Sunday, January 7, 2018

GOP Congress joins President Trump to derail justice

A version of this was published by the Sky Hi News January 9-10, 2017

One of the most disturbing developments in the past several months is  that the Republican Congressional leadership has  reversed a prior hands off posture and joined forces with the White House to attack the credibility, and/or to divert attention from  special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into  the Trump campaign and his administration's role into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election .  Until then  most of those same GOP  Congresspeople had supported or tried  to act neutral or even praised Mueller and the FBI. The special counsel investigation was commissioned in the spring of 2017 after the firing of James Comey. The FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections began in mid 2016.

The GOP dominated   Congress  has  launched  their campaign apparently  coordinated with a similar White House strategy. .  Donald Trump kicked off the New Year with a tweet calling for investigations into a Hillary Clinton aide regarding emails passwords and  into the FBI,   he claimed was full of anti Trump agents, citing emails of one agent as proof..

The antidote to a president charged with  high crimes and misdemeanors  is impeachment. This is the power delegated to  Congress. It is  an unlikely action, since  both Houses are  controlled by the GOP with their members now fawning  with admiration  of Donald Trump after the passage of their unpopular tax reform agenda.   The only way to curb the Republican’s Congressional participation in any diversion or obstruction into the Mueller probe  is to change which party controls committee chairs and sets their agenda. That opportunity will come in November 2018 when one third of the Senate  seats and all House of Representative seats will be on the ballot.

Last week  Trump loyalist, Devin Nunes, (R-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee,  renewed his earlier demand the FBI and the Department of Justice  turn over the fruits of their investigation into a dossier authored by former UK spy  Christopher Steele. This could be seen as  tactics to  kill a messenger and  divert attention  from the core investigation into Trump campaign and administration’s Russian connections.. The FBI  first resisted,  but yielded to pressure from House Majority Leader Paul Ryan in a meeting the first week this January.  Nunes. also in October  had  launched an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s actions on Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation as the “real Russian connection investigation”, both  cases previously investigated and died for lack of evidence, but still  a red meat attention grabber for the Trump base.

Two Senate  Republicans,  Lindsey Graham and Chuck  Grassley,  last week referred a criminal accusation to the FBI,  claiming   Steele  presented contradictory dates he provided in testimony to them.  This impact of the action by the two senators is  to keep Steele from coming to the US to testify and  to distract public and investigative  attention from the fundamental  thrust of the Mueller investigation.  Grassley also has stonewalled  his prior promise to release  testimony of Steele’s boss  about who  commissioned   and oversaw Steele’s research project.   The outrage of the senators’ action is that their  only alleged criminal findings after months of hearings was to refer Steele, the whistle blower,  who had brought  the results of his investigations to the FBI’s attention in the first place. That dossier, Steele’s field notes, presented evidence that  Donald Trump had engaged  in questionable financial dealings  and sexual misconduct  with Russians   before he was a candidate and could have been compromised by Russians and subject to blackmail.. The  FBI then  in October 2016  had set about to verify his findings from separate sources, in addition to their already ongoing investigation. The results of those and other findings by Mueller and the FBI have not been released to the public.

Update January 9, 2018
Update: Tuesday, January 9, Democrats released the testimony of the company that hired Christopher Steele.…/sen-dianne-feinstein-unilaterally-re…
The GOP has tried to discredit the Steele dossier to show that it kicked off the
FBI investigation of the Trump campaign Russian connection. It was not. It began with the Australian Ambassador and the Australian government telling the FBI earlier in 2016 about a conversation with campaign staffer George Papadopoulis who had inside information of Russian possession of Democratic emails.…/donald-trump-russia-inquiry-g…

No comments:

Post a Comment