There is an important lesson in the extent to which Republicans are actively acting to discredit the Mueller investigation and openly argue that the FBI and DOJ should be a permanent wing of the Republican Party:
Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) on Tuesday called for a “purge” of the FBI, warning of “deep state” figures at work in the agency.
Rooney said during an interview on MSNBC that the American people have “very high standards” for the country’s government agencies, and suggested they aren’t being met.
He was pressed during the interview on whether he is trying to discredit the Department of Justice, and by extension the investigation into Russia’s election interference.
“I don’t want to discredit them. I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it,” he replied.
“And say, look, we’ve got a lot of great agents, a lot of great lawyers here, those are the people that I want the American people to see and know the good works being done, not these people who are kind of the deep state.”
When pressed further he specifically mentioned Peter Strzok, a top FBI agent who worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State.
A few points should be clear, barring some extraordinary unforeseeable cicumstances:
- The Republican Party is all-in in Trump. It’s not that they’re too lazy to investigate Trump’s various malfeasance; it’s just that they don’t care.
- Discussing impeachment scenarios, or any other removal method that requires Senate supermajorities, is findamentally a waste of time. And even if Democrats take over the House in 2018, a futile impeachment vote is probably counterproductive.
- It’s critically important for Dems to take over Congress in 2018. But the value is 1)the ability to conduct investigations, 2)the ability to stop Republicans from passing investigation, and (as pertains to the Senate) stopping judicial and egregious executive branch nominations.
- There is one way Trump can be removed from office while he’s alive: the ballot box.
- Investigations into Trump are valuable not because there’s any chance of making Republican legislators turn against him, but because they may make him less popular.
- Investigations are almost certainly a better method of making Trump less popular than impeachment proceedings.