Republicans, both elected and appointed, are betraying their oath of office by not appointing independent investigators for the Trump Russia probe. The security of the United States is on the line. This is no time for more of their partisan party first attitudes.
It’s not just the House and Senate investigations that need to appoint an independent investigator or select committee to get around Republican obstruction of the Russia probe. It’s also the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Jay Rosenstein who need to appoint an independent special counsel to get around their own possible involvement (Sessions as Trump campaign member but also as writer of letter advocating reasons to fire Comey and Rosenstein for writing similar letter but also as possible witness to Trump’s possible obstruction of justice).
Constitutional law expert Lawrence Tribe and Norm Eisen made the case that Trump’s firing of Comey is worse than breaking a law in a USA Today opinion column (my bold), “If President Trump’s shockingly sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey had violated some statute or constitutional provision, our judicial branch could easily have remedied that misstep. What the president did was worse. It was a challenge to the very premises of our system of checks and balances precisely because it violated no mere letter of the law but its essential spirit. No one, not even a president, is above the law. And thus no public official, high or petty, can simply fire those our system trusts to investigate and remedy that official’s possible bribery, treason, or other disloyalty to the nation.”
One of the many problems with the way Republicans are handling (or not handling, to be more precise) Donald Trump’s possible collusion with a hostile foreign government is they are refusing to operate the Legislative Branch as a check on the Executive Branch.
Republicans’ (elected and appointed) selective interpretation of the law is to suggest that in spirit, they think the law only applies to other people. The law does not apply to Donald Trump or the people who will help him cover up RussiaGate.
Their interpretation of their Constitutional duty is as troubling as their interpretation of their oath of office.
The U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3 reads, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The oath reads, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
It should not be too much to ask that the AG and Deputy Attorney General of the DOJ aim to carry out the spirit of the law and whose first loyalty is to the country.
Right now, we have an AG and Deputy AG who interfered in an investigation being carried out by the faction of the FBI that investigates enemies to the U.S., from within.
Republicans are OK with that. Which means Republicans are not carrying out their pledge to be loyal to this country. The only way we can even try to fix this is if people vote Republicans out of office in 2018.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.