Where I Come From, We Call This ‘Witness Intimidation.’
As the investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia gets closer to Trump’s top advisers as well as Trump himself, Republicans have made it a point to disparage and discredit the very institutions we depend upon to uphold the Rule of Law. This is anything but normal, and even lifelong conservatives like the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin are noticing that something is very, very wrong here.
The Republicans, by their conduct, implicitly recognize Trump’s weak defense to a potential obstruction charge. Contrary to the Trump attorney’s mumbo jumbo, they realize that a sitting president with a corrupt intent can be cited for obstruction of justice, although the case might need to be prosecuted after he leaves office. Second, Republicans understand that if the fact pattern is believed, Trump at the very least committed an impeachable action (although not necessarily a criminal violation of federal statute) in pressuring the then-FBI director to lay off of Michael Flynn and curtail the Russia investigation. If the facts here were not so damning, Republicans would not find it necessary to call into question the credibility of the entire FBI. Third, the Republicans will have their hands full if they go down this road. Not only McCabe but also other FBI officials may have been told of Trump’s pursuit of a loyalty oath from Comey. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency director Mike Rogers as well as other members of the White House staff may be privy to Trump’s statements about Comey and efforts to get Comey to relent from investigating Flynn. That’s a lot of people to discredit if the GOP is bent on circling the wagons around a president who has neither the law nor the facts on his side.
The spectacle of Republicans trying to cook up a spurious case of corruption against the entire FBI is strong evidence of their inability to take their constitutional responsibilities seriously. If we are to get a fair investigation and consideration of the facts as well as a mature examination of whether those facts rise to an impeachable offense, it likely won’t come with a GOP majority in control of the House and Senate.
And Rachel Maddow seems to be on the money by pointing out that the GOP are going after every potential witness that could corroborate the claims of Trump trying to influence the investigation by James Comey.
Two things: First – the GOP, for whatever reason, is behaving like a mob family, and they should be treated like a mob family. Remove them, root and branch, from governance of this country and put them in prison.
Second – This behavior should disabuse anyone from thinking the Republican party has any claim to being the ‘law and order’ party. Forever.