With all the clamoring coming from the right about the corruption of the FBI, and even more pointedly, about the corruption of Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Russian interference it prompts feelings of nostalgia in some of us for a time when Republicans stood up for the institutions of law and order, especially over Russia.
The attacks have gotten so reckless, to the point that some are calling Mueller’s investigation an attempted “coup.”
The louder and more persistent those calls become, the closer we should look at who is making the noise, and why.
A recent Business Insider report suggests that the three Republicans making the loudest, most obnoxious attacks have all been in contact with the White House.
“Have you had conversations, or has your office had conversations, with the White House about the Mueller investigation?” CNN host John Berman asked the congressman, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
“We just had Mr. Sessions, Mr. Rosenstein, and Mr. Wray in front of us,” Jordan said, referring to the House Judiciary Committee’s recent oversight hearings with the attorney general, deputy attorney general, and FBI director. “I did not talk to the White House about what kind of questions I was going to ask.”
“Have you had conversations with the White House not about the questions you asked, but about the Mueller investigation in general?” Berman asked.
“I talk with the White House about all kinds of things,” Jordan said. “We’ve had talks with the White House about tax policy, we’ve had talks about Obamacare, of course we’ve had talks with the White House. But my questions in those committees was driven by the evidence we’ve received in the last several weeks” about FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, he said.
Does that mean he was somehow instructed to ramp up his efforts to discredit Mueller and the FBI?
Not necessarily, but the tribal nonsense that is keeping him from putting nation over party and stepping away from the attacks is just bad optics.
Representative Matt Gaetz has gone commando with it, not only calling out for Mueller’s firing, but equating the investigation to a coup.
Which shows he doesn’t really understand a coup.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, the first lawmaker to openly demand that Mueller be fired, discussed the special counsel probe with Trump aboard Air Force One earlier this month ahead of a rally in Florida.
Gaetz, who is friends with longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone and has alleged that Mueller is plotting a “coup d’etat,” told Trump he was “concerned that this investigation was infected with bias,” according to Politico.
Trump replied, “That’s why you guys have got to do your job,'” Gaetz said.
Trump and Gaetz weren’t alone on that flight. Rep. Ron DeSantis, another House Judiciary Committee member, was also aboard and a part of the conversation.
In August, DeSantis attempted to advance a provision that would limit the scope and action of Mueller’s investigation.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, meanwhile, has been meeting secretly with a group of House Intelligence Committee Republicans for weeks to build a case that senior leaders of the DOJ and FBI mishandled the contents of the Trump-Russia dossier — a raw intelligence document compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele outlining alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
I talked about that secret, apparently independent investigation by Republicans last night.
Nunes, the intelligence committee’s chairman, stepped aside from the Russia investigation in early April following his decision to brief Trump and the press on classified intelligence — without telling his fellow committee members.
It really does seem like there’s an effort to circle the wagons around the king.
The California congressman has been conducting his own investigations into “unmaskings” by the Obama administration and the credibility of the dossier — two issues heavily promoted by Trump earlier this year — which has heightened speculation that he coordinated with the White House at least initially to create a diversion from the FBI’s Russia investigation.
And that’s exactly what it looks like.
It’s a really bad look.
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell told Business Insider earlier this year that Nunes’ shadow investigations risked compromising the House panel’s probe.
“If Speaker [Paul] Ryan wants a credible investigation to come out of the House Intelligence Committee,” he said, “he’ll do everything he can to make sure Devin Nunes’ fingerprints are not on our report.”
I have to agree with the Democrat, here. We can’t have breakoff groups of loyalists within the government, whose loyalties seem to be with a man over the wellbeing of our nation.
And honestly, they may deeply believe, with all their hearts, that they’re the righteous ones, and that protecting Trump is equal to defending the nation, but if part of that requires they act as undercover attack dogs for him, then that’s the kind of banana republic machinations that have no part in this America.