Let’s make one thing perfectly clear for now and ever: Congressional Republicans are acting like they care more about tax cuts than the integrity of our elections.
Anyone who watched the House Intelligence Committee hearing and watched or heard FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers confirm that neither has any evidence to support President Trump’s claims that former-President Obama ordered surveillance of Trump Tower, and far more importantly that FBI is currently investigating communications between Russia and Trump’s campaign, can see this as fact.
Republican after Republican on the committee turned the questioning of Rogers and Comey to the dangerous nature of leaks instead of focusing on the truly disturbing and historic FBI investigation into just how much contact the Trump team had with Russia. It’s hard to imagine them acting the same way two years ago, isn’t it? But we’ll get to that later.
Let’s also make one other thing very clear: Russia doesn’t have to have had a) changed vote counts or b) colluded to do anything other than have their sanctions lifted once Trump was in office for there to have been a massive transgression against our elections committed. We now can say without any hesitation that Russia picked a side, helped influence people in favor of that side, and that Russia had contacts with a handful of people on the side they’d picked to help.
What also doesn’t matter, nearly as much, is that information about the Trump/Russia connection has been coming to light via leaks. I’m not sure when our government will figure this out, but clearly Daniel Ellsberg didn’t teach us anything. Nor did Chelsea Manning, nor did Edward Snowden, so I hold out no hopes it’ll be soon…but leaks don’t tend to bother us when they confirm or expose shit we don’t like or his highly suspect, perhaps even a crime.
So someone should really get a hold of the Republicans like southern-drawling partisan douchebag Trey Gowdy and tell them that sure, leaks of national security stuff is bad, but that we’re all way more concerned that his party wants to overlook our sitting president working with a fascist, murderous regime because “tax cuts.” Because tax cuts, and gutting the social safety net, seem to be so very important to Republicans that all they wanted to do was ask questions about the leaks of Comey and Rogers, instead of getting as many vital details of the FBI investigation into Trump and Russia as they could.
Gee, I wonder why they’d focus on the leaks, and not the contents of them? It could not possibly be because they know an open FBI investigation casts extreme suspicion on their party’s de facto leader, right? It couldn’t be that they know that even if Russia and Trump never openly or secretly colluded to change vote tallies, what we know from verified public record and today’s hearing indicates beyond any doubt that Trump’s team was open to helping Russia get out from underneath economic sanctions, right? I mean sure, the timeline that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) laid out shows time and time again that Trump people met with and discussed sanctions with Russian diplomats, but um, SHUT UP LIBTARD.
It’s hard for me to even guess at how much anger, outrage, hand-wringing and foamy-mouthed outrage would be free flowing from the right if Obama was the center of an ongoing FBI investigation. Considering that for eight years they treated every burp, fart, and sneeze issued from from Obama as a potential scandal, I would think that Gowdy would literally explode on the floor of Congress if Obama had been found to been having illegal contact with Russia in 2008, much less in 2012, or at any point in his term.
To be crystal clear — the Russia/Trump story is now less and less about some nefarious plans to start World War III, or to wipe out the world’s Muslim population or anything like that. The plot of this movie seems to have always been pretty simple. Putin wants to be richer and more powerful, and he saw Trump has a very willing, stupid participant in that plan, and so he manipulated Team Trump into putting key people he had relationships with into the inner circle.
How much more nefarious it gets is kinda not important to me at this point in time. Perhaps Trump hasn’t committed an impeachable offense through all of this, but his credibility should be permanently destroyed. Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, should work to stop any agenda Trump has until all the details of the FBI’s investigation is over. However, we all know the GOP is now going to spend its breath huffing and puffing trying to keep us from thinking Trump is their second Nixon.
The bottom line is really, very simple. Trump was willing to be nice to Putin. Vladimir liked that. Vladimir worked with Trump’s people, and now the FBI is trying to figure out how deep it all goes. I’m not saying this is Watergate, or worse than it. Republicans care going to try to change the narrative and make it about leaks. We cannot let them. The story is that Trump’s people promised things to Vladimir Putin, and the only mystery is how much they offered to do, when they did, and if Trump, Mike Pence, or anyone else knew about these dealings.
Then it’s up to Congress to decide whether what the FBI finds — if anything — is impeachable. The Republicans want this to be about leaks. It’s not. It’s about a fundamental unraveling of our faith in our democracy, and Putin knows that.
Apparently, Republicans are either too partisan-blind, ignorant, proud, or singularly focused on tax cuts to care.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.