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 use the levers of congressional power to vigorously pursue Hillary Clinton.
“We can’t just simply let this go,” Chaffetz told Fox News in December 2016.
The Utah Republican ended up resigning from Congress, accepting a job at Fox News, but his former colleagues on the Hill were only too pleased to pick up the mantle, keeping the focus on the former secretary of state who left office six years ago.
Last week, for example, House Republicans pressed former FBI Director James Comey for answers on Clinton’s use of a private email server, and this morning, a House Oversight Committee panel will hold yet another hearing on the Clinton Foundation.
Clinton herself has joked, “It appears they don’t know I’m not president.”
Today’s hearing, however, is a last gasp of sorts. The Republicans’ House majority, won in 2010, will come to an end in a few weeks, and it’s unlikely that the new Democratic majority will share the GOP’s preoccupation with Clinton conspiracy theories.
TPM’s Tierney Sneed had a good piece this morning, highlighting the ignominious end of the House Republicans’ partisan crusade.
As their time in the majority comes to an end, and their parting shot at the Clintons is a subcommittee hearing on the Clinton charity, some House Republicans are frustrated that they haven’t been able to capture their great white whale before they hand over the gavel – and subpoena power – to the Democrats. […]
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a rising star among President Trump’s most devout allies in the House, said Tuesday that “low energy leadership” stopped House Republicans from gaining traction on their investigations in recent years…. “I think we should have pushed harder.”
It’s a curious perspective: some anti-Clinton partisans, apparently frustrated by how little they have to show for their years of effort, look back at the last several years and believe Republicans just weren’t anti-Clinton enough.
Come January, House Republicans can continue with their obsession, but they’ll do so from the minority, where they’ll have no subpoena power, and won’t be able to convene a single hearing.
In the Senate, however, it’s a different story. The GOP will maintain its majority in the upper chamber for at least another two years, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has already said he intends to scrutinize the Justice Department’s investigation of Clinton’s email server.
Some things, apparently, will probably never change.