Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee voted to begin an investigation into the actions taken by former Obama Administration officials during the run up to the 2016 Presidential election.
The motion passed, 16 to 13, to start gathering documentation with a view to appointing a Special Counsel. The scope of the investigation would be to look into activities carried out by former Secretary of State and Democrat Candidate Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former FBI Director James Comey.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) was shocked by the decision:
“This is the most astonishing moment I’ve ever experienced in the Judiciary Committee,” he said “To take a question about the firing of James B. Comey and turn it into a question about Hillary Clinton? The chairman has left the room. Justice has left this room. Common sense has left this room. A lot of stuff has left this room, and maybe never entered it.”
Republicans are being accused of having “lured” the Democrats into the room to discuss one matter and managed to turn it into a whole new investigation. The Republicans seemed well prepared and well informed. Questions were raised regarding AG Lynch’s meeting with former President Bill Clinton in a private jet on the tarmac when she was allegedly in the process of investigating Hillary Clinton. Also raised was the directing of James Comey to refer to the Clinton investigation only as a “matter”.
While many Democrats (and some Republicans) consider this “unworthy” of an investigation, many voters have actively been pushing for more information regarding the actions taken in the run-up to the November vote. Rep. Andy Biggs(R-Ariz.), one of the co-sponsors, said:
“In my district, my constituents say, ‘Hey, what’s going on with investigation of the crimes of the previous administration?’ ” He continued, “When I hear talk that this contains right-wing conspiracies — well, I’ll tell you, my constituents think what’s going on in the other bill are left-wing conspiracy theories.”
Another co-sponsor, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), explained how he saw the Democrat response:
“They’re not focused on things like the Clinton Foundation functionally selling access to the State Department; they’re not worried about selling uranium to the Russians; they’re not worried about unmasking.”
The consensus among voters of all persuasions is that a Presidential election investigation is long overdue. Whether they believe it is necessary to finally put “idle rumor to bed”, or they feel that the previous administration’s actions have actively harmed the democratic and legal processes of the United State; there is a broad consensus that an investigation is welcome.
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters believed the Trump Administration should continue to investigate Clinton and her closest aides for possible criminal activity. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans (65%) feel the administration should keep investigating. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Democrats wanted it to end. Voters not affiliated with either major party were almost evenly divided.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.