After blaming Hillary Clinton’s loss on every single possible cause except themselves (or herself), it seems Democrats have settled on picking Russia as their main culprit.
The House Intelligence Committee is set to hold its first hearings on possible Russian interference on March 20th – even as Senate Democrats acknowledge that no evidence may be found showing collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign. The only “evidence” thus far is that members of Trump’s cabinet have spoken to Russian officials, just like most of the Democrats criticizing them for doing so.
Despite the talking points regarding Russia, Democrats may actually abandon that inquiry before it’s to take place.
According to the Associated Press, As congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election ramp up, so is the political division, raising questions about whether lawmakers’ work will be viewed as credible.
The House this week scheduled its first public hearing, which some swiftly dismissed as political theater. Even as lawmakers began to review classified information at CIA’s headquarters, Democrats continued to call for an independent panel and special prosecutor.
The dynamic underscored the escalating concerns about whether the Republican-led investigations will have the funding, focus and, perhaps most importantly, bipartisan buy-in to produce findings that are broadly accepted and definitive.
“To be honest, we don’t know yet,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, which is conducting a probe in the House. “I can’t say for certain whether that will be possible. I can only say it is very much in the national interest that we do so. Because we cannot allow this to become another Benghazi committee.”
Ironically, the Benghazi committee likely had a larger effect on the 2016 election than the Russians did, as it uncovered Hillary’s use of a private email server, which was a common criticism of her on the campaign trail.
“The only investigations which have credibility are the ones which are truly bipartisan,” said former Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, who ran many congressional investigations during his decades in the Senate.
“The leaders of the investigation — the chairman and the ranking member — must trust each other. That’s No. 1,” Levin said of how to run a bipartisan investigation.
If the inquiry truly is abandoned, it’ll be one of the few times Democrats actually had the interests of the American taxpayer in mind.
Or maybe they’re just worried a probe into Russia will reveal even more damaging information about them and the DNC.
Which do you think is more likely?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]