Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Morning Reading -- Republicans Aiding Cover Up Of Trump-Russia Scandal

Mother Jones' David Corn, who's been a bulldog covering the connections between the autocratic regime of Vladimir Putin and neo- fascist numbnut Donald "Rump" Trump, describes how Republicans in the House are actively colluding with the White (supremacist) House to hamstring any investigation into that relationship (and how Democrats are responding). It's a good read; here's an extended excerpt:
It started February 9, when Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced in the House what's known as a resolution of inquiry. This measure requested that Attorney General Jeff Sessions share with the House information the Justice Department (including the FBI) possesses related to several issues: any investigations of Trump associates' interactions with a foreign power; any investment by a foreign government or agent in an entity wholly or partly owned by Donald Trump; and any financial conflicts of interest affecting Trump. This legislation would cover information the FBI might have gathered on recently departed national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone. [snip] 
The GOPers did have a choice in how they could respond. They could refer Nadler's measure to the judiciary committee, where the Republican majority would presumably vote it down. Or they could let it go to the House floor, where Republicans would also presumably vote it down. [snip] 
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) eventually decided it would be better for the GOP to bottle up the resolution in the judiciary committee. Late last week, the Republicans notified Nadler that the resolution would be considered by the committee on Tuesday, while the committee would also be deliberating on two medical malpractice bills, on the day Trump would be addressing Congress and dominating the news. 
What's more, the Republicans cooked up a nifty plan to limit Nadler's ability to mount a full-scale debate on the interactions between Trump associates and Russia. Nadler heard that the chair of the committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), intended to submit as a substitute for his bill an amendment that would be identical to Nadler's measure. Identical? Why would that help the Republicans? With this maneuver, Goodlatte might be able to control the debate on the resolution and only allow Nadler five minutes of speaking time while preventing the other 16 Democrats on the committee from participating in the debate. Committee Republicans would still have to vote on the resolution. But the Democrats would not get as much of a P.R. boost. 
"They are trying to aid and abet a cover-up by limiting debate," Nadler tells me. "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."  (our emphasis)
Make no mistake:  party before country Republicans will be fighting any inquiry into the Trump- Putin connection tooth and nail, up to an including the discovery of "smoking guns." Just so thay can take health insurance away from millions, gut environmental rules and shovel wealth up to the top 1 percent. That's why the assault on the media is so important to their survival strategy;  if they can convince a critical mass of their low- information base that it's all a plot by the evil, librul media (and President Obama!!), they believe they can eventually fog the truth and wear down the pursuit.  It's up to all of us to make sure that doesn't happen.