HomeUs Newsopinion | Even ‘mainstream’ Republicans are making idiotic defenses of Trump
opinion | Even ‘mainstream’ Republicans are making idiotic defenses of Trump
August 15, 2022
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stated at her press conference last week that there was no “adult in the Republican chamber” to stop party members from defaming the FBI and defending defeated former President Donald Trump for running away from the Oval Office. door with top secret documents. There must be someone, right?
You wouldn’t find many on the Sunday shows. Maryland government Larry Hogan (right), who has rightly criticized his fellow Republicans for rushing to Trump’s defense, bizarrely insisted on ABC’s “This Week” that the incident is a “victory” for Trump because he being tortured.
So the FBI should let him keep top secret documents? The instinct to treat this as a tactical victory rather than an unforgivable offense only serves to normalize Trump’s behavior.
Worse, Rep. Michael R. Turner (Ohio), the Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, played the whataboutism card on CNN. “Donald Trump is not above the law. And Attorney General [Merrick] Garland is also not above the law,” he posited. In what universe did Garland pretend to be above the law?
Turner, who has refused to denounce Trump, said he has doubts about the need for the search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Based on what? And more importantly, since a judge has found a likely reason for the search, who cares?
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Fortunately, CNN host Brianna Keilar followed suit and asked Turner if he’d ever taken any top-secret documents home. Well no, he replied. He then added that he is demanding to see the documents taken from Trump’s resort — top secret evidence in an ongoing investigation. That’s another attempt at putting up a smokescreen. No one on the intelligence committee, let alone the member of the top minority party, should engage in such deception.
Meanwhile, Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.) on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” falsely insisted that Trump could release these documents at will. wrong. As NBC News’ Ken Dilanian explained in an earlier segment of the show, the search warrant cited three statutes that Trump may have violated in taking the documents, and none of them require the information to be classified. “The [Justice Department’s] The position is that these are US government documents, government property, not Donald Trump’s,” Dilanian said. “It’s illegal to steal them. And it’s illegal to mutilate or hide them to hinder an investigation. And then there’s the Espionage Act, which requires intent to harm the United States, suggesting that the FBI has at least suspicions about the motives for storing these documents.” In other words, Rounds makes things up.
A rare Republican vote of reason came from Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. On CNN, he warned, “Well, if the GOP becomes the party backing law enforcement, then law enforcement will include the FBI.” Hutchinson added: “As a lawyer in the United States, I [worked] with the FBI, the [Drug Enforcement Administration], the federal law enforcement agencies. Those people on the ground are making an extremely heroic effort to uphold our rule of law, which is fundamental to the Republican Party and to our democracy.” That’s a refreshing feeling.
Nevertheless, it is clear that the worst of the MAGA panderers will jump into the fray with every false defense and non-sequitur Trump throws out. So why in the world would Hogan, Turner and Rounds join the scrum and fan the flames further?
The answer is that Pelosi is right. Except Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), there are no “adults” in the room among Congressional Republicans. They shut up, play whataboutisms or cripple Trump’s nonsensical defense. They unequivocally refuse to side with the FBI, the rule of law and the country’s national security, even when the country’s nuclear secrets are at stake.
By doing so, the party not only damages our democracy, but also helps to perpetuate an atmosphere of mistrust of government, anger and insane conspiracy theories. They, like Trump, share responsibility for the consequences of their actions and rhetoric.