Rocket, Guardians of Freedom
3 March 2017
In light of the revelations about communications with Russia within the Trump team, Congress has launched a series of wide-reaching probes to investigate possible risks. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is in all practical terms a standing committee, has called upon and questioned FBI Director James Comey about investigations into any Russian meddling in the U.S. election. According to the committee ranking member, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D), Comey has been less than willing in providing detailed responses to questions and is hiding information. Comey, who was so willing previously to ignore FBI policy and disclose information about an ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton right before the election, declined to answer question before a congressional panel. Congress has the authority, in our system of checks and balances, to conduct oversight over the various executive agencies of government, including the FBI. The House Intelligence Committee is being stonewalled by the FBI in its attempt to fulfill one of the key designated duties of a committee. The White House is only further infringing upon the investigative process by flatly denying blatant evidence of suspicious activity that should at least be investigated.
On top of all that, the committee itself is largely split across party lines. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, sees nothing to be concerned about with regard to Russia and Trump. In fact, according to Nunes, “U.S. intelligence officials had not yet presented the committee with evidence of contacts between Trump campaign staff an Russian intelligence.” Perhaps that is because the FBI is being uncooperative with the investigation. Or perhaps Nunes chooses to ignore evidence that has come out over the past couple of weeks that even the administration itself has admitted to. Republicans in Congress are refusing to carry out their duty of oversight over the executive branch out of party loyalty. A lack of oversight over the possibly illegal and treasonous actions of the new administration might have serious retributions on the American people. It opens up the possibility of the Trump Administration further colluding with Russia or engaging in corrupt behavior. Republicans need to end their hypocrisy and investigate into the wrongdoing of Trump and his team; they need to listen to their own angry constituents. Right now, they are the ones who have the majorities in the committees and thereby the power to investigate.