Trump is potentially guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump is also potentially guilty of treason. Why aren’t the American people and Congress more invested in getting to the bottom of these allegations more quickly?
These hearings have been delayed for months. Only two persons have been publicly interviewed on March 20. Despite their testimony that an unprecedented probe into a President who might have colluded with Russia to undermine and influence our elections, the Congressional investigators are dragging their feet to get more evidence and testimony. Although Congress always talks a big game about protecting the American people, they are failing miserably by letting someone run our country who might have worked with Russia to undermine the foundation of our democracy.
The old adage goes, “where there is smoke there is fire.” We ought to be choking on all of the smoke that has been rising from the direction of Mike Flynn, former National Security Adviser; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President (Trump’s son-in-law); Carter Page, former Trump foreign policy adviser, Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump‘s presidential campaign; and Roger Stone, former Trump advisor who was in contact with WikiLeaks before they released hacked DNC emails.
Despite all of the smoke Congress is currently not investigating the fire.
The House Intelligence Committee held one public hearing on March 20, at which FBI Director Comey confirmed for the first time that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities during the 2016 election campaign.
Immediately thereafter, House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, claimed he had obtained classified evidence from secret sources that the Obama administration had improperly obtained identities of Trump associates who were picked up in intelligence intercepts. Nunes shared this classified information with the White House without conferring with the Committee, which led to an ethics investigation of Nunes and led Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation.
Before recusing himself last month, Chairman Nunes cancelled the second, open House Intelligence Committee hearing that was supposed to feature former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Now, Clapper, Brennan and Yates are not set to appear before the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing until late May, almost two months after the last hearing was cancelled. FBI Director Comey and national security adviser Michael Rogers (who already testified March 20) will appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed hearing on May 2.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has made little progress investigating allegations of collusion by associates of President Trump with Russia to interfere in the elections. The committee has yet to issue a single subpoena for documents or interview any key witnesses who are central to the probe and it hasn’t requested potentially crucial evidence such as the emails, memos and phone records of the Trump campaign. The panel’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has so far failed to respond to requests from the panel’s Democrats to sign off on the subpoenas. There are no full-time staff members working on the Senate inquiry and that “no interviews have been conducted with key individuals.”
Yates and Clapper are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 8. The Senate Judiciary Committee is the fourth major investigator (besides the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the FBI) examining what exactly Russia did to influence our elections and whether the Trump campaign was involved.
If Trump’s flouting of U.S. laws regarding contacts with foreign powers, election tampering and financial conflicts of interest are not checked, then more executive power will be amassed for the next President who takes the White House.
People need to urge Congress to get all three of these investigations going at full speed before Trump does something that we all really regret and that we cannot undue.
Having a petulant, irritable, fuming, insecure, know-nothing strike out at the world with only his own hubris in mind, without considering the long term consequences of his actions is terrifying. If Trump is not impeached, he will get us into another extremely wasteful, expensive, murderous military campaign. Trillions more will be added to our debt and thousands of innocent lives will be lost.