President indicated by his voting record and the corresponding belief that Flake has not been critical enough of Trump probably made it difficult to win in the general. But Flake’s speech today was not so much directed at Trump but also at the “complicity”, a word that Flake repeatedly used, of his Republican colleagues in Congress. Flake was almost begging them to have the spine to impeach the President.
But I’d also like to throw out another, admittedly unfounded, theory that what has happened today may indicate something even darker than just a Republican civil war. In doing so, I’d like to also highlight some other news today coming out of Capitol Hill. The Republican chairmen of the both the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee have announced that each of those committees will be opening a probe into the Department of Justice’s handling of the investigation of into Hillary Clinton’s email server. The House Oversight Committee is led by Trey Gowdy, the man who spent millions of taxpayer dollars investigating BENGHAZI!! simply and admittedly in order to drive down Clinton’s poll numbers.
In addition, the already compromised Devin Nunes, head of the House Intelligence Committee, along with the House Oversight Committee, again, announced a separate investigation into a 2009 uranium deal that allowed a Russian firm to buy a Canadian firm that already owned about 20% of the US uranium reserves still in the ground. That deal required sign-off from nine different federal agencies, including the State Department, then still run by Hillary Clinton. In addition, the Senate Judiciary Committee has also announced its intention to investigate this deal, which like Clinton’s email server has already been investigated to death.
Putting this all together, again in an admittedly unfounded theory, I wonder if members of Congress are discovering that the case against Donald Trump in either Russian collusion or obstruction of justice is becoming overwhelming and indefensible. Corker and Flake are actually setting the basis for impeachment proceedings, focusing on Trump’s unfitness for office. Flake, as I said, was almost imploring his colleagues to impeach the President, using their Article 1 powers. On the other hand, the defenders of the President are incredibly busy starting investigations that are transparently designed to create a smoke screen of Democratic complicity with the Russians and to discredit James Comey. Only a few days ago, Gowdy also said this about the investigations into Russian collusion, “Congressional investigations unfortunately are usually overtly political investigations, where it is to one side’s advantage to drag things out. The notion that one side is playing the part of defense attorney and that the other side is just these white hat defenders of the truth is laughable.” Which begs the question of why start these new investigations now, unless there is a political rationale. And, at this point, the only possible reason would be as protection for Trump in the Russian investigation.
I’m pretty sure every one of these Republicans would be perfectly happy to pass some kind of tax cut bill and they still may be able to do that. But, with the exception of perhaps Corker who is worried about nuclear war, all of them have no reason to create any diversions from that tax cut effort right now. The fact that they are doing so indicates something far deeper than just a split in the Republican party. My belief is that the Russian investigation is the deeper catalyst.
Originally published at tidalsoundings.blogspot.com on October 24, 2017.