The GOP May Regret Dragging Feet on Russia Collusion
As Politico notes, the clear foot dragging just means it will be a salient 2018 issue. Like TrumpCare already is.
“Trump-Russia probes could seep into 2018 midterms.”
“The slow pace of investigations might be a boon to Democrats eager to keep the issue in the headlines.”
“The congressional investigations into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia are off to such a sluggish start that they could stretch into next year’s midterm election season. That’s a silver lining for Democrats who have grumbled that investigators aren’t moving fast enough — but who would be delighted to see the issue in the headlines as voters head to the polls.”
“Interviews with more than a dozen lawmakers involved in the House and Senate Intelligence Committee investigations show there is no consensus on how long they should take. The interviews also show just how politicized these investigations have already become, which threatens to undermine Congress’ chance at determining what did or didn’t happen in the 2016 campaign.”
“Some of our Democratic colleagues would love to go into the midterms with this narrative still being out there,” said Republican Chris Stewart of Utah, a member of the House intelligence panel. He said any suggestion that his committee’s investigation should continue into next year is “nuts.”
“There’s absolutely no reason it should take a multi-year effort,” Stewart said.
Nixon said the same thing about Watergate-that no way should it take longer than a year. It ended up going on for 19 months, until Tricky Dick resigned in August, 1974.
If Stewart wants it to move faster it’s in the hands of him and his Republican friends. They are the ones who have slow pedaled it. It’s much less likely to take a multi year effort if you’d hurry up now.
“But California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell said he expects the House probe to take “at least a year.” Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, the No. 2 Democrat on the House Intelligence panel, pegged the timeline at about six months, but said that it could be much longer.”
“We’ve got a pretty substantial witness list; we’ve got a lot documents,” Himes said, explaining that witness interviews would be a major time commitment.
“By and large, this will happen one person at a time,” he said. “The analogy is to a deposition, and, yeah, they’re going to take a lot of time. If you look at the Benghazi committee, these meetings can run four, five, six, seven hours.”
There really is a huge amount of documents and information and a very large witness list. But the GOP in refusing to an independent prosecutor make it worse for themselves. And slowpedaling it makes it much worse.
With Watergate, Nixon resigned in 1974 but the GOP got shellacked in Congressional races in 1974 of that year.
“Recent high-profile investigations into sensitive intelligence issues suggest the Russia probes could take years, not months.”
“The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attacks, for instance, took nearly two years; a subsequent House select committee investigation into Benghazi took more than two years. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s exhaustive report on CIA torture practices in the George W. Bush-era took more than five years.”
“The House and Senate panels are still at the early stages of investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, including potential collusion with Trump’s campaign. The probes have been bogged down by partisan spats, negotiations over witness lists and hearing schedules and a slew of logistical hurdles, to the frustration of many committee members.”
“Members of both panels have been making regular trips to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., where they’ve been confronted with reams of classified documents to review — and strict rules that force them to take notes by hand and leave their notebooks behind when they depart.”
“We’ve got the responsibility to follow this in a meticulous way,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Warner declined to put a deadline on the probe. “I think we want it done as timely and quickly as possible,” he said. “I think this notion that there is some kind of arbitrary deadline that either side is setting — the sooner we can see all the witnesses, the sooner we get those scheduled, the better.”
That’s the thing-the GOP is slow pedaling yet at the same time demanding this be done sooner rather than later. Can’t have it both ways.
Certainly tomorrow will be a great day to have that popcorn ready as Sally Yates tells her truth to power in the Senate about how she warned the Trumpsters and was fired for her trouble. Next the House is looking to put her on the calendar.
She’s going to contradict the Trump explanation of events.
Investigations take as long as they take, but if the GOP wants it to be over quicker, delaying it achieves the opposite effect.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.