On the Today showTuesday, former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe revealed that congressional leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — did not object to the FBI opening a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was a threat to national security.
“No one objected,” McCabe said, when asked whether he had discussed the investigation with the “Gang of Eight” congressional leaders who get briefed on classified intelligence. “Not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds, and not based on the facts.”
The FBI opened its investigation into a sitting president, McCabe said, because “we had information that led us to believe that there might be a threat to national security — in this case that the president himself might, in fact, be a threat to the United States’ national security.”
Specifically, McCabe added, the FBI thought it “possible” that Trump might be working for Russia.
It shouldn’t be surprising news that GOP lawmakers didn’t object to the FBI investigating such serious concerns.
But unfortunately, it is surprising news. That’s because time and again, Republicans in Congress have bent over backwards to defend Trump’s relationship with Russia, and have treated U.S. law enforcement like the enemy for investigating that relationship.
The FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation in May 2017, after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in an attempt to thwart the agency’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible criminal collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
The counterintelligence investigation was a separate probe from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference, but both looked into Trump’s possible motivations for firing Comey.
Yet according to McCabe, Republican leaders in Congress have long been aware of the FBI’s investigation.
Rather than put the security of the country first, Republicans have consistently rallied behind Trump and remained silent about the potential danger he poses — even when they should know better.
For instance, McConnell adamantly refuses to allow a vote on legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in to Trump’s ties to Russia. For years, Trump has railed against any investigation into his ties to Russia as a “witch hunt,” yet McConnell — even knowing what he knows of the FBI investigation — still refuses to lift a finger to reign in Trump’s rhetoric or action.
Many other leading Republicans in Congress have gone out of their way to cover for Trump and support his attacks against the Department of Justice. Former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) went so far as to say Trump “has the right” to threaten people at the Justice Department, siding with Trump over U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, was also present when McCabe told Congress about the counterintelligence investigation. Like McConnell, Nunes spent years trying to cover up Trump’s potential crimes. Nunes even thwarted his own committee’s Russia investigation — so badly that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) immediately reopened it when he took over as chair of the Intelligence Committee.
For McConnell, the borderline-treasonous silence is part of a pattern of putting political ambitions ahead of the good of the country. Before the 2016 election, McConnell helped cover up information showing Russia was interfering in an effort to elect Trump.
When then-CIA director John Brennan informed congressional leaders, including McConnell, of Russian interference, McConnell did all he could to ensure the public never knew about it. With a raised voice, he threatened Brennan: “If you try to come forward with this, I’m not going to sign on to any public statement that would condemn Russian interference. But I will condemn you and the Obama administration for trying to mess up this election.”
Day by day, we are learning even more about Trump’s dangerous behavior — and of Republicans’ willingness to endanger national security in order to stand by Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent.