From today’s headlines, you’d think Congressional Republicans were pushing back against Trump’s outrageous claim that President Obama had him wiretapped. It’s not so.
What’s going on?
Republicans like Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have spoken out about Trump’s charge that Obama wiretapped him during last year’s Presidential election. McCain is leading the headlines, trading on his “maverick” myth to look as if he’s bucking the President’s wishes, but nothing of the sort is happening. McCain simply agreed that it should be investigated, as did other Republicans.
Normally, the FBI would investigate such allegations–indeed, as McCain himself noted, Trump could answer the question of whether he was tapped by simply contacting the intelligence agencies which answer directly to Trump himself.
Instead, we’re apparently going to have a wasteful Congressional investigation. It’s a fishing expedition that’s likely to turn into a witch hunt.
Why is it important?
There are many troubling aspects to this story. First is that a sitting President would accuse his predecessor so publicly, so directly, and without a single shred of evidence. (Trump apparently heard about the wiretapping from a Breitbart story.) This is completely abnormal and totally beyond the pale of expected or accepted Presidential behavior.
Second is that Congress looks poised to go along with his demand to investigate. Instead of asking the intelligence officials who would have knowledge of any such operation, this is an opportunity for Congressional Republicans to trawl through who knows how much intelligence information and see what they come back with. It’s exceedingly unlikely that anything exhumed in such a way will corroborate the original charge, but it doesn’t have to. All they have to find is the slightest impropriety by President Obama and claim it’s smoke that proves the fire. This would be especially ironic in light of all the downright illegal things Trump has done on a daily basis since taking office–where’s the Congressional investigation into all that?
Finally, this offers Republicans a chance to look like they’re actually doing something productive, when it’s a wasteful endeavor more reminiscent of the efforts to destroy Bill Clinton in the ’90s–a multimillion dollar plumb into the depths of the President’s sex life that didn’t manage to uncover anything other than that he was a sleazeball who lied about having sex with an intern. I doubt anything so salacious could be found with regard to Obama, but no doubt Republicans will come up with something to justify the time and money blown on such an endeavor.
What can I do?
Contacting your members of Congress is probably the best way to go, for now. Encourage them not to investigate these clearly baseless charges when they have more important matters to focus on. Republicans may well ignore such requests, but it’s worth a shot.
Do your part to spread the word that Congressional Republicans plan to waste time investigating absolute bullshit, too. They’re supposed to “make America great again,” aren’t they? Then why are they going to blow a bunch of taxpayer money on a pointless witch hunt? Shame them and hold them accountable for such waste.
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