Republican senators are ready to burn down Congress in support of Trump

Republican senators are ready to burn down Congress in support of Trump
Gage Skidmore/Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian/Gage Skidmore

With Donald Trump blocking congressional subpoenas, suing the chairs of congressional committees, ordering the Treasury Department to defy the law by hiding information from Congress, and in general acting as if Article I of the Constitution was written on toilet paper, it seems as if that might be a problem for Congress. And it is a problem. For Democrats. However, Republicans, who spent the last two years turning Congress into a Trump support group, are now prepared to “build a firewall” for Trump—even if it burns down the last scintilla of congressional authority.

As The Hill reports, Republican legislators aren’t looking for ways they can fight back against Trump’s defying Congress or ignoring laws. They’re determined to make it easier for him.

According to Iowa Senator, and man who tried to kill you seven times but didn’t really mean it, Chuck Grassley, Trump doesn’t have to listen to congressional subpoenas because he “already gave a million pages to oversight.” That these documents had nothing to do with the subject of the subpoenas apparently isn’t a concern for Grassley. Trump gave something. Isn’t that enough?

Not every Republican has been wholly on board with cheering on Trump’s continuing refusal to cooperate with handing over documents or allowing any member of his staff, or former staff, to testify. However, any criticisms have been “muted,” which the Hill suggests “the GOP is getting on the same page” with Trump.

Republicans already handed over fiscal authority to Trump by failing to override his declaration of a national emergency to allocate funds specifically voted down by Congress. Now they’re not just standing aside while Trump denies Congress’s oversight authority—they’re cheering him on. And when it comes to discovering the truth … Republicans aren’t pulling any punches. They simply do not care.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday: “I don’t care what happened between him and Don McGahn.”

According to testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn, Donald Trump twice ordered him to get rid of special counsel Robert Mueller, including calling McGahn at home to tell him to make it happen. McGahn refused, and instead threatened to resign.

Now Republicans in the Senate have a full range of disregard for obstruction. In addition to Graham’s “I don’t care,” there is Republican John Cornyn who says attempted obstruction isn’t “relevant because Mueller was never fired, and Grassley bypassing any hearings or discussion to declare “there wasn’t any crime committed.” See no evil, shrug at evil, don’t even believe in evil.

Cornyn even admits that “there were some comments about stopping … Mr. Mueller,” but says that since it didn’t happen, there’s nothing more to see here. That’s an attitude that should be welcomed by anyone facing conspiracy or racketeering charges. Or anything beginning with “attempted.”

Republicans have also been careful to deny that the Mueller report—despite having mentioned more than twenty times the power of Congress to decide the issues surrounding obstruction—really meant that Congress had to make such a decision. They’re perfectly happy to go with the statement that Barr made in his original letter, clearing Trump, even though Mueller made it clear that the reason he wasn’t charging Trump with obstruction was only because of Trump’s position and DOJ rules concerning indicting an executive.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer challenged Republicans to take some action based on all the information provided by Mueller. He referenced the ten instances in the report where Mueller suggests Trump could have committed obstruction—and how in all these cases Mueller discusses the potential role of Congress in making the decision. He also pointed out that even on the subject of conspiracy, Mueller said that he could not tell if a criminal conspiracy had taken place because Trump and his staff withheld information, lied, suborned perjury, and ordered potential witnesses to remain silent. The combination was enough to make it impossible for Mueller to fully complete his investigation—which would seem to be the definition of obstruction.

Republicans are so determined to help Trump, no matter what it does to them or the nation, that they’re resisting taking any substantial efforts to improve security so that Russia doesn’t follow up on its 2016 success.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) … told reporters Monday afternoon that nothing in Mueller’s report convinced him that the Senate needs to move legislation to protect U.S. elections.

The report details how Russia spent millions conducting a military operation that encompassed every aspect of the Internet, traditional media, and boots-on-the-ground “grassroots” campaigning. That Blunt doesn’t feel that anything needs to be done about that … suggests that he’s pretty happy with the work Russia is doing for him.


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