Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
Desperate to take the heat off of their own unpopularity and Donald Trump’s legal problems, a group of House Republicans led by Rep. Devin Nunes are aggressively trying to investigate the FBI and DOJ.
They are convinced there was a conspiracy at these agencies to help Hillary Clinton, even though they likely cost her the election. They also claim the FBI relied improperly on the Steele dossier to inform their investigation of Russia, even though officials have already said the dossier “played no role” in the intelligence community’s assessment.
What makes this all the more absurd is that even as this wild goose chase continues, damning evidence is emerging that Trump may have engaged in obstruction of justice in connection with the firing of FBI Director James Comey — in the form of a closed-door congressional “emergency interview” with Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
According to CNN, McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he could vouch for a key claim in the memo that Comey wrote before his dismissal. Specifically, McCabe indicated he could corroborate Comey’s account of Trump telling him that he “expects loyalty”:
The testimony suggests McCabe could corroborate Comey’s account, including Trump’s ask that Comey show him loyalty, which the President has strongly disputed. Comey previously testified that he briefed some of his senior colleagues at the FBI about this conversation with Trump.
Following the interview with McCabe — the details of which could not be disclosed for national security reasons — Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, had only blistering criticism of GOP lawmakers who are trying to waste resources on another partisan Clinton investigation.
“Just like Benghazi, we know the Republican playbook,” Cummings said in a statement. “They admitted that their whole goal with Benghazi was to bring down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. Here they are trying to undermine confidence in the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
Last week, Cummings and fellow Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler flipped the script on Republicans by calling for a simultaneous investigation into anti-Clinton bias at the FBI. If the GOP wants to investigate Clinton, then Democrats are going to lay down some ground rules of their own.
Ultimately, Republicans just don’t want to have to face an investigation that will reveal the incompetent, unethical, and possibly illegal actions of their president. So instead, they are trying to steer the conversation back into the comfortable realm of Clinton scandals. Unfortunately for them, that playbook is worn out.