Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz is like a dog who loves to chase his own tail. Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he was one of the leaders in the utterly fruitless and utterly partisan investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attacks. A virulent hypocrite, Chaffetz had up till now refused to adequately investigate the Trump/Russia connections with the same zeal with which he persecuted Clinton. He liked investigating Democrats, Republicans less so.
Today, he finally took a haltering step towards developing a spine.
In an uncharacteristic move, Chaffetz has requested that Inspector General Michael Horowitz look into Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Chaffetz released the following statement:
The letter he sent to the Inspector General can be found below:
Dear Mr. Horowitz:
Yesterday, May 9, 2017, the President fired the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey. In a letter to the Director advising him of his termination, the President cited to recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General based their recommendation on the Director’s decision to publicize the results of the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year, among other things.
I request that you expand the scope of your office’s ongoing review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice and the FBI in advance of the 2016 election to include the facts and circumstances surrounding the removal of Director Comey. You stated previously that your work includes an examination of whether Comey’s public communications and notifications to Congress about the Clinton investigation comported with Justice Department and FBI policies and procedures. You separately stated “if circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.” The recommendation to remove Comey indeed warrants such consideration.
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and may at “any time” investigate “any matter” as set forth in House Rule X.
I thank you for your attention to this matter.
Although this move doesn’t guarantee that Republicans will stop obstructing the Russia investigation, it does show that there could be some hope of bipartisanship. Senator McCain has already voiced concerns over the Comey firing. Few would have expected Chaffetz to put country before party, but his letter is a step in the right direction.
If more Republicans come forward in opposition to Trump’s rampaging through the Federal branch, Americans may finally get the answers we deserve.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.