ONTD Political

Republicans may be reaching their breaking point with Trump

8:58 am - 05/17/2017
For Republicans on Capitol Hill, Donald Trump may finally have gone too far.

Tuesday’s report that Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the criminal investigation into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn was more than just another embarrassing revelation for a president used to a near-daily barrage of scandal and staff intrigue.

Republicans are privately beginning to worry that they may one day have to sit in judgment of Trump, or that more damaging information from Comey could force the president to step down. Within hours of Tuesday's report by The New York Times, there was a distinct shift among congressional Republicans, who until now have mostly resisted criticizing Trump, let alone demanding the president be held to account for all he says or does.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) immediately said he’s prepared to subpoena the memos that Comey reportedly wrote contemporaneously to document his interactions with Trump. Chaffetz sent a letter to the FBI on Tuesday night asking for any notes, documents or records of Trump and Comey’s conversations to be turned over to his panel by May 24.

His request was echoed by AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan: "We need to have all the facts, and it is appropriate for the House Oversight Committee to request this memo."

Comey has also been invited by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to testify publicly at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to “tell his side of the story” about his dealings with Trump, Graham said Tuesday, even before this latest story broke.

More Republicans have openly discussed the possibility of a select committee or the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the Trump-Russia connection. It's still a minority of GOP lawmakers, but Republican leaders are watching closely.

The White House vehemently denied the New York Times report, and Trump has defended his firing of Comey and reported disclosure of classified information to Russian officials.

Not since October’s “Access Hollywood” moment — when many Republicans believed Trump would have to drop out of the race over his hugely offensive comments about women — has the president faced such a serious political threat. Even conservatives from districts that Trump won overwhelmingly in November want to find out what occurred between the president and Comey, no matter how damaging it may be to Trump. This is a dramatic turn for the party that's been whiplashed by Trump’s drama since his first day as a candidate in June 2015 yet has still stuck with him.

“It is important to get to the bottom of it,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus. Meadows was last seen celebrating passage of the House GOP health care bill in the Rose Garden with Trump and dozens of his Republican colleagues. “We've got one standard, and we need to make sure that applies to everybody.”

Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway met with the Freedom Caucus on Tuesday night and would not say afterward what they discussed. Meadows insisted the Comey matter did not come up, but he told reporters that he intends, through his role on the Oversight Committee, to help get to the bottom of what happened. And he expects cooperation from the White House.

"If this is legitimately something that there was some kind of influence or pressure from Comey doing his work, I’m going to be very disappointed," added Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

In private, top Republicans fear that this latest Trump controversy — coming just a week after he fired Comey, and only one day after it was revealed that the president revealed highly classified intelligence information during a meeting with Russian officials — will overwhelm everything they are trying to do legislatively. Health care, tax reform, building up the Pentagon — all of it is potentially threatened by the latest furor.

And if Republicans are paralyzed and can’t pass anything despite control of the White House and Congress, how can they justify their majorities when they go before voters next year?

“I don’t think we can just shrug our shoulders and walk away from this one,” said a top House Republican, who asked not to be named. “I don’t know where this goes.”

What is most worrying for congressional Republicans is how easy this latest episode is to explain to the public — Trump reportedly tried to interfere with a criminal investigation by the FBI but was rebuffed, then fired Comey — and thus fodder for endless cable TV coverage. That could spur moderate Republicans in swing districts, already nervous about 2018, to openly break with Trump.

“If these allegations are true, it’s deeply troubling and it certainly opens up a new chapter that all of us have to consider very carefully,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) outside the House chamber Tuesday night. "We need to get to the truth as soon as possible. This weekly scandal, this weekly controversy is unhealthy for the country. It’s a major distraction for the country and it’s just bad for the psyche of every American.”

“I hope Director Comey testifies before Congress as soon as possible,” said Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), who earlier broke with Trump and his own leadership over health care reform legislation.

"Congress needs to see the Comey memo," Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tweeted late Tuesday night.

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), a former federal prosecutor, suggested Trump’s interactions with Comey threatened the public perception of the Justice Department as an autonomous entity.

“This whole process is very difficult because we are seeing the central institution — the Justice Department, and the independence of the Justice Department — stretched. And people want to have confidence in the independence of [DOJ’s] activities,” Meehan said. “I’m hoping that throughout this long process, it can get back into a place where there could be confidence in the ability of the institutions to do their work.”

Source:Politico

I think the Repugs are finally starting to crack, y'all. I really do. The Comey firing has really gotten their attention, and the realization of how standing by Trump is going to affect their chances for re-election is dawning. I am imagining a snowball that is poised on the top of a hill. Any day now, it's going to get pushed over the edge, and once it starts rolling, there will be no stopping it.
eveofrevolution 17th-May-2017 02:01 pm (UTC)
Your source link doesn't go anywhere. Please fix it: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/16/trump-scandals-republicans-congress-238460
moonshaz 17th-May-2017 07:22 pm (UTC)
Fixed!
mercystars 17th-May-2017 04:12 pm (UTC)
Nah, they'll continue to ignore everything like they've been doing, and not care. Trump was the commencement speaker at Liberty this last weekend, remember. It's typical but not very surprising.
moonshaz 17th-May-2017 07:40 pm (UTC)
Reallly? No, I really don't think so. Sooner or later, something's got to give. No need to argue, though--we'll all know soon enough. ☺
omimouse 17th-May-2017 05:31 pm (UTC)
If they don't impeach him, this is going to get very ugly, because there's no way Trump isn't going to just keep going with this shit. And there's honestly only so far he can go past this before we're looking at angry mob in the street time.

moonshaz 17th-May-2017 07:35 pm (UTC)
Exactly! This can't go on forever--it's just not sustainable--and it's sure as hell not going away. I think some of the Repugs are starting to realize that. None of them wants to be the first to take a stand against Trump, but sooner or later, someone will; and once that happens, it won't be long before they start piling on to the bandwagon en masse. That’s what I meant by the snowball analogy.
liliaeth 17th-May-2017 07:54 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think the only reason they haven't impeached him yet, which I'm sure they'd love to do, so they can replace him with Pence, is because a large part of Trump's voters would turn on them if they did. A lot of those people don't give a fuck about the republicans, they just want more of Trump's brand of racist attitude.
lollycunt 17th-May-2017 08:40 pm (UTC)
I'll believe it when I see it. They've been "reaching their breaking point" every two weeks since he took office and nothing has happened
blackjedii 17th-May-2017 09:26 pm (UTC)
Newp. They will only start GAF when their internal polling in their district swings to the single digits.

Also they really, REALLY want to force trough an Obamacare repeal and a tax break for their funders. And they got very little time to do it until midterms.
redstar826 18th-May-2017 01:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not really feeling the eagerness some are feeling for impeachment. Trump is, of course, awful. But, so is Pence. And unlike Trump, Pence is much more likely to know how to govern and how to push through the Republican agenda.
moonshaz 18th-May-2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
I hear you on Pence. But what I keep coming back to is that Trump is suspected of doing a number of very bad things. If he did even half of those things, there need to be consequences for him.

Bottom line: Letting one douchebag get away with heinous acts just because his putative replacement is also a douchebag doesn't sit right with me. It just doesn't. If Trump is guilty, he needs to be punished accordingly. Pence being a douche does not constitute a "get out of impeachment free" card for his orange overlord.
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