It may have been somehow lost in yesterday’s news cycle that was filled with reporting on the shootings in Alexandria, Virginia and San Francisco. But Senator Chuck Grassley (R IA) dropped a bombshell on the Trump administration which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Along with ranking minority member Sen. Dianne Fienstein (D CA) they agreed that the Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the FBI, will open investigations in the Comey firing as well as the FBI’s handling of the investigation regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails last year.
Trump, Gingrich, Hannity, and others may moan and groan about the appointment of a special prosecutor and the so-called “deep state” out to get Trump, but this is a Republican-led committee that feels an investigation is warranted. However, you wouldn’t know that from Trump’s Twitter rant this morning:
Trump is obviously referring to the Special Prosecutor Mueller in his daily morning rant because even he would not go so far to call Senator Grassley “very bad and conflicted people.” One wonders if the White House has even told him about this new investigation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, one of the most powerful committees in Congress, would not go down this path lightly. For a staunch Republican like Chuck Grassley to even consider opening an investigation on a Republican president indicates that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.
Their inquiries will encompass both the Obama and Trump administrations, looking at the role the FBI, in particular Director Comey, played in investigations under both presidents. Fair enough. It should satisfy Republicans who have questioned the role that Director Comey played in the Clinton email scandal; but it also opens up a whole new can of worms for Trump and his associates. The charge that Trump faces i.e., obstruction of justice, is far more damaging than Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server. In addition, the investigation will be one of a sitting President versus a former Secretary of State.
No details are yet available on when hearings will begin, who will be called to testify, and if the testimony will be in open or closed sessions. Most likely the Judiciary Committee will coordinate and cooperate with Mueller, but they are under no obligation to do so. They will be performing their duty of executive oversight, one of the checks and balances written in to our Constitution. This is no “witch hunt” but the proper functioning of our system of government.
The White House might think that a Republican committee won’t reveal any wrongdoing by this administration or by the President. If no wrongdoing can be found, then Donald Trump should be relieved that this investigation is being held. But he would be mistaken if he believes they would engage in any kind of cover up of illegal activities.
Politics and the upcoming 2018 mid-terms may also factor into this investigation. As Trump’s approval ratings continue to plummet while is disapproval ratings have just reached record highs in the shortest time since consistent polling began, elected Republicans in Congress might begin to realize that hitching their star to Donald Trump means a recipe for defeat. They could do better by aligning themselves with the Sweet Meteor of Death.
So stock up on popcorn and your adult beverage of choice. Trump’s troubles are not going away any time soon.