Thursday, December 21, 2017


The Washington Post reports:
Republican senators who worked swiftly last summer to help write legislation protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III now are showing little urgency to get those measures passed.

... two different bipartisan proposals have been mired in negotiations for months.... Republicans appear to be losing their resolve to act.

“We’re still having the discussion,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), the co-author of one of the bills, said this week. “It’s not driven by any current events.”

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), another co-author of one of the bills, said, “I don’t really know,” when asked the status of negotiations....

On the other side of the Capitol, House Republicans have not drafted parallel legislation....
Graham is now a Trump golfing buddy and suckup, so I guess this isn't a priority for him anymore. What's in it for Graham? I wonder. A Cabinet position? Secretary of state? Attorney general?

Probably not attorney general, because Jeff Sessions is doing Trump's bidding:
On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.

he interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department's effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said.
And there's another Russia counterinvestigation:
A group of House Republicans has gathered secretly for weeks in the Capitol in an effort to build a case that senior leaders of the Justice Department and FBI improperly — and perhaps criminally — mishandled the contents of a dossier that describes alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia, according to four people familiar with their plans.

A subset of the Republican members of the House intelligence committee, led by Chairman Devin Nunes of California, has been quietly working parallel to the committee's high-profile inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. They haven't informed Democrats about their plans....
Where does this end? With Clinton and FBI agents in the dock, and not Trump or any current Trump subordinates? I still think the White House fears a constitutional crisis if Mueller is fired, despite the obvious subservience of congressional Republicans, so Mueller will probably hang on, at least for a while.

But Republicans are going to work even harder to construct counternarratives in 2018. One consequence of that will be that any effort to sell GOP base voters on the glories of the tax bill will be drowned out by 24/7 counter-Trump-Russia coverage in the right-wing press. As I've said, I think that's part of the reason even Republican voters are lukewarm on the bill now -- Fox and its allies spent way too much time talking about Peter Strzok and not enough time on the coming trickle-down utopia. We'll see what happens next year.

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