I have always enjoyed Michael Isikoff’s work as an investigative journalist. Not only does he uncover some really cool, nasty shit, but like his co-author David Corn, he has a natural talent for taking what could be complex and confusing political issues, and simplifying them so that people without a poli-sci degree can understand them.
But I really loved him last night when he hit a grand slam home run on All In with Chris Hayes. He was talking about the upcoming testimony on February of Michael Cohen in the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Elijah Cummings, and he stated something that I have felt strongly about for a long time. He said that it was critical that neither Cummings on the oversight committee, nor Nadler on the judiciary committee, or Schiff in Intelligence should be showing the slightest deference to Robert Mueller’s investigation in their questioning of witnesses.
Thank you Michael! Isikoff’s point was well taken, and to my mind 100% correct. The US Hose is a co-equal branch of government, Robert Mueller is an appointed member of the executive branch. And Isikiff made his point with a relevant historical reference. Did Senator Sam Ervin ask Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor in Watergate, permission to hold the Senate Watergate hearings? Of course not. And did the US House ask Leon Jaworski for permission to implement proceedings on articles of impeachment? Again, of course not. The constitutional responsibility for executive oversight rests with the congress, not an appointed member of the executive branch.
This is important because Lanny Davis, Cohen’s legal adviser, has already said that Cohen will answer no questions that could impinge on Mueller’s investigation, and there has been talk of the committees coordinating with Mueller to ensure that they don’t step on any toes in their hearings. Bull-fucking-shit! Congress is investigating possible unethical, illegal, and possibly criminal actions by the sitting President of the United States, as well as his campaign and administration staff. Robert Mueller is conducting a counter intelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The only reason there is any overlap is because Mueller’s original charter allowed him to investigate “any matters arising from his original investigation.” The whole obstruction og justice probe wellsprings from Trump’s firing of Comey, not Russian hacking and interference. And I hate to remind everybody of this, but the only reason that Lt Colonel Ollie North didn’t serve a nice, fat federal prison sentence was because a committee in congress fucked up the prosecution by giving North immunity in return for testimony. Sometimes shit happens.
As ranking members, Schiff, Nadler and Cummings have spent the last two years wailing and gnashing their teeth, not only at the Republicans obstructing any serious investigation of Trump, but also for cloaking any information they did glean in their slipshod probe by keeping it under a bushel basket with closed session hearings. Well boys, time to put on those big guy pants. You hold the gavels now, with full subpoena power, and you ste the agenda for hearings and availability. This is where the rubber hits the road lads.
There is no legitimate excuse for a single closed door hearing from here on out. Michael Cohen never worked for the NSA. Nor the CIA. Ditto the DIA, nor any of the other alphabet soup federal government intelligence agencies. Neither did Jared Kushner. Or Don Trump Jr, or Jerome Corsi, or Roger Stone, or Robert Mercer and his goofy daughter Rebekah. Same for Paul Manafort, or Rick Gates, or Steve Bannon or any of the other members of this cavalcade of dipshits. With the exception of Kushner, none of them hold security clearances, they harbor no deep, dark secrets of the intelligence community, especially in the realm of the questions you really want to ask them about. Even Kushner and Michael Flynn could be questioned in open session, with only classified answers being provided in a later cloed session.
And I hate to spoil the surprise twist ending, but for what you’re investigating, Mueller’s report should be inconsequential. Because what do you think is going to happen if/when Mueller finally issues a report. It;s going to end up in your laps. Whatever Mueller uncovers, the Department of Justice is never going to move to indict a sitting President. Not Rod Rosenstein, nor that faux “Mr Clean” Matt Whitaker, not even Bill Barr is going to twitch a single digit to act on whatever Mueller has uncovered. That ball is going to be in your court, so why not get a head start on it?
So come on guys, this really matters. I mean it really fucking matters. You’ve spent two years telling us that we can’t know what you know, because all of the really juicy, naughty bits are blanketed by committee secrecy rules from closed sessions. Turn over the rock and let the sun shine down.these people have any information that ties the President of the United States to unethical or criminal behavior, then put them on the stand and ask them the tough questions. All of them, in front of television cameras. From the mouths of babes, even screaming, colicky babes, will come all of the dots, and the pencil to connect them. And by hearing those words, and by watching those faces, you will move the needle. Let the Four Horsemen of the shitpocalypse, Coulter, Ingraham, Hannity and Limbaugh try to spin their way out of this one, to defend the slobs they’ve been martyring for the last two years. When the truth comes out, and people see how petty, and sleazy, and fucking incompetent this entire sad affair actually is, that is when the voices will be raised, when the protests will start, when the pressure will mount. And only then will the cud chomping Herefords in McConnell’s caucus finally be forced to make the ultimate decision.
You guys and gals took an oath to defend and uphold the constitution of the United States, and for the last two years you have tried to do it in futility.To protect us from a criminal, and quite possibly illegitimate President. No more excuses, this is your chance. So, grab those reins cowboys, and round up the herd.
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