House Democrats, smelling blood in the water, are quickly moving to press the advantage as the investigation into President Trump and his team’s potentially treasonous collusion with agents of the Russian Federation kicks into overdrive following the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is threatening to force a vote on creating an independent committee to investigate the Trump-Russia affair if the Republicans won’t bring it up for a vote.
In a letter to the Democratic caucus today, Pelosi wrote the following:
“Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) must call up this legislation immediately upon our return next week. If Republicans continue to work to hide the truth from the American people, it will be necessary for Democrats to file a discharge petition to force a vote on the [legislation].
Given Director Comey’s confirmation of the Trump-Russia inquiry, the President’s actions raise questions about whether this dismissal was an attempt to undermine that investigation.
The fireworks at the Department of Justice demand that we remove the investigation from the Trump-appointed Justice Department leadership.”
While it is unlikely that the legislation would pass, the vote itself presents a minefield for politically vulnerable Republicans, who already beaten and bloodied from the exercise in self-flagellation that was the ultimately meaningless passage of the “Trumpcare” act.
If they are put on the record obstructing justice, enabling treason, and putting their party over their country, the 2018 midterm attack ads write themselves. So far, only one Republican – Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) – has endorsed the bill, but given the tumultuous events of the past few days, more and more Republicans are beginning to weigh the benefits of jumping ship.
Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) have all called for the creation of a new investigative panel, but this one would be staffed by legislators – not outside experts – and would do nothing but create more opportunities for the White House to derail the investigation and cover Trump’s tracks.
So we say to the House Democrats – do it. Force that vote and make every one of those coward sellvote Republicans show the nation where their loyalties really lie. And for every representative that votes “no,” plaster their names and spread their shame on every television screen, radio wave, and telephone poll in their district. Make sure the people know that their representative voted to enable treason and obstruct the dispensation of justice in favor of their own partisan agenda.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.