As the constitutional confrontation between congressional Democrats and Donald Trump continues to unfold, it’s not too surprising that Republican lawmakers are siding with the Republican White House. What’s notable, however, is how they’re choosing to do so.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the House Republican Conference chair, led a Capitol Hill press briefing this week, where she shared this thought with reporters:
“Clearly, what the Democrats in the Judiciary Committee are doing is undermining our democracy and helping Vladimir Putin.
“If you look at what we know, and what we know from the Mueller report and other places, it is absolutely clear that the Russians have attempted, a number of them were indicted for attempting to influence, to undermine our democratic processes and the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are doing exactly what Vladimir Putin would do if he could.”
I don’t think she was kidding. What’s more, as best as I can tell, no one from the GOP conference has made any effort to distance themselves from her claim.
It became clear in 2017 and 2018 that, so long as there’s a Republican White House, GOP lawmakers are content to flip the switch and turn off Congress’ oversight responsibilities, but the idea that Cheney referred to this week is even more unsettling.
In the Wyoming Republican’s vision, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who are trying to uncover all of the facts about the Russia scandal are themselves “helping Vladimir Putin.”
It’s good to know the congressional debate in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings is proceeding in such a measured and responsible way.