Hypocritical Republicans? They are the thing of legend. The ancient fables say they do not actually exist. No, as the world knows Republican legislators are known to be the most judicious and honorable individuals whose very lifeblood is fairness and intellectual consistency.
Oh what a world we would live in if that were true. Republican legislators are, in reality, the most outrageous contortionists; slimy, sniveling, self-serving individuals who speak with such fervor about Democrats following the rules, but when it comes time for members of their own party to adhere to that same set of standards, suddenly their rhetoric disappears. They have nothing to say.
The shining case in point is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who, when it appeared Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidential contest, bellowed about being open with her records in August, “If you’re going to run and try to become the president of the United States, you’re going to have to open up your kimono and show everything, your tax returns, your medical records. You are just gonna have to do that. It’s too important.”
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, Chaffetz, who once applied to be a Secret Service agent and was rejected, is dragging his feet to investigate President-elect Donald Trump for the same reasons he was using to justify an investigation into Clinton. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who is the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent Chaffetz an official letter asking that he begin a congressional investigation into Trump’s various businesses which present a conflict of ethical interests, and that Trump has planned to put said businesses into a “blind trust” which has yet to be proved to exist. Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, is supposed to take over control of all of Trump’s businesses through the blind trust, but the trust would not compel the president-elect to rescind his ability to influence the businesses. An actual blind trust is supposed to be managed by a faceless third party, and the owner of the assets in the trust is not able to know what is in the trust or how it is performing. Hence the whole trust thing, something which is in short supply in Trump’s world.
Cummings pointed out that Chaffetz was the individual who, with only 11 days to go before the general election, told the world the that FBI Director James Comey was looking to reopen an investigation into Clinton’s emails — which was a flat lie. Cummings said, “You have the authority to launch a committee investigation, and we are calling on you to use that power now. You acted with unprecedented urgency to hold ’emergency’ hearings and issue multiple unilateral subpoenas to investigate Secretary Clinton before the election. We ask that that you show the same sense of urgency now.” Chaffetz’s response as been that of silence, as he has refused to acknowledge the the request by Cummings, which is par for the course of Republican legislative drivel.
In an attempt to compel Chaffetz further, Cummings sent Chaffetz a second letter and this time it was signed by every single member of the committee who are Democrats — all 17 of them. Chaffetz has yet to respond. The letter, in part, said, “Although you have stated publicly that you will hold Mr. Trump to the same standards are President Obama and Secretary Clinton, you have not responded to Ranking Member Cummings’ letter, and you have not take steps to conduct basic oversight of these unprecedented challenges.”
The letter went on to describe why, in the name of fairness, Trump must be investigated for his inconsistent actions regarding the blind trust which he has purported to engage in, “The relevant question is whether he will follow the model set by his predecessors to mitigate these conflicts by liquidating his assets and placing them in a blind trust. If he refuses, then Congress must fulfill our own responsibilities by closely examining the Constitutional and statutory provisions that govern Mr. Trump’s actions, determining whether his approach meets these standards, and proposing appropriate reforms to address any problems we identify.”
The Republicans, who hold majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, are unlikely to investigate their party’s leader. Trump said to the New York Times that he can do whatever he wants because “the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest”, which is partly true because the ethical rules which govern members of congress do not apply to the executive branch, but only members of congress have the legal authority to investigate the president’s activities.
At this time it appears, due to these various pits legal scuzz which prevent any action being taken, the Republican party will have carte blanche for two full years and only after the midterm elections of 2018, if Democrats take back control, will Trump’s villainy be addressed. The Republicans, and Chaffetz in particular, have made it known through their hypocritical silence that their plan is to do absolutely nothing.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.