Day 27: Republicans Putting Party Over Country
Another day, another scandal tying Donald Trump to the Russians.
The New York Times is reporting that “members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.”
Notably, this is a completely separate issue from the scandal that required Mike Flynn to resign from his national security adviser role.
Foreign nations interfering not only with the election but potentially compromising the commander-in-chief and his staff are serious allegations. Such actions have profound implications for both policy and national security as a whole. Acting in another country’s best interests over the United States’ can bring a treason charge.
All members of Congress should be bound by some sense of duty to the Constitution. After all, the oath seems pretty clear. Article VI, clause 3 of the Constitution states:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Nowhere in that clause does the Constitution mention supporting party, puppet presidents or Putin over the United States.
Many high-ranking Republicans have demurred on investigating anything involving Trump.
Head of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), has no interest in doing his job (despite compelling fruitless hearing after fruitless hearing into Hillary Clinton).
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), similarly is unconcerned about the troubling Trump allegations.
Leader of the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), would prefer covering his eyes and plugging his ears on the issue.
Senator and former presidential candidate Rand Paul doesn’t want to focus on something that could hurt the Republican party, even if national interests are concerned.
Of course, the idea of the Republican party being more concerned about their own electability over citizens’ interests is being openly discussed now, as Raul Labrador (R-ID) admitted regarding health care.
To their credit, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have called for investigations and questioned the activities of Trump and his cohorts.
Graham noted that it was vital to investigate, “even when the president is in your own party.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) also spoke out forcefully regarding the need to investigate.
“I think everybody needs that investigation to happen,” Blunt said on KTRS radio. “And the Senate Intelligence Committee, again that I serve on, has been given the principle responsibility to look into this, and I think that we should look into it exhaustively so that at the end of this process, nobody wonders whether there was a stone left unturned, and shouldn’t reach conclusions before you have the information that you need to have to make those conclusions.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has spoken out in favor of some sort of investigation into Trump and his Russia ties. Some other Republicans, such as John Cornyn (R-TX) and Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are also moving in the direction of calling for a full scale investigation, but haven’t gotten there yet.
But the silence of the majority of Republicans on what should be a bipartisan issue is deafening.
It is obvious that many Republican members of Congress are concerned about fall out from some of their constituents for breaking party lines. Many Republican supporters are quick to label members of Congress upholding their oath and doing their job as traitors or RINOs: Republicans In Name Only.
Politics and partisanship need to go by the wayside here. Republicans need to call for bipartisan investigation into Donald Trump, his affiliates and their ties to Russia.
If you ignore the Constitution and are derelict in your oath to support it, you are nothing more than an AINO: American In Name Only.
27 days in, 1435 to go
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