Congressional Republicans and conservatives in general are over the moon; living a dream they never thought would become reality: They have control of both houses of Congress and the presidency. Even better, the man-child sitting in the Oval Office seems wholly disinterested in the tedium of developing policy details and actually governing. So, that gritty work has been left up to legislatures who surely are overjoyed that they get to craft bills largely free of Trump’s uninformed input.
To protect and defend
Given this just-described salubrious state of affairs, conservatives in and out of government have gone to great lengths to keep it intact. What follows are synopses of their efforts.
Trump’s tax returns: House Republicans (1) have passed over multiple opportunities to press 45 into releasing those documents. It is plausible to speculate that those same representatives have made the educated guess that the returns have something damning in them, otherwise, why has Trump gone to such great lengths and told such glaring lies to avoid making them public?
The attacks on former FBI Director James Comey
This is part of a larger effort to discredit the Bureau as an organization capable of conducting an impartial, credible investigation of any collusion between the Russians and Trump. How quickly the “worm” has turned. As recently as late October 2016, conservatives were singing Comey’s praises over his decision to re-open his probe into HRC’s e-mails, a cache of which was found among the electronic messages that passed between Huma Abedin and her then-husband, Anthony Weiner. Trump even noted that this took “guts”. But now, in the space of about 400 days, Comey has become a “bad cop”, filled with liberal bias that found expression in “get Trump” behavior.
The assault on SP Mueller and his team
As an extension of the preceding synopsis, there has been a frontal assault on the integrity of Mueller and his investigators. This was covered in a previous blog and can be reviewed as need be by those who are interested. It is worth noting that the blog in question did provoke some thoughtful criticism from a reader. His concerns were addressed in the “Comments” attached to the blog and thus are available for inspection.
The Steele “dossier”
The so-called “dossier” is actually a folderof about 30 pages of raw intelligence, some of which has been substantiated while other parts have neither been confirmed nor deconfirmed. Conservatives want no part of the former, preferring instead to trash the folder’s entire contents. Their favorite talking point is that it was commissioned by HRC and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a claim that has already been disproven. (2) But even if that were not the case, collecting research on an opponent has been standard operating procedures in our politics. Certainly, Trump’s campaign was only too happy to get all those e-mails on the DNC that became available through a Wikileaks document-dump.
Not one bit of the foregoing should be surprising. Intent on hanging onto their near-absolute power, it figures that Republicans will do whatever they can to protect and defend Trump, even if that means committing errors of omission, distortion, obfuscation and character assassination, all to compromise an ongoing federal investigation into Trump/Russia collusion.
How far will this go?
Let us suppose that between now and the coming midterm election, SP Mueller comes forward with a case, the evidence of which, calls for Trump’s impeachment. The bet here is that unless that case is overwhelming, House Republicans will vote it down, even though such a move might well cost them dearly when the election does roll around sometime soon thereafter.
Let’s take the contents of the last paragraph a step further. Right now, there are legal experts who believe that a credible case for obstruction of justice can be put forward against 45. Why then has Mueller not done so? Here’s another bet that answers that question: The SP has witnessed the lengths to which congressional Republicans have gone in protecting and defending Trump, and has calculated that a solitary charge of obstruction won’t be sufficient to get them to drop that tack. So, he is in the process of building a stronger case; one that will compel support from even the most diehard among Trump supporters.
What might such a “stronger case” include? Follow the money from Russia to Deutsche Bank, to Trump, then back to Deutsche Bank and on to Russia. If you aren’t familiar with what “money laundering” involves, start reading up.
1. A notable and very recent example involved Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. In the crafting of the just passed tax bill, Brady was offered an amendment that, if passed, would have forced Trump to release his tax returns. Brady refused to even bring the amendment up for debate; it got “deep-sixed”.
2. The seed money for the Steele dossier came from an anti-Trump, Republican hedge fund manager named Singer.