The Republican majority on the House Judiciary Committee voted down a Resolution of Inquiry last night that would have asked the Department of Justice for information related to Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest and the burgeoning Russian influence scandal.
New York Democrat Jerry Nadler had introduced the resolution to make Republicans reckon with Trump’s issues, one way or the other. And he vows to keep bringing the issue back up, again and again, to keep his colleagues on the record.
“Each day, more questions arise concerning President Trump’s foreign business entanglements and his inexplicably cozy relationship with Russia,” Rep. Nadler declared during the debate on his resolution.
“Each day, Democrats on this Committee, and on other committees, have requested hearings and investigations into these serious issues. And yet, each day, with a few exceptions, we have been met with a deafening silence from our Republican colleagues.”
He also tweeted the full text of the resolution, which specifically names Trump adviser Carter Page, conspiracy-wrangler Roger Stone, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort as persons of interest. All of them have reportedly been subjects of an FBI investigation since last year.
During his remarks, Nadler worried that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is incapable of being fair or impartial. “Therefore, we must ensure that we in the House get access to any information the Department of Justice has so that we can do our own investigation,” he said.
That seems like an eminently sensible request, but Republicans were having none of it.
Chair of the Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) objected to Nadler’s resolution, calling it “politically charged,” objecting routinely to every amendment offered by Democrats as “broadening” the reach of an “already too-broad resolution.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who made waves last Friday by suggesting that Sessions should recuse himself from the investigation, suggested that the resolution was an overstep. He also objected to the fact that the resolution was introduced on Sessions’ first day on his new job.
Whatever they might say on television, when the question is called in Congress, Republicans hardly seem interested in examining Donald Trump’s problems at all.
They voted against examining Donald Trump’s tax returns in the Ways and Means committee on Monday. Paul Ryan has so far contained any investigation of the Russian hacking and influence scandal to the Intelligence Committee, where chairman Devin Nunes has compromised his independence and slow-walked the promised inquiry.
Republicans “are trying to aid and abet a cover-up by limiting debate,” Rep. Nadler told David Corn. “This is highly irregular and maybe unprecedented. We know the Russians tried to influence the election. And we know now officials of the Trump campaign were in contact with Russians.”
“Using extreme measures to stop this inquiry is collusion,” he added.
So far, the House Republican caucus has not used “extreme measures” to stifle accountability, but they have applied every procedural brake. Democrats have started putting them on the record about it.
Featured image: public domain
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