President Donald Trump’s White House hunkered down unexpectedly Saturday to formulate a response to the president’s bizarre, unhinged tweets that morning accusing former President Barack Obama and members of the Obama administration of illegally “wire tapping” Trump Tower telephones in the weeks before the election. Suspicion quickly mounted that Trump lashed out after reading a Breitbart article, which amplified right-wing radio host Mark Levin’s call for Congress to investigate “Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’” against Trump.
Considering the explosiveness of Trump’s allegations, and the likelihood that they were created from whole cloth, his aides would have been well advised to begin the followup process by asking Trump, “Why did you tweet that? Was Breitbart your source?” Instead, Trump and his retinue have decided that the wisest course of action is to pretend the accusations may have merit, and ask Congress to get to the bottom of them.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t anywhere close to prepared to rebuff Trump, and have decided instead to pretend Trump’s allegations might be well-founded. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes promised in an official statement to “make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates.” …
It is alarming for Trump to seek an investigation of the Obama administration on the basis of right-wing agitprop and raw impulse. Under slightly different circumstances, it is easy to imagine Trump and his Republican supplicants ruining the lives of innocent people with this kind of behavior, corroding the rule of law in the process. But in this specific case, what he’s actually asking for is an expansion of the various investigations into Russian campaign meddling and the Trump campaign’s connections to it. Democrats should happily oblige.
As Nunes noted in his statement, his interest in Trump’s allegations stems from the fact that “one of the focus points of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation is the US government’s response to actions taken by Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign.” In other words, to the extent that House investigators are taking orders from Trump, they will be digging further into the question of whether the Trump campaign and the Russian government conspired against Clinton. In light of the strenuousness of Obama’s denial, and Comey’s extraordinary interest in clearing the FBI’s name publicly, it is likely that Nunes’ inquiry will either reveal serious probable cause for investigating Trump or that Trump’s accusations don’t have even tenuous connection to reality…
When that investigation is over, it will either clear Trump and his team or it won’t, but in either case it will almost certainly reveal that Trump is willing to abuse the megaphone of the presidency to smear his political enemies and seek recriminations against them. The question for all the Republicans humoring Trump right now will then be: What are you going to do about it?
Trump Has Royally Screwed Congressional Republicans