Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s early announcement that they were calling for a formal investigation of the Russian interference of the election made a big splash on Monday, but as the day developed it became clear that it was a lie. The Republican leaders were actually blocking any effort to expand the investigation, and the reason is truly disturbing.
In an effort to shield Donald Trump from a potentially impeachable scenario, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are rejecting growing calls for a wide-ranging special congressional panel to investigate Russian’s interference with the 2016 elections, and were instead simply endorsing their narrower and meaningless oversight work being performed by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, reported Politico.
Congressional Republicans spent years investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails and launched a special committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attacks. But when it comes to alleged Russian interference in the presidential election, the GOP is taking a more restrained approach.
According to Politico, McConnell told reporters on Monday evening the Senate Intelligence Committee “is more than capable of conducting a complete review of this matter,” and made it clear that he will not support any kind of formal review aimed at producing a final report — like the one that resulted in the committee’s 2014 investigation of the Benghazi attacks.
This approach offers no guarantee that final investigative reports will ever be released to the public — and shields President-elect Donald Trump from a deeper congressional investigation looking into Russia’s motives.
Over in the House, Paul Ryan released a statement rejecting calls for a larger investigation. Instead, he cited the House probe would have a narrow focus on cyber threats.