Trump, not Congress can best address bias at the DOJ

Andrew McCarthy:
...
Rosenstein and Wray work for Trump. And they are not Obama holdovers; they are Trump appointees. If they are defying Congress, it is because the president is permitting them to do so. Twitter tantrums and dark deep-state conspiracy theories don’t count; the president is empowered give his subordinates a direct order to comply with Congress’s demands, and to fire them immediately if they fail to do so. The president has the unilateral authority to disclose executive-branch files to lawmakers, including classified documents. Trump could have done this any time in the last 18 months.

This is the elephant in the room. Gowdy and his fellow GOP chairmen who are investigating the investigators — Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) of the Intelligence Committee and Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) of the Judiciary Committee — say they are committed to using their “full arsenal of constitutional weapons”? Well, instead of impeachment threats, how about simply directing their complaints to the one and only executive official empowered to rectify the problem instantly?

The president and his staff have suggested that Trump must stay out of the fray because Special Counsel Mueller is investigating him for obstruction, and his political foes would accuse him of interfering in that investigation if he asserted himself. That is specious. As we’ve recently observed, the absence of any credible obstruction case is even more obvious after last week’s inspector-general report; the executive branch’s lawful compliance with Congress’s oversight demands cannot obstruct justice; and, as noted above, Trump has been harassing his underlings with tweets anyway — i.e., if putting pressure on the DOJ and FBI is the stuff of obstruction allegations, that ship has already sailed.

Moreover, the president has claimed to be the victim of the official misconduct that Congress is examining. These claims are colorable, to say the least — the IG report certainly illustrates pervasive anti-Trump bias. But they could also be exaggerated. We won’t know unless and until Congress is given the relevant information.

It is reasonable to ask whether President Trump is more interested in the political advantage of posing as a victim of Justice Department/FBI abuse than in exercising his legal authority to expose and address any abuse. And if the Republican Congress continues to portray the controversy as a battle only against truculent executive officials — as if these officials do not have a boss — it is fair to ask whether this dispute is about accountability or theater.
I suspect it is a little of both. There are still a lot of pretensions that Mueller's investigation is important and that it is relevant.  Trump has been counseled not to give the appearance of interference with Mueller and Democrats are still pretending that the investigation is of some substantive matter.  They are like the defenders of the Salem witch trials.

The resistance at the DOJ and FBI seems to be more tail covering that substantive too.  Every time they are finally made to reveal something they previously resisted it seems harder to justify the resistance.  I think Trump should order them to comply with teh Congressional requests.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Russia attacking Iranian forces in Syria

Shortly after Nancy Pelosi visited Laredo, Texas and shook hands with mayor of Nuevo Laredo this happened