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Ryan may want to tread carefully if he doesn’t want to wind up on the wrong side of history.

I am reminded of Charles W. Sandman Jr., a Republican member of Congress from New Jersey who served on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate. He was one of Nixon’s most staunch defenders, and was quite vocal in the committee (and the media) with his defense. Until the “smoking gun” tape surfaced, and Sandman couldn’t defend Nixon anymore. At that point, Sandman said that the articles of impeachment he had so enthusiastically voted against in committee would get his vote when they came to the floor. But the damage was done. Sandman lost his bid for re-election in November 1974, and his elective office career was finished.

Ryan may wish to tone down the unabashed defense of Trump unless he’s damned sure Trump is innocent of all allegations.

Ryan does bring up a couple of valid points, though. One is that one should not rely solely on “speculation and innuendo”. No, we shouldn’t. However, we have Trump’s own admission that the Russia investigation was a factor in his firing of Comey, and his own admission that he gave highly classified information to Russia. Are we taking Trump’s own words as speculation and innuendo when he says, “I did this”? Sounds pretty definite to me. And we have Comey’s claim that Trump asked him to end the Flynn investigation — that’s a claim, not speculation or innuendo on Comey’s part.

Ryan also reasonably asks why Comey didn’t say anything about Trump’s request to shut down the Flynn investigation until now. A valid question, and one deserving an answer. However, Comey’s delay in bringing this forth doesn’t negate Trump’s request (and the wrongness of it).

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