Why An Independent Commission On Russia is Coming

So far, it seems a split is growing in the GOP over the president, and some are just tired of spinning stories and avoiding questions, every day. No, I’m not going to add to the flood of Comey articles that abound in the wake of his odd firing, I just want to summarize the change in weather patterns.

Within hours of Comey’s firing, Congressman and House Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash (R-MI) called the president’s letter “bizarre.” Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) lamented that he “just can’t… find an acceptable rationale for the timing,” while Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) echoed that sentiment, saying “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning.” Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) also called it “very troubling,” as Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said it only confirmed the need for an independent investigation.

We’ll see how this plays out.

However, something does seem to being missed in this constantly changing news cycle: the political winds are shifting toward establishing an independent commission to investigate the Russia’s election meddling. In Rep. Amash’s tweet about the president’s “bizarre” letter, he himself said his staff is “reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia.” Meanwhile, both Senators McCain and Lindsay Graham called for one a month ago.

Regardless of where this latest storm lands, far too many questions exist to ignore. And, the Senators just want answers.

It’s probably for the best, since confidence in either side appears to be stretched thin, although the Senate hearings have been full of mutual admiration for civility and “bipartisanship.” Unfortunately, it’s turned CSPAN into MTV Real Life for political junkies like us, and a source of fodder for the president’s twitter feed. An independent commission could work mostly out of the sight of cameras and able to focus on their work.

An independent commission requires an act of Congress, and this likely won’t be difficult to pass. The president could veto the measure, but the number of Republicans wanting an independent commission is growing, and we know the Democrats won’t turn it down. A veto will not stop a commission, if Congress wants one.

I am as frustrated as anyone that these distractions continue, seemingly every day. I’ve made no secret of my distaste for our president since the day he announced his candidacy two years ago. But, here we are, in control of 31 states, the US Senate, the House and (so far) the presidency. I’ll take the wins where and when we can get them. Instead of working on taxation, true health care reform, overhauling government regulation, honest and humane immigration reform, or Article V campaigns, we’re more galvanized than ever. No one wants to talk to the other side, let alone vote for compromises in legislation. Every day, there’s another bombshell story, mistake, or flat out lie that we must rationalize and talk our way around.

I’m sick of it. I want to get something done.

Hopefully, an independent commission can lift the heaviest burden from the House and Senate intel committees, and supplement the work of the DOJ and (hopefully still) the FBI in getting to the bottom of these countless questions. Maybe then, the Senate and House can show Americans why they trusted them time and again to take the reins and prove our policies work better for everyone.

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Ed Willing

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