(FILES) This file photo taken on November 7, 2016 shows Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaking during a rally outside the University of...
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

Even now, Republicans can’t let go of their Clinton preoccupation

Updated

Hillary Clinton spoke at an event in October, and in reference to some of her conservative critics, the former Secretary of State joked, “It appears they don’t know I’m not president.”

The line came to mind last night when Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) whether he has “any doubt” that Clinton committed “crimes” with her email server protocols. The Republican congressman replied, in apparent reference to the former Democratic official:

“Well, as you know, our committee continues to look at conspiracy. We are looking at obstruction, we are looking at misleading Congress and also there’s the statute in the civil rights code that involves I think abuse of power and using your position to go after someone personally.”

After explaining his committee’s ongoing interest in Hillary Clinton, Nunes added, “The American people expect the intelligence agencies not to be political.”

Heaven forbid.

As the interview aired, Politico  reported that Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is moving forward with plans “to subpoena the Justice Department for records gathered by its inspector general in his review of how the FBI handled its 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton.”

There was a point, shortly before the last presidential election, in which GOP leaders said they expected to spend Clinton’s presidency launching one investigation after another. When she lost, some in the party said they didn’t care.

Indeed, on Nov. 9, 2016, literally the day after the election, then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said his pre-election plans had not changed: he would continue to vigorously pursue Clinton. “We can’t just simply let this go,” Chaffetz told Fox News in December.

Chaffetz may have resigned from Congress, but his sentiment is still shared by many in his party.

In case anyone’s forgotten, Donald Trump – you know, the guy who’s actually in the White House, not the 2016 candidate who left public office nearly six years ago – is at the center of multiple scandals of enormous significance. And yet, the House Judiciary Committee has chosen to largely ignore all of the controversies, while the House Intelligence Committee, under Nunes’ tutelage, has gone to almost comical lengths to help cover up the Republican president’s alleged misdeeds.

Clinton remains the star of the GOP’s show, and not just on Capitol Hill. Donald Trump tweets about her regularly, including three times this past weekend. During a recent speech, the president said he wants to send Americans to Mars – unlike Clinton. During a recent press conference alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump made multiple references to his former rival.

In January, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway insisted, “Nobody here talks about her. Nobody here talks about Hillary Clinton, I promise you.”

Of course not. Why would anyone think otherwise? What could possibly lead anyone to think the president and his party have some kind of unhealthy fixation on the former Democratic candidate?

Hillary Clinton

Even now, Republicans can't let go of their Clinton preoccupation

Updated