Thank god someone’s finally listening to Donald Trump’s deranged tweets: The House Judiciary Committee took up the important work Wednesday night of looking into all of James Comey’s discussions with the Obama administration regarding his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. This should finally scratch a presidential itch that started with Sean Hannity rants and other “WHA’ ‘BOUT HILLARY!?” nonsense from the Wingnuttosphere, which demands to know all about James Comey’s possible connections to or collusion with a domestic government. Here is the absolute bestest part, too: The move came when Republicans on the committee amended a bill introduced by Democrats to request White House documents on Donald Trump’s firing of Comey.
The amendment was a surprise to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the freshman who had proposed the Democratic resolution of inquiry, which had been expected to fail. In a heated markup, Jayapal and other committee Democrats expressed amazement that Republicans wanted to resurrect questions about the defeated Clinton campaign.
“There appears to be deliberate stonewalling to stop any inquiry into the questions facing us today,” she said. “You want to have another beating of the dead horse of Hillary Clinton and her emails? Fine, I’ll include it. But let’s have another opportunity to debate.”
But the Republicans had very good reasons to change the resolution’s focus. For one thing, everyone knows the Trump Russia thing is fake news. For another thing, there are already plenty of investigations, and they’re all fake, too. And most importantly, their constituents demand answers, according to Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, one of several sponsors of the amendment:
In my district, my constituents say, “Hey, what’s going on with investigation of the crimes of the previous administration?” […] When I hear talk that this contains right-wing conspiracies — well, I’ll tell you, my constituents think what’s going on in the other bill are left-wing conspiracy theories.
Everyone knows Both Sides Do It, and so the House Judiciary kids are just doing Them The People’s bidding.
Committee member Matt Gaetz of Florida, who also sponsored the amendment, explained he thinks it’s only fair to examine Hillary Clinton a little more, since she got a free ride on Benghazi maybe:
“If it’s in the public interest to investigate the Trump administration, it is most certainly in the public interest to investigate the real crimes by the real criminals” […]
“Just because Hillary Clinton lost the election doesn’t mean we should forget or forgive conduct that is likely criminal,” Gaetz said. “We need an investigation of Tarmac-Gate.”
Gaetz was eager to explore the full range of wingnut tweets and memes about the many, many sins of Hillary Clinton, since dumb old special counsel Robert Mueller is so unfairly fixated on what he was assigned to investigate:
They’re not focused on things like the Clinton Foundation functionally selling access to the State Department; they’re not worried about selling uranium to the Russians; they’re not worried about unmasking[.]
Yeah, and what about the murders of Vince Foster and Ron Brown?a bit less enthusiasm for indulging the whims of rightwing media, although Chuck Grassley, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has at least nibbled around the ridiculous notion that some Ukrainian guys very openly trying to publish stuff that put Donald Trump in a bad light is exactly the same as Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian government lawyer. On the other hand, Lindsey Graham thinks there’s something unseemly in the winners of an election trying to use investigations to settle scores with their former opponent:
“It harkens back to the notion of a banana republic,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of what he called Trump’s “inappropriate” calls for investigations into Clinton. “It’s what dictators do, they look to punish their enemies.”
Well, yes. And you have a problem with that? Not exactly loyal, is what that looks like. Does South Carolina have any government contracts? May want to watch what you say, pal.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats, unable to stop the amendment from heading in its new, exciting direction, simply sat back and gawped in wonderment at the spectacle, as the amendment passed on a 16-13 vote:
“This is the most astonishing moment I’ve ever experienced in the Judiciary Committee,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). “To take a question about the firing of James B. Comey and turn it into a question about Hillary Clinton? The chairman has left the room. Justice has left this room. Common sense has left this room. A lot of stuff has left this room, and maybe never entered it.”
That’s pretty good, Rep. Cohen. Might even fit on a t-shirt.
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