Demagogs & McCain back independent commission on alleged Trump-Russia ties
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Mar 27 2017
Leading congressional Demagogs backed by Walnuts McCain are pushing for the establishment of an independent commission into alleged collusion between the Russian government and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The pressure for the establishment of such a commission, which would require a vote by the Rethug-controlled Congress and the consent of Pres Trump himself, intensified in the wake of last Wednesday’s extraordinary action by Rep Devin Nunes, who visited the White House and gave Trump a closed-door briefing on information he had received about intelligence agencies collecting the communications of Trump transition team members, reportedly including Trump himself, in the course of their surveillance of foreign government officials. Nunes provided details to Trump which he did not share with any of the members of his own committee. Even some congressional Thugs described his actions as “bizarre.” At a later closed-door session, he apologized to the members of his committee.
Nunes announced Friday that he was postponing a scheduled public hearing set for Tuesday Mar 28 at which former DNI Clapper, former D/CIA Brennan, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Quinn were to testify about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections and possible contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign. The committee’s ranking Demagog, Adam Schiff, denounced the postponement, saying it was part of an effort by the White House to “choke off public information.” He said that the canceled public hearing made it quite clear that the White House was unhappy with “the events of the week,” which included the nationally televised hearing Monday where FBI Director Comey confirmed that his agency was investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, although he presented no evidence and refused to discuss any details. Speaking on CBS Face the Nation, Schiff claimed:
We know that Russia was involved in hacking our democracy. We know that the evidence or information is sufficient to warrant an FBI investigation of this.
This is typical of the slippery language and McCarthy-style innuendo that characterizes the Demagog Party media campaign over Trump and Russia. By “hacking our democracy,” Schiff was referring to the actions of unidentified hackers who obtained emails from the DNC + Podesta and supplied them to WikiLeaks, which made them public. Far from undermining democracy, the publication of these emails documented a Demagog Party conspiracy against democracy. The emails detailed the efforts of the DNC to sabotage Clinton’s main challenger, Bernie Sanders, and Clinton’s efforts to ingratiate herself with major banks while concealing from ordinary voters her endearments addressed to the Wall Street fat cats. Schiff went on to denounce Trump for “interfering in the House investigation,” concluding:
I do think the events of this week call out the need for an independent commission, quite separate and apart from what we do in Congress.
The most prominent Rethug to back the formation of an independent commission is Walnuts McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who is identified with an ultra-hawkish foreign policy stance towards Russia. This is the issue that underlies the entire campaign over Trump’s alleged ties with Russia, which has been concocted from anonymous and unverified leaks from the military-intelligence apparatus to the NYT and WaPo. There is a ferocious opposition in the ruling elite to any shift away from the policy of confrontation with Russia, in the Middle East, Ukraine and the Baltic states, pursued over the past decade. At last Monday’s hearing, Schiff played the role of chief prosecutor on the Trump-Russia connection, citing a series of contacts between Russian officials and figures in Trump’s entourage and suggesting darkly that these were not coincidental, but likely part of a monumental conspiracy. However, the three most prominent individuals he named, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone, responded by offering to testify publicly and under oath before the committee. All have flatly denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and the hacking of the Clinton campaign, by Russians or otherwise. The Demagog minority leader in the Senate, Charles Schumer, added a new element to the campaign over Trump and Russia when he suggested during the week that it would be “unseemly” for the Senate to approve the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court while the president who nominated Gorsuch was under FBI investigation. Appearing Sunday on ABC This Week, Schumer denied that this amounted to calling for a delay in filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court for years, saying:
Let’s see where this investigation goes for a few months and delay it. If the investigation looks like it’s nowhere, fine. If it looks like it’s really serious, yeah, we ought to consider what I said.
Schumer said after the lengthy appearance of Gorsuch before the Senate Judiciary Committee, at which the nominee refused to answer any questions about his attitude to specific legal and judicial issues, that Demagogs would filibuster his nomination. This would force the Rethugs, who hold only a 52-48 majority in the Senate, to win the support of eight Demagogs for Gorsuch, which appears unlikely, or to change the Senate rules to make confirmation of the nominee possible with a simple majority vote. By linking Gorsuch’s fate to the FBI investigation into the Russian role in the elections, Schumer was suggesting that the alleged Trump-Russia connection could be used as leverage in a wider array of issues, ranging from judicial nominations to tax and budgetary policy. At the same time, Demagogs have intensified their rhetorical fire on the issue, with several more Reps declaring that the alleged Russian hacking was an act of war, implying that it should be dealt with as such, through some form of cyber-war retaliation. Rep Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey told a meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee:
I think this attack that we’ve experienced is a form of war! A form of war on our fundamental democratic principles!
Similar statements were made by two Demagogs, Jackie Speier and Eric Swalwell, during the House Intelligence Committee hearing where FBI Director Comey testified. The ranking Demagog on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ben Cardin, called the hacking of the DNC + Podesta, for which no conclusive link to Russia has been established, Pindostan’s “political Pearl Harbor.” The WaPo published an op-ed column Sunday by Jennifer Palmieri, former spox for the Clinton campaign, under the headline “The Clinton campaign warned you about Russia. But nobody listened to us.” Bemoaning the failure of the media to take up the allegations of connections between Trump and Russia during the election campaign, Palmieri declared:
Now that Trump is president, though, the stakes are higher, because the Russian plot succeeded. If Clinton had won with the help of the Russians, the Republicans would have impeachment proceedings underway for treason. No doubt. Instead, dealing with Russia falls nearly solely on Democrats’ shoulders.
Palmieri concluded, echoing Schumer, that every issue addressed in Congress should be tied to demands for the formation of an independent commission into the Trump-Russia connection. She concluded:
Congress critturs should use every procedural tool available to force votes on such a commission.