If you learn that people in your organization have been involved in crimes, you basically have two options. If the crimes were against the organization, you help the investigators as much as possible, in order to ensure that all the bad guys are identified so that you can get rid of them and the authorities can put them away. If the crimes were, instead, for the organization, you put as many roadblocks as possible in the way of the investigators to help the bad guys get away with it.
Guess which option the Republicans in the House have chosen? No peeking, now!
Hat tip: Paul Kiel and Justin Rood, TPM Muckraker.
This calls for a major fuss, from Blue bloggers, from the press, from Democrats on the campaign trail, and of course from Democrats in the House.
Of course, the way the Republicans run the House, it’s next to impossible for Democrats to be heard. But “next to impossible” isn’t quite the same thing as “impossible,” if the Democrats are willing to play hardball. They could, for example, offer a resolution to consider the expulsion of the committee chairs who are dragging their feet. That’s a Constitutionally privileged motion, and therefore can’t be kept from coming to a vote.
Offering it would, of course, break the ethics truce. Good. We should be delighted to toss Mulhollan and Jefferson to the wolves, along with any other crooks in Democratic ranks, if that’s the price of making Republican corruption the firestorm issue it deserves to be.
Footnote There’s a reasonable argument to be made that the Congress shouldn’t just let Executive-branch investigators just back up a tractor-trailer to the Rayburn Building and start loading up documents. If Congress’s own disciplinary processes were functioning, there would be at least a colorable case for limiting FBI fishing expeditions into Congressional business. But those processes are not functioning. Under current circumstances, resisting document requests from the FBI is tantamount to assisting in a cover-up.
Admittedly, it’s not nice to accuse your colleagues of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. But then it’s not very nice to conspire to obstruct justice, either.