Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Why the GOP’s Bipartisan Tone Is Trouble for Trump

Though Democrats always fight to protect their side in hearings, Republicans show they won’t do the same for Trump.
President Trump may claim that former FBI director James Comey’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee brought him “complete vindication.” But as he well knows, this was just one of the first shots fired in what will likely be a long, hard campaign by Democrats to build a case for his impeachment on whatever grounds they can find. But while he needs to prepare for more months filled with leaks, insinuations, and accusations of lying, abuse of power, and, more important, obstruction of justice, thrown in his direction, that prospect isn’t the only serious problem the Comey hearing revealed. What should also really worry him was the bipartisan tone of the spectacle.
Praise for the serious manner with which the senators from both parties approached their questioning of Comey was nearly universal. Unlike most congressional hearings investigating just about any scandal, what happened on Thursday wasn’t the usual partisan brawl in which members of the two parties pursued two competing agendas each aimed at undermining each other’s position. Though this is a committee that generally avoids partisan squabbles, it was still notable that both Republicans and Democrats weren’t fighting each other or their star witness.
It is true that some Republicans questioned Comey a little more sharply than the Democrats did. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio raised some questions about Comey’s claims about the president’s asking for his loyalty and a request to let former national-security adviser Michael Flynn off the hook. James Risch asked if Comey had ever heard of anyone convicted of obstruction on the basis of expressing a “hope.” And John McCain made a brief and confused attempt to make Comey explain the differences between the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and the Russian-collusion case.
But for the most part, the Republicans treated Comey with kid gloves. Nor did they spend much if any time trying to justify anything Trump did or said.
The reasons for this are obvious. --->
Read the rest from Jonathan S. Tobin HERE.

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