Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called for a bipartisan select committee to investigate Russian hacks on Sunday during CNN’s State of the Union. A joint select committee would be bad news for Trump because it guarantees that the Russian hack story will not go away.
Video of McCain on CNN’s State Of The Union:
McCain said, “We need a select committee. We need to get to the bottom of this. We need to find out exactly what was done, and what the implications of the attack were, especially if they had an effect on our election. There’s no doubt they were interfering, and no doubt there was a cyber attack. The question now is how much, and what damage, and what should the United States of America do.”
Tapper asked about his call for the Select Committee and pointed out that while McCain is critical of Obama’s policy towards Russia, Trump has never criticized Russia. McCain admitted that he has never had a conversation with Trump about his praise for Russia. McCain also expressed his Obama bashing opinion that the post-WWII order is unraveling because America hasn’t been leading.
Tapper came back to Trump never criticizing Putin and McCain said, “No. I have never heard Trump criticize Putin.” The Senator from Arizona hoped that the people around Trump would educate him on Russia, but he expressed the need for a bipartisan select committee to investigate all Russian hacking activities.
What should worry Trump most was McCain’s statement on why a select joint committee is needed, “The responsibilities for cyber run over about four different committees in the Senate and each doing their own thing, frankly, is not going to be the most efficient way of arriving at a conclusion. This is serious business. If they are able to harm the electoral process, then they destroy democracy, which is based on free and fair elections.”
The joint select committee would be bad news for Trump because one big joint committee is always going to get more media attention and scrutiny than four smaller committees. It would be much more difficult for Trump supporting Republicans in Congress to bury the Russian hacking if the investigation is centralized and not spread out over four committees that could drag out their investigations for years and never release any findings.
A joint committee is also more likely to have agreed upon rules and include the participation of Democratic foreign and intelligence heavyweights in Congress.
The biggest reason why a select committee is bad news for Trump is that the story will stay alive and continue to be a dark shadow that hangs over his administration. An investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee is not enough. A joint select committee is needed to handle an issue so vital to our democracy, and to make sure that the American people get the answers that they deserve.