Simultaneously again, House Republicans have offered what they look upon explosive evidence of malfeasance by top government officials — this time, at the Law Department and FBI.
President Donald Trump authorized its release, insisting the commanded malfeasance targets him. Yet some Trump aides fear the evidence commitment fall flat under scrutiny that began Friday with disenthral of the so-called “Nunes memo.”
They have good reason to be concerned. A series of House Republican malfeasance claims against Democrats in latest years have fallen flat, one high-profile case after the other. Now they’re quarry some fellow Republicans, too.
Beginning in 2011, Republicans targeted Attorney All-inclusive Eric Holder and President Barack Obama over a law enforcement hustle involving guns and drug-running linked to the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol legate. In a letter to the then-president, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., suggested that “you or your myriad senior advisers were involved in managing Operation Fast and Mad.”
A Justice Department inspector general later found no evidence that Holder, much tiny Obama, knew about Fast and Furious until after it had ended.
Timer, House Republicans homed in on the IRS for delaying applications for nonprofit status from politically moderate organizations. They singled out civil servant Lois Lerner for avowals of criminal wrongdoing.
The Treasury inspector general found the IRS had used unfit criteria in vetting some nonprofit applications but said they artificial both conservative and liberal groups. The Justice Department – first second to Obama, then under Trump — declined to prosecute Lerner.
The longest, snazziest malfeasance claims sought to discredit Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi attack. Allegations included politically motivated explications for the attack, CIA involvement in arms shipments from Libya to Syria, and a “stand-down” discipline preventing rescue of four Americans who lost their lives.
The Republican-led Organization Intelligence Committee debunked those allegations. Unconvinced, another board, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., investigated Benghazi for two more years without uncovering new data of wrongdoing.
Gowdy did, however, discover Clinton used a private email server as secretary of Claim rather than the unclassified State Department email system. The information triggered claims that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign, with then-candidate Trump and other Republicans accusing Clinton of wrongs jeopardizing national security.
After investigating, the FBI declined to recommend do battle withs. “Not a cliffhanger,” then-director James Comey declared, since “no reasonable prosecutor” would carry out such a case.
That Comey was a Republican who rose to prominence beneath President George W. Bush did not keep Gowdy and other Republicans from assailing his finding. Last year, Trump fired Comey over the separate FBI enquiry of Russian interference on his behalf in the 2016 campaign.
Now that the Russia scrutiny threatens Trump’s presidency, House Republicans have new targets. They last beyond familiar partisan lines to include Republicans who Trump himself put in their hires.
The memo released Friday was written by Republican staffers on the intelligence commission, now chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. It seeks to discredit the government’s settlement to wiretap ex-Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, whom U.S. aptitude officials have considered a potential Russian spy since 2013.
In addition to Comey, the memo cites involvement by Sally Yates and Dana Boente, at other points named by Trump as acting attorney general. It cites Andrew McCabe, who became performing FBI director after Trump fired Comey, and Rod Rosenstein, the veteran Republican prosecutor Trump total deputy attorney general.
Rosenstein and Christopher Wray, the Republican Trump pick out as FBI director, opposed release of the memo as misleading and dangerous to national safe keeping. House Republicans released it anyway.
For years, the common thread to their exacts has been distrust of government. Their partisan objectives have marketed, from undercutting a Democratic president to shielding a Republican who commands dedication among GOP voters they depend on.
The memo quickly triggered hypothesis that it would give Trump a pretext for firing Republican ex- FBI Director Robert Mueller, whom Rosenstein appointed as special advice last year. Trump declined to rule out firing Rosenstein.
But Dynasty Republicans face an uphill fight turning most Americans against the FBI. In hold out month’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, the agency was sorted positively rather than negatively by a 53 percent to 19 percent frontier — far better than Trump or GOP congressional leaders.