There is a lot of publicly-available evidence that Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice with regards to the investigation into whether his campaign conspired with the Russians. Max Boot does a good job of summarizing all of that and then ends with this:
The impeachment proceedings would have already started if congressional Republicans weren’t colluding with Trump to obstruct justice.
It’s been clear for a while now that congressional Republicans are intent on enabling this president. But Boot’s wording in important to think about. Are they, in fact, “colluding with Trump to obstruct justice?” Jennifer Rubin thinks that needs to be investigated, specifically with regards to the actions of Representatives Nunes, Meadows and Jordan.
In sum, for now, the focus of the Russia investigation properly has been on the president’s action and those of others in the White House and Trump orbit. However, we shouldn’t forget about Republican representatives’ malfeasance and the goings-on between Trump loyalists in Congress and those in the White House. Rather than simply play defense on behalf of Rosenstein and the Russian investigators, defenders of the rule of law need to go on offense, demanding Nunes, Meadows and Jordan come clean on their actions in support of a president trying to thwart a legitimate investigation. It all needs to come out.
By way of specifics, Rubin points to the need to investigate two occasions in which congressional Republicans colluded with the White House.
- The caper by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in which he scurried over to the White House to review classified documents and then tried to push the fake “unmasking” scandal;
- Nunes’s memo falsely stating that information about the Christopher Steele dossier’s origins was omitted from the Foreign Intelligence Security Court warrant application to conduct surveillance on suspected spy Carter Page.
Former U.S. District Judge John S. Martin also suggested the need for an investigation of congressional Republicans who called for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The actions of the Freedom Caucus members are not only baseless, they are also shameful. While they call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Rosenstein, it may be more appropriate to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate an attempt to corruptly obstruct justice by members of Congress who so obviously use their office to intimidate the deputy attorney general and to undermine the credibility of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.
At least one Democrat agrees with this.
.@MaxBoot: Congressional #Republicans are “colluding with @realDonaldTrump to obstruct justice.” All the more reason to see what their communications have been about @TheJusticeDept probe. https://t.co/AeC29kPliD
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) August 2, 2018
We know that won’t happen as long as Republicans have majorities in both the House and Senate. It is probably also true that, as Rubin suggests, the focus for now should be on the Mueller investigation. But Devin Nunes and his crew have clearly wrecked havoc on what was previously a bipartisan House Select Committee on Intelligence. At some point, there needs to be an attempt to clean up the mess they’ve created. That will have to begin with an investigation into how these Republicans colluded with Trump to obstruct justice.