Goodlatte ignored Steve King’s racism last year. Will he speak out now?

Congressman Steve Stivers of Ohio, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has had enough of his fellow Republican, the white nationalist Congressman Steve King of Iowa.

Congressman Stivers, a principled Republican, stands in contrast to Congressman Goodlatte, who ignored evidence of King’s racial bigotry in January 2017 and appointed him as chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, declaring: “His expertise on many of the issues facing our nation and the committee make him well-suited to serve as chairman of the Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee. I look forward to working with him as we seek to safeguard Americans’ liberties and promote an efficient and just legal system.”

Mourning and praying is not enough, Congressman

After the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Congressman Goodlatte posted the following tweet:

And that, apparently, is that. What’s infuriating is that Goodlatte– as chair of the House Judiciary Committee– is in a unique position to do something more.

The Hill reports:

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are calling for an emergency hearing focused on the “unprecedented” white supremacist-inspired violence in the U.S.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) sent a letter Monday to Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asking him to hold a hearing to examine recent hate-inspired violence, saying it is the panel’s duty to look into such matters.

The Democratic lawmakers pointed to three recent incidents from last week: 11 people killed by a gunman in a synagogue in Pittsburgh; more than a dozen explosive devices sent to prominent Democratic political figures; and the deaths of two African-Americans in Kentucky who were shot and killed by a gunman who allegedly tried to carry out a larger-scale attack at a predominately black church.

“In the past week, our nation has borne witness to three acts of terror,” the lawmakers wrote to Goodlatte. “This groundswell of violence includes both the largest attempted mass assassination of prominent political figures in American history and the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history. Each of these acts was carried out by an individual understood to espouse white supremacist views.”

“Whether it manifests itself as racism or anti-Semitism or xenophobia, white supremacy is white supremacy,” they added. “In its modern form, it motivates a fluid and particularly virulent form of domestic terrorism. It must be stopped.”

The lawmakers also chided Goodlatte for failing to hold a hearing on the matter sooner, stating that they requested a hearing on white-supremacist violence after the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. last year.

There is a “cost to this inaction,” they wrote, pointing to a rise in incidents of antisemitism in the U.S.
…..
A Republican House Judiciary Committee aide told The Hill that “there are no hearings planned at this time.” The aide also noted that the House passed a resolution this year condemning hate crimes.

(You can read the Democrats’ entire letter here.)

Toothless resolutions are nice. But it seems a serious investigation of the far right’s role in inspiring domestic terrorism is not exactly a priority for many Republicans. So there will be no hearings. And Bob Goodlatte will finish out his 26 years in Congress by once again putting party ahead of country.

Stingy Bob Goodlatte

Even though he is not running for reelection, and is sitting on a huge pile of campaign cash, Congressman Goodlatte has been rather tight-fisted when it comes to helping his fellow Republicans in the 2018 election.

Politico reports:

House GOP leaders, fearful of the staggering amount of cash fueling Democratic candidates this cycle, are leaning on safe and retiring members to pony up to save the House.

…..

The drive, according to four senior Republican lawmakers and aides, is focused on members with easy reelection campaigns or who are retiring from Congress next year — people sitting on piles of cash that could be used to save vulnerable incumbents. Leaders are targeting some powerful outgoing chairmen, typically the most prolific fundraisers, who haven’t met their annual required “dues” to the [National Republican Congressional Committee], according to multiple sources.

Those in the doghouse include:

…..

  • Retiring Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has $637,000 in his campaign account, has transferred $25,000 from that account and $30,000 from his leadership PAC, much less than what’s expected of chairmen. Last cycle he transferred more than $300,000 from both accounts.

…..

“Our colleagues need money,” said one source… “We’re getting outraised by Democrats and we have members sitting on money.”

 

Goodlatte: “The Trump Administration has no excuse for not complying…”

As his final term in Congress winds down, Congressman Goodlatte may have developed something like a backbone when it comes to standing up to President Trump.

Very late, but better late than never.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today called on the Trump Administration to consult Congress immediately regarding the refugee ceiling for the coming year as required by law. Earlier this week, Department of State Secretary Mike Pompeo announced the fiscal year 2019 refugee ceiling without having first consulted with Congress.

Congressman Goodlatte:
“The law is clear: the Administration must consult with Congress prior to the President’s determination of the annual refugee ceiling. But this did not happen this year, and the Trump Administration has no excuse for not complying with their obligation under the law. There is a real question as to whether the President can even set a number of refugees that carries the weight of law unless it is done after an appropriate consultation with Congress. Leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committee have worked in good faith for weeks to schedule a consultation, and I call on the Trump Administration to provide the Committees with a consultation immediately.

“The Administration’s lack of consultation underscores once again why this process is fundamentally flawed and why the refugee program is in need of reform. Congress, not the President, should set the annual refugee ceiling. The refugee program is currently the only immigration benefit program with an annual limit that is not determined by Congress. Immigration and Border Security Chairman Raul Labrador and I have introduced the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act, which has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. This bill, among many other provisions, gives Congress the authority to set the refugee ceiling. The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act maintains our nation’s generosity toward those in need and prevents bad actors from gaming the system.”

More from the Congressman’s son

Reacting to the news that FBI agent Peter Strzok has been fired after a contentious Congressional hearing co-chaired by Congressman Goodlatte, Bobby Goodlatte lets us know what he thinks of his father’s actions.

strzok

The Washington Post reports:

Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing Friday, even though the director of the FBI office that normally handles employee discipline had decided Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI’s repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process.

“This isn’t the normal process in any way more than name,” Goelman said, adding in a statement, “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”

And this from a reporter for Politico:

Goodlatte resumes FBI-bashing

If Congressman Goodllatte took (for him) a critical view of President Trump’s disgraceful performance at the Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, he has wasted little time scurrying back into line with the White House.

A July 23 editorial in The Washington Post provides details:

The Justice Department on Saturday released the warrant applications that investigators submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asking for permission to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page. Mr. Trump and his enablers have made the documents central to their claims of FBI bias in its conduct of the Russia probe. In fact, the documents show that the investigative process was sound and the Republican narrative is paranoid, cynical or both.

Participating in the degradation on Sunday was House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who insisted that “there is a serious problem with the FBI” presenting a warrant application that, he claimed, was based on the so-called Steele dossier, a collection of mostly unverified reports about the behavior of Mr. Trump and his associates. As he echoed this line, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said “the warrant, the FISA warrant process needs to be looked at closely by Congress.”

Mr. Goodlatte is a key overseer of the nation’s legal affairs. Mr. Graham served in the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps. Both should know better than to assist in the trashing of a legitimate federal law enforcement operation.

Goodlatte’s persistent efforts to undercut the FBI investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign are not news to readers of this blog. But at least one Republican with a genuine commitment to the truth has a different take:

“You have an individual here who has openly bragged about his ties to Russia,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said of Mr. Page. “And the FBI’s job is to protect this country from threats. . . . So they look at all this information. They say: We have a guy here who’s always in Russia, brags about Russia, and we have reason to believe — and they list those reasons — why this is someone we should be watching. And they followed the legal process by which to do so.”

… How many Republicans will continue to abet this wanton attack on the Justice Department and the judiciary — on American democracy?

No matter how many, it appears Goodlatte will be among them.