In a matter of a week or so we have gone from the Trump administration saying no one in his campaign had any contact with Russia to knowing now that at least five people did. They had contact during the election and in the interim between the election and inauguration. We now know Trump lied about contact. We know, too, that his attorney general, at least by the AG’s definition of perjury, lied during his confirmation hearings about contact. Also, we know that Trump knew of former National Security Advisor Flynn’s contact at least a few weeks before the media reported it, all the while holding to the no-contact lie the entire time. There are, in effect, two issues here that deserve investigations. First, the contact itself needs to be investigated. Second, Trump’s and his people’s constant lying about the issue, which is tantamount to a cover-up, deserves scrutiny.
Now, that the claim of no contact has been shown to be a lie of multiple proportion, the administration has changed its tune and said the contacts were insignificant and had nothing to do with the campaign. Like with everything else, Trump tried to divert blame. First, he tried to blame the Democrats for making stuff up, and then the media for being the enemy of the people. And last night, Trump tried to turn the spotlight on Obama, by flagrantly lying about his actions as President, a lie that no doubt will rile up Trump’s base.
Consider for a moment the accusations surrounding Russian meddling in the election, accusations that appear to be supported with significant evidence. There is meddling and then there is the Trump-Russian ongoing interaction. First, it is strange that so many people would be talking to Russians in the middle of a campaign and not talking about the campaign, as Trump and his supporters now say. Strange, too, is that after the campaign, Flynn would be talking to Russians on a number of occasions immediately before and after sanctions were levied against them for interfering in the election. It sounds like a quid pro quo—you helped us in the campaign and for that reason were given sanctions, so as soon as we can we will help you and lift the sanctions.
Yet, the vast majority of Republicans and all the Republican leadership have no concern about any of this—about the contact or the lies. They refuse to investigate, which makes them as culpable as Trump since, if indeed Trump has done nothing wrong, an investigation will prove that.
For those who say, in response to Trump’s lies, the accusations of collusion, and the Republicans refusal to investigate, that Hillary Clinton did worse, well, they are just plain wrong. She did not.
How do I know this? Everything Hillary was accused of doing was investigated multiple times over multiple years by different Congressional committees. And no wrong doing was found. All of these investigations were led by Republicans who wanted nothing more than to find something, anything, to charge her with. If they had found anything, they would have done everything in their power to imprison her. She was investigated by the FBI and no wrong doing was found. In the end, Hillary was shown by the Republicans themselves to be innocent of all accusations, and it wasn’t because Republicans weren’t trying to do otherwise. They were ready to continue the investigations if she had been elected.
So why won’t the Republicans give the same consideration to Trump, and investigate his connections to Russia so the evidence can ultimately demonstrate what they are presently claiming—that none of this is a big deal, that colluding with a foreign power to influence a U.S. election didn’t happen, that they aren’t lying?
Obviously, it is politics. However, when does politicking end and acting in the best interest of the country begin? It appears that for Republicans and for Trump, the answer is never—that the best interest of the country is of little concern. If it were of concern, they would be pursuing every opportunity to get at the truth, much as they did with Clinton for a lot less egregious accusations.