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Mon Mar 20, 2017, 03:55 PM

Today's intelligence hearing is a farce. It shows why we need an independent Russia probe.

By Paul Waldman March 20 at 1:08 PM

The intelligence committees are supposed to be the least partisan of all committees in Congress. They deal with profound matters of U.S. national security, most of their hearings are secret, and their members have access to information most other members of Congress arenít even allowed to see.

But todayís hearing with FBI Director James B. Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee demonstrated why this Congress is utterly incapable of conducting the kind of investigation we need into the extraordinary scandal of Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and particularly the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Thereís a strong argument to be made that the Justice Department and the FBI are also incapable of conducting an effective investigation into this matter, and therefore we need an independent counsel to investigate crimes that might have been committed. But more importantly, we need an independent commission like the one that was assembled after the Sept. 11 attacks, with an ample budget and subpoena power to get the whole story on what did and didnít happen in 2016, far beyond any possible crimes.

No one who watched todayís hearing could doubt that the Republican members of the committee had one goal in mind: protect President Trump. At 7 this morning, the president tweeted this:

Just by coincidence, the question of who has been leaking information about Trump associates and the Russians was the primary focus of the Republicansí questioning during the hearing. Member after member asked the witnesses to explain how awful and damaging leaks are, and how sternly they should be punished. So outraged was Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) that when talking about leaks regarding former national security adviser Michael Flynnís repeated contacts with the Russian ambassador, Gowdy refused to even mention Flynnís name so as to protect his privacy. Thatís the same Michael Flynn who lied to Vice President Pence so Pence would publicly defend him, lied to the FBI when they questioned him about it, got payments from multiple Russian companies and acted as an agent of the Turkish government while he was a key adviser to the Trump campaign. But heís the real victim here, I guess.


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Reply Today's intelligence hearing is a farce. It shows why we need an independent Russia probe. (Original post)
DonViejo Mar 2017 OP
tblue37 Mar 2017 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 04:13 PM

1. Waldman is still swallowing th lie that Pence was lied to, when in reality he knew all long. Even if

he didn't know before Cummings' letter about it, he certainly knew from the letter!

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