While Republicans have been screaming about ending Robert Mueller’s investigation, demanding reviews of both the FBI and Justice Department, and lining up at least five (5) investigations into Uranium One, Hillary Clinton’s email server, and the Clinton Foundation, Democrats have maintained a consistent position. Unfortunately that position has mostly been ‘stay quiet and let the system work.’
But with Republicans demonstrating on a daily basis that they’re willing to take any steps to protect Trump, silence is an increasingly dangerous strategy. It’s not enough to protest Republican attacks on Mueller or attempts to sabotage congressional investigations on those rare occasions when Democrats are allowed to sneak onto a Sunday show. Democratic leaders need to be taking aggressive, positive action to both move the investigation forward and disrupt Republican efforts to demean every aspect of the justice system. And a pair of Democratic senators agree.
This morning, two Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee — Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) — sent a letter to GOP committee chair Chuck Grassley demanding the release of the transcripts. A Democratic leadership aide tells me that if the GOP majority refuses, Dems will escalate calls for their release in coming days.
This is the same request that the founders of Fusion GPS made last week.
Three congressional committees have heard over 21 hours of testimony from our firm, Fusion GPS. In those sessions, we toppled the far right’s conspiracy theories and explained how The Washington Free Beacon and the Clinton campaign — the Republican and Democratic funders of our Trump research — separately came to hire us in the first place.
Grassley has been extremely complicit in protecting Trump, to the extent of calling for charges against Christopher Steele. Democrats at every level need to demand that this information be made public.
Chuck Grassley says he will not release the transcript.
Grassley wants to make “information public at the appropriate time,” spokesman George Hartmann said in an email.
In other words, Republicans want to keep attacking the Steele dossier and Fusion GPS while sitting on the truth about the statements they’re making.
It’s now clear that the Steele dossier was not the instigation of the FBI investigation into relationships between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Despite that, Republicans continue to lob false statements at the dossier, at Fusion GPS, and at Christopher Steele.
The facts are that Republicans have already heard the truth about the dossier. They’s simply refusing to make that truth public.
Republicans have refused to release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony, even as they selectively leak details to media outlets on the far right. It’s time to share what our company told investigators.
This is information that’s already been heard by Congress, about documents that have already been made available to the public. There’s no conceivable way for Republicans to defend this as protecting the nation’s secrets. The only thing accomplished by holding back the transcripts is giving Republicans room to make unsupported allegations.
This isn’t just an procedural pitch that Republicans can ignore.
Sarah Binder, a congressional scholar at George Washington University, tells me that if Republicans don’t release the transcripts, Judiciary Committee Democrats can try to force the issue, by getting recognized to speak on the floor, and then reading the transcripts into the record. “A Democratic senator — once recognized, which depends on the parliamentary context in which the Senate is operating — could hold the floor and launch into a discussion of the Fusion transcripts,” Binder says.
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