A few moments ago, Rep. Adam Schiff made a point on MSNBC which I think is critical and has been too little noted.
This is critical. Will follow up with a post about why shortly. pic.twitter.com/VdrMaJOwYQ
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 15, 2017
This is a very basic point. The President has leaned hard on GOP Senators who run the Senate intel committee to shut the Russia investigation down. There have been a number of reports here and there that President Trump has approached Senators and pressed them to end the investigation. There was a detailed report on this in the Times on November 30th. My understanding is that the most troubling actions by the President with respect to the Senate pressure did not make their way into the Times article.
However that may be, we know that just as he did with James Comey and other law enforcement officials, President Trump has been very direct and indiscreet about pressing Republican members of Congress to shut down the investigation and protect him. They’ve told us he’s done that. By and large, they seem to have refused and resisted. The Times story and particularly how candidly Sen. Burr spoke was itself a sort of brush back to the President, I suspect.
And yet, we’ve heard nothing similar from the top Republicans running things on the House side. Chairman Devin Nunes has directly intervened and assisted in Mike Flynn’s effort to disrupt the investigation into Flynn himself. And as Schiff notes, his Republican colleagues seem to be taking rapid steps to end the probe. Clearly, Schiff has some adversarial or partisan reasons for saying that. But the facts seem to bear him out.
So here’s the question, is it really remotely plausible that the President, having personally pressed Senators repeatedly to shut down their investigation hasn’t done the same on the House side? Of course he has. It seems very much like we haven’t heard anything about it because they’ve agreed to do just as he asked. With Chairman Nunes his direct and open role as essentially a pro-Trump operative is right there in the open.
I’m curious what conversations Trump has had with the heads of the relevant committees on the Hill.