Remember how shocked we were when Mitch McConnell decided that President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland wouldn’t get a vote in the Senate? It was a gutsy move by McConnell and one that might have cost him a lot of political capital if Hillary Clinton won. But why did he do it? Why take that risk when everyone thought that Clinton was the runaway favorite to win?
Now that we know the Russians hacked into DNC email accounts and we even have the names of 12 who were involved. Donald Trump is proclaiming that the hack happened under Barack Obama and therefore the fact that Obama didn’t do anything to stop it, tells us that it wasn’t a big deal or even illegal.
We all wish that Barack Obama made a public announcement that Russia hacked into our election and maybe that would have changed the outcome, but think of it from his point of view. He thought, like the rest of us, that Hillary Clinton would win and he didn’t want to give Trump more fuel for his conspiracy fire. One reason Obama didn’t make an announcement was Mitch McConnell.
McConnell effectively blocked an announcement from the Obama administration
McConnell “made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.” In other words, McConnell not only refused to condemn a foreign spy operation, he threatened to retaliate against his country’s efforts to defend itself.
Putting the pieces together, we can now speculate why Mitch McConnell risked his career and his legacy over the SCOTUS block. Mitch McConnell knew that Russia was weighing in on the election in Trump’s favor and that Trump’s chances of winning were much greater than anyone thought. He knew that holding that SCOTUS seat open would leave it for Donald Trump.