Just Plain Nuts
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Just Plain Nuts

Despite Evidence, House Republicans-Only Report Finds Russian Election Interference but No ‘Collusion’

It was hard to believe that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee could further debase their individual reputations and the standing of the Congress. Memo fights, disagreements over whether to ask tough questions, over whether to issue subpoenas and the secretive nighttime White House visits by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) already seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

But issuing a Republicans-only report on Monday (actually only a one-page summary) finding that there was Russian interference in the election but no “collusion,” even as the special counsel investigation seems to be widening and getting more serious, strikes me as, well, nuts.

Bad enough that total partisanship (on both sides) has overtaken the operation of the committee, but halting the probe just as things are starting to get interesting is just bad governing.

The action promises more presidential boastful tweets about the partial results, although one can hope that it offers some recommendations for fixing what went wrong (not part of the summary). Shutting down the investigation without even consulting with Democrats on the committee is rude, is a poorly disguised way to protect Trump and, in the end, will prove ineffective. Forget any Democratic counter-report; keep your eye on Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Presuming that Mueller’s investigation turns up any substantial explanations—never mind criminal charges—in these similar investigations, the House Republicans will look like protectionist idiots.

I promise I’ll read the report anyway, but it is like reading only the odd pages of a novel without acknowledging the even-numbered pages. What’s the point?

March 14, 2018