Trump’s Republican Accomplices Do His Dirty Work—And Putin’s
President Donald Trump’s Republican accomplices are doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dirty work for him. They stopped seriously investigating Russia’s unprecedented and unprovoked attack on American democracy months ago; now, they’re going after anybody who still is.
Justice Department official Bruce Ohr is the latest thorn in Putin’s side to come into the Republican Party’s crosshairs.
- Ohr’s made a career investigating influential Russians, from mob boss Semion Mogilevich to Putin’s pal Oleg Deripaska—which, more than any kooky right-wing conspiracy theory, accounts for his relationship with fellow Russia expert Christopher Steele.
- Ohr joins a long list of Putin adversaries who have come under fire from Republicans, including Steele, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, John Brennan, Bill Browder, and Michael McFaul, all for the crime of pushing to investigate Russia’s illegal actions.
- The ringleader, as always: House Intel chairman (and former Trump transition official) Devin Nunes, who’s run interference for Trump for almost two years, most recently by jetting off to London at taxpayer expense in a failed effort to discredit Steele and Ohr.
Congressional Republicans are, at best, refusing to hold Trump accountable—or, at worst, are actively complicit in Trump’s attempts to cover up one of the biggest scandals in American political history.
- Trump has been dangling a pardon for Paul Manafort for months, and, with no pushback at all from his party, become even more brazen about it since Manafort’s first trial began.
- Senate Republicans who once balked at Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not doing more to impede the Russia investigation are now laying the groundwork for Trump to fire Sessions after the midterms.
- Even Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr cosigned Trump’s decision to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance, a clear step toward Trump’s goal of abusing the clearance process to punish and silence his enemies (including Ohr).
- And of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh while hiding the paper trail that would likely just reaffirm suspicions that Kavanaugh was chosen to further protect Trump from accountability.
The worst part is that they know exactly what they’re doing. A list circulated among House Republicans and obtained by Axios enumerates all the vital investigations they’re stopping from happening, while Nunes is all but telling donors that protecting Trump is his number one priority.
The message is clear: The Republicans in Congress can’t be trusted to hold Trump accountable, let alone the foreign dictator who helped Trump come to power.