It’s was suspicious enough that Donald Trump’s old friend and serial child rapist Jeffrey Epstein just happened to die of an “apparent suicide” while in the custody of Trump’s Department of Justice. It became far more of a problem when Trump began accusing Bill and Hillary Clinton of having somehow murdered Epstein. Now even members of Trump’s own party are trying to distance themselves from the fallout from whatever this is turning into.
We knew that the Democratic majority on the House Judiciary Committee would dive into Epstein’s death as an oversight matter – and sure enough, they did just that today by formally demanding answers from the Department of Justice Inspector General. What’s intriguing is that the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are seeking answers to the same questions, as part of a bipartisan letter.
Why does this matter? Normally, the House Republicans simply align themselves with whatever offensive, dishonest, or outright insane position Donald Trump ends up landing on. But in this instance, they’re not willing to defend Trump’s assertion that the Clinton’s magically had Epstein murdered while he was in the custody of Trump’s government. Instead, they’re staking themselves to the position that there’s something very wrong with how Trump’s DOJ handled Epstein’s fate.
That doesn’t mean the House GOP has suddenly been scared straight, and will now start doing the right thing because it’s the right thing. There’s no chance of that. What it does mean is that on this particular issue, the House GOP fears that things are going to turn so profoundly ugly for Donald Trump and Bill Barr, they’re already trying to find a way to keep the fallout from landing on them too.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report