Email #225: “Rest assured”?

The eighth member of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting was revealed on Tuesday: Irakly Kaveladze, a Russian financier investigated for money laundering after he created over 100 bank accounts and 2,000 shell companies in Delaware to move hundreds of millions of his Russian clients’ money overseas.

While this is of great interest to Special Counsel Mueller, Mueller also gave the Senate Judiciary Committee permission on Tuesday to interview anyone who was at the June 9 meeting. The Committee’s leading Democrat, Senator Feinstein, said they intend to invite both Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Though both men have said they are willing to cooperate with investigations, Republican Senator Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warns he will subpoena both if they decline his Committee’s invitations.

Meanwhile, your House Judiciary Committee remains unaccountably inactive. Do you plan to issue invitations too? Have you, like your Senate counterpart, met with Mueller to arrange deconfliction, the congressional practice of coordinating with ongoing federal investigations? Have you made any kind of contact with Mueller at all?

Your disinterest in the Special Counsel is striking given how proactive you have appeared regarding other recent executive branch investigations. In March when two immigrant teens were accused of rape in Maryland, you wrote to the head of Homeland Security just “to request information” and to offer your “legislative and other resources that would aid your mission,” requesting from him “any such legislative changes that your Department would like to see.” You wrote a similar letter in April after the murder of a Roanoke resident, again just “to request information,” promising to “remain close contact as the investigation continues to unfold.”

Why then are you not requesting information from the Special Counsel? Why are you not offering your legislative and other resources? Why are you not asking for legislative changes that his office would like to see? Why are you not remaining in close contact as the investigation unfolds?

You wrote to me in May: “Rest assured I will work to ensure this investigation is conducted in an impartial and appropriate manner.” But what work have you done in the last two months to carry out this promise? Please list the steps you have taken to oversee the investigation.

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.

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