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Chait writes: "The Republican Congress has surrounded the Trump administration with a protective wall. The majority party has denied Democratic demands for independent investigations, quashed bills to force President Trump to release his tax returns, and avoided any serious effort at oversight."

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Trump's Protective Republican Wall in Congress Cracks

By Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

17 May 17


he Republican Congress has surrounded the Trump administration with a protective wall. The majority party has denied Democratic demands for independent investigations, quashed bills to force President Trump to release his tax returns, and avoided any serious effort at oversight. Hours after the New York Times reported that James Comey has memos describing Donald Trump attempting to steer him away from the Russia investigation, that wall began to crack.

Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and heretofore a staunch Trump defender, has subpoenaed all records of Comey’s meetings with the president. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, the fourth-ranking House Republican, endorsed the request, followed within hours by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Opening up Comey’s trove of evidence is hardly a radical step. But it paves the way for a series of revelations that are extremely likely to depict the president as having committed an impeachable offense. The implication of the next step is apparent to many Republicans. Senator John McCain says the charges have “reached Watergate size and scale.” Dana Bash reports that Congressional Republicans are discussing an independent prosecutor or an independent commission — two steps the party has avoided so far.

While Fox News personalities, like ex-journalist Tucker Carlson, filled their time either defending Trump or frantically distracting from the scandal, the network reported it had difficulty rounding up Republican members of Congress to toe the administration line. It is not clear the administration has formulated any line of defense yet. At least some of its staffers, who have created the leakiest administration in history, understand what lies ahead of them. One senior Trump administration official, and campaign veteran, tells the Daily Beast, “I don’t see how Trump isn’t completely fucked.”

Congress is far, far away from the majority of the House, and two-thirds of the Senate, necessary to impeach and remove a president of their own party. But the policy of shutting down all oversight or investigation is no longer tenable. And once the apparatus for producing evidence against Trump begins to churn, there is no telling where it will end. A few days ago, impeachment and removal seemed inconceivable. Suddenly, it isn’t. your social media marketing partner


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+14 # ER444 2017-05-17 14:39
For God's sake fire him!!! I am writing this for the 20th time.
+10 # Adoregon 2017-05-17 22:01
Everyone with any [political] sense is backing away from the Resident Rump
sh*tbomb before it explodes.
+2 # Obwon 2017-05-20 11:24
Of course they are, they too are watching the hot mess unfolding. Trumps people sally forth with their assertions of innocence and no sooner than they get the words out of their mouths, here comes Trump saying the exact opposite and making them look like liars or fools or both. Can anyone blame Spicer for trying to hide in the bushes? Anyone with any sense would never come out of those bushes ever again.
+11 # economagic 2017-05-18 06:54
Yes, it looks like Trump will not serve for even one year, much less four. His ouster may pave the way for true fascism -- including the all-important religious component -- under his hand-picked successor. Pence is a "true conservative," like the members of the "Freedom Caucus," meaning an advocate of radical change to reinstate a golden age that never existed, the very opposite of conservative.

Could this have been the plan all along?
+6 # Observer 47 2017-05-18 09:39
And there you have it, in a nutshell. I wouldn't argue against your last sentence for a nanosecond.
+3 # lfeuille 2017-05-18 18:31
Impeachment takes a long time. He may decide that being president is no fun and quit but it will take a year or more to oust him.
+7 # chrisconnolly 2017-05-18 07:42
But will they do anything substantial to protect our melting down democracy. The republicans have shown just how committed to power vs honest representation, profit vs humanity they really are. Can they really now step away from the cookie jar in order to do right by women, minorities, the environment, the poor, democracy now that they have shown their true colors?
+3 # oakes721 2017-05-18 09:30
Humpty Drumpfy sat on his wall
A cracked infrastructure began his great fall
All the king's whores and all their henchmen
Like all good ship's rats, who must now sink or swim
0 # Wise woman 2017-05-21 11:52
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Pence who? has no legitimate following because he really has little legitimate past. Ryan is evil to the core which most thinking people must recognize. So the GOP is really wallowing in deep doo doo and must be scrambling for some kind of credible outcome to the mess they've created. Won't be easy!

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