Inquiry ‘sit-in’ a sham; Republicans in a panic on Trump’s prospects



October 24, 2019 - 10:43 AM

A group of Republican Congressmen not serving on the committees to investigate the president complained Wednesday of "Soviet-style" machinations devised by Democrats. About 100 Republicans and Democrats serve on the investigating committees.

About two dozen House Republicans stormed the Capitol basement Wednesday morning, shutting down the inquiry as to whether President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine this summer was contingent on it aiding his 2020 presidential campaign.

The Republicans claimed their “sit-in” was in protest of what they perceive as an abuse of power, comparing it to “Soviet-style tactics.”

As it is, roughly 100 Republican and Democratic lawmakers sit on the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees. All elected officials who are members of those committees have the opportunity to question witnesses and engage in the depositions.

So to have almost one-third of Congress — Republicans and Democrats — participating in the hearings isn’t exactly a shutout. And the closed hearings are nothing out of the ordinary and clearly within a committee’s purview.

To date, the investigations have been kept behind closed doors in an effort to prevent what happened Wednesday — a circus. 

And that some entered a secure area of the Capitol with their cell phones also speaks volumes of their intentions, and they seem to have very little to do with ascertaining the truth.

In fact, House Republicans briefed our president of their intent on Tuesday evening. His response? Thumbs up.


THE CONFIDENTIAL setting is critical for current and former U.S. diplomats and government officials to present evidence and testify against their higher-ups, who cautioned them to abstain.

By saying the private hearings go against precedence, Republicans are hoping our memories have been expunged.

Republicans acted much the same during the investigation of the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. That two-year investigation included 33 hearings, of which only four were public.

“The private ones (hearings) always produce better results,” said former Congressman Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, pushing back against Democratic criticism.


THE STANDOFF Wednesday was a desperate attempt by Republican House members to redirect the focus from the mounting evidence weighing against Mr. Trump.

Short on a strong defense, they attack the process.

Tuesday’s testimony by William B. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, was damning evidence of the president’s pressuring Ukraine to publicly investigate political rival Biden and his family. Beyond the self-serving goal, the president’s directive to withhold $391 million in military aid also endangered the lives of Ukrainians facing Russian-backed forces.

Republicans maintain there was no quid pro quo to Trump’s demands because Ukraine did not refer to it as such.

Yet no one willingly bites the hand that feeds them. Because Ukraine desperately needs our help in holding off Russian aggressors, it’s going to stay as below the radar as possible.