Senate GOP caucus meltdown! Five-alarm fire engulfs the White House
Republican senators caught amid a battery of fires engulfing the White House are frantically searching for a way out. Between the Government Accountability Office report determining the Trump administration broke the law by withholding security assistance from Ukraine to the blockbuster Rachel Maddow interview of indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, vulnerable members of the GOP caucus are trying to claw their way to safety on the fly. No one solution has permeated the caucus, just a scattershot bid for survival. It’s an impossible task when Republican lawmakers long ago decided their path to enduring power was to back Donald Trump and all his corruption come hell or high water.
Turns out hell was their fate as the sun arose on the morning they would take their oaths to “do impartial justice” in the impeachment trial of the 45th president of the United States. The night before, Parnas, who desperately wants to testify before Congress, gave his firsthand account of the criminal enterprise Trump has been running from the Oval Office. “President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” Parnas told Maddow. “He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”
Yes, Parnas has been criminally indicted and his account must be vetted. But that’s the whole point—his account must be vetted. Parnas has too many receipts in the way of texts and handwritten notes not to be taken seriously, which is exactly why GOP senators are fumbling about looking for refuge from the facts—many facts. In fact, they want refuge from all the facts, including Parnas, the conclusions of the nonpartisan GAO, the potential testimony of John Bolton, the recently reported emails directly implicating Trump and his top deputies in the scandal, not to mention all the other evidence unearthed by the House inquiry.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins is trying to run a misdirection on the Parnas revelations, questioning why the House Intelligence Committee didn’t address the very evidence it subpoenaed last October but didn’t receive until two days ago. “Doesn’t that suggest that the House did an incomplete job, then?” Collins offered. No, it does not. The materials had been seized by the FBI and unavailable during the House inquiry, so Democrats pressed forward with what was available to them.