The excuses for not doing a damn thing about the current clusterfuck are flying fast, and none of them are remotely good. Think Progress has outlined four of them.
This might be bigger than Watergate. Late Tuesday night, the New York Times reported that U.S. spy agencies had intercepted multiple phone conversations between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian intelligence agents. That means Trump allies may have colluded with a foreign power in an effort to undermine the American democratic process — and that Russia may now have access to the highest levels of American government.
But lest anyone think GOP lawmakers are dragging their heels, it’s important to note they’ve offered up some good reasons for their desultory approach. Here are some of the best ones.
1. There’s already an ongoing investigation, so a new one would be redundant.
That’s a favorite excuse of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who have now spent months deflecting calls for an independent commission by gesturing at existing committees and U.S. intelligence agencies.
2. Executive privilege means we can’t get the information we’d need.
Speaking of Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee leader said Tuesday that he would not examine conversations between Flynn and the president because of executive privilege.
3. Flynn resigned, so the whole thing took care of itself.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) told reporters Tuesday the fact of Flynn’s resignation meant there was no point in scrutinizing the events leading up to it.
“It’s taking care of itself,” he said.
4. We’re too busy trying to repeal Obamacare.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) thinks a full investigation would get in the way of all the other important work that Congress needs to do — such as cutting people’s health insurance.
“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” said Paul. “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”
All the excuse details are at Think Progress.