During a break during former FBI Director James Comey’s heated closed-door testimony on Capitol Hill on Friday, incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler confirmed to reporters what many had already suspected: That Nadler (and probably his fellow Democratic leaders) would put the kibosh on the House’s investigation into alleged political bias at the highest levels of the FBI and DOJ as they launched an investigation into the Trump campaign – an investigation that eventually morphed into the Mueller probe.
While Democrats prepare to ramp up investigations into everything from Trump’s “war on the media” to his involvement in his family business, Nadler told a group of reporters that he intends to end the House Judiciary Committee’s involvement in the Congressional probe as soon as he takes the reins next year.
Asked why he intends to end the committee’s involvement in the probe, Nadler responded that “it was a waste of time to begin with” and a “distraction” from the real-wrong doing here – that is, lawbreaking committed by Republicans, according to the Hill.
“Yes, because it is a waste of time to start with,” Nadler said in response to a question about whether he would end the probe. Nadler characterized the Republican investigation as a political sideshow that aims to distract from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“The entire purpose of this investigation is to be a diversion of the real investigation, which is Mueller. There is no evidence of bias at the FBI and this other nonsense they are talking about,” he continued.
If the House investigation into suspected FBI malfeasance is just a “sideshow”, as Nadler claims, how would he explain the fact that the FBI knew the allegations contained in the Steele dossier – the linchpin of the FBI’s FISA warrant application that kicked off the Russia probe in earnest – were bogus before applying for surveillance? Or the many conflicts of interest between senior FBI officials involved with the probe (Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, and, yes, Comey himself) – or the fact that McCabe was fired following after the DOJ’s inspector general confirmed that McCabe had lied under oath to try and conceal the fact that he told an FBI spokesman to leak a story about the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation just days before the election. McCabe could still face criminal charges from his lies. But Congress’s attempt to hold the FBI accountable is just a “distraction?”
But Nadler doesn’t have the power to end the investigation – which also involves the House Intelligence Committee – just yet. And before he takes control, Republicans are hoping to interview a few more people, including former attorney general Loretta Lynch.
Nadler then practiced some deflection himself by changing the subject to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.
“The real question now is Whitaker, [who] is still the acting attorney general,” Nadler said.
Nadler also said he has “lots of questions” for Whitaker, whom Democrats have branded as an illegitimate usurper who is conspiring to end the Mueller probe (despite taking zero steps to actually impede Mueller’s investigation).
But what’s wrong with a little deflection (so long as it serves your political purposes, that is)?