Email #95, Subject: “the very serious allegations”?

Most Republicans are ignoring the President’s allegation that his offices were wiretapped by the Obama administration during the election.

Republican Senator Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “We don’t have anything today that would send us in that direction.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “There’s no evidence of that – I’ve not heard that before.”

Republican Senator John Cornyn said: “I don’t know what the basis of his statement is.”

And Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he was “not sure what it is that he is talking about” and that he was “not sure what the genesis of that statement was.”

As you must know, the allegation is based on an article the President read on Breitbart.com. “Mark Levin to Congress: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump” references a single, anonymous, unconfirmed, non-U.S. source. When FBI Director James Comey heard, he was “incredulous” and said that “institutionally he has to push back on this,” calling for the Justice department to publicly refute the President’s claim.

Why then did you write to Director Comey, requesting a briefing “on the very serious allegations that the President and/or his associates were or are under surveillance”? Why did you state that the allegations came “from the President himself” instead of referencing the Breitbart article? Why did you evoke the House Judiciary Committee’s “jurisdiction over … the Wiretap Act” when there is no record that any wiretap occurred?

When you voted against the resolution of inquiry into the President’s conflicts of interest including ties to Russia, you said the House Judiciary Committee “can and will investigate any credible allegation of misconduct by the administration.” If concerns over his conflicts of interest are not “credible,” how then can you support the President’s less founded allegation? You called the resolution of inquiry “unnecessary” and “premature.” By your standards then, your request to Director Comey is even more unnecessary and even more premature.

When you proposed an amendment that would have altered the Office of Congressional Ethics, you said it was to “prevent frivolous complaints and allow the OCE to focus their time and energy on legitimate complaints.” You said that “responding to an anonymous accusation drags good people’s names through the mud.” President Trump’s frivolous complaint is based on an anonymous source that is dragging President Obama’s name through the mud, and yet you have asked the FBI to focus time and energy on it—even though the FBI Director has already publicly stated that he does not consider the complaint legitimate.

You said in your letter to Director Comey: “An independent FBI and Justice Department are essential to a functioning Republic. Our fellow citizens must have confidence in the thoroughness and evenhandedness of our investigatory and prosecutorial agencies. In the past, some of the undersigned have lamented the appearance of a multitrack justice system. The same laws must apply to each of us.”

While I strongly agree with those statements, your letter itself violates them. It shows that you have your own “multitrack justice system” which you apply according to the political parties of the accusers and accused. You demonstrate no “evenhandedness” and are preventing your constituents from having any confidence in your investigatory integrity.

Why are you flagrantly violating your own stated principles on an issue that the rest of your party has dismissed?  Why are you jeopardizing our functioning Republic?

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

One thought on “Email #95, Subject: “the very serious allegations”?”

  1. Goodlatte is no longer capable of evenhandedness. Been in Congress too long. removed mentally from “reality” and legislating. As a friend said, “he has gone over to the dark side.”

    Like

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