As the Mueller investigation appears to zero in on President Trump himself, and as news emerges of Trump’s efforts to fire the special counsel last June, the President’s diehard defenders in Congress are in panic mode.
Among them is Congressman Goodlatte. As Politico reports:
On Fox News, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House committee that oversees the Justice Department and FBI, alleged an anti-Trump “conspiracy” by FBI agents whose text message exchanges have been made public in selective bursts by GOP lawmakers.
“Some of these texts are very disturbing,” Goodlatte said, adding, “They illustrate a conspiracy on the part of some people, and we want to know a lot more about that.”
Congressional Democrats say it’s no accident that the GOP probes have escalated as Mueller has homed in on Trump’s top allies. Reps. Adam Schiff of California, Jerry Nadler of New York and Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrats on three GOP-led committees unearthing internal FBI documents, say the Republican efforts smack of a partisan campaign to protect the president and sully the investigators who have questioned his behavior.
Noah Rothman, an editor for the conservative Commentary magazine, observed on NPR Friday morning: “Over the course of the last year, something has taken hold among Republican legislators and the Republican base that seems convinced that this President is a victim of a concerted effort behind the scenes by members of the FBI to sabotage this administration.”
Rothman said Congressional Republicans “got way out over their skis on this and suggested the conclusion that they were implying outright, which was that there was a concerted conspiracy, a shadow organization within the FBI, exposed by these anti-Trump texts from a former member of the counter-intelligence division of the FBI who ended up on the Mueller probe for about six weeks. And the suggestion was outright, from people like Representative Bob Goodlatte, that this was a conspiracy. Using that word. And we’ve since seen a lot of these texts in in their appropriate context, and it seems as if this was really overblown, to the point now where you have to wonder whether some credibility has been lost by these Republican members. And if you’re a Republican and a conservative, you should be furious over this.”
This isn’t the first time Goodlatte has squandered his credibility in support of Trump. I suspect it won’t be the last time before he exits Congress at the end of the year.