We’re constantly hearing about the House investigations into “President” Donald Trump’s criminal activities. Both the Judiciary and Intelligence committees are active and vocal, and we hear about their investigations on an almost daily basis. There is one committee, however, that is quietly moving about with its own investigations: the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
According to Politico, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is good at it, and has racked up quite a few wins. Foreign Affairs is investigating Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause and his conflicts of interest. This committee is very concerned with Trump’s relationship with Putin. Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) believes that “people are concerned to know the relationship between Putin and Trump,” and that’s one of the issues this committee is getting to, focusing closely on Trump’s refusal to admit Russia interfered in our elections and his reluctance to criticize Putin. Those things make Trump look guilty, and that concerns this committee.
Engel is strongly supported by his Republican counterpart, Mike McCaul (R-TX) with whom he has an extremely cordial working relationship. The committee is looking into things that we hear about, as well as some things we might not consider. For example, this committee has held hearings on Trump’s decision to circumvent Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, and McCaul backed Engel in legislation to block the Trump administration’s decision to lift sanctions on a Putin-connected Russian oligarch. They also opposed Trump’s plan to cut off aid to Central American countries.
Because this committee is so bipartisan in nature, it has successfully held negotiating sessions with Trump administration officials. As a result, the issues being investigated don’t come across as partisan and, as a result, have created interest on the part of Republicans. This committee has secured many documents without court battles or subpoenas, including securing an eight-hour interview with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just last month as part of their effort to gain insight into how Trump conducts himself in the world, both on camera and behind the scenes.
This is a very interesting approach. Instead of doing battle with Trump administration officials, this committee has secured the support of many Republicans who want to keep their involvement out of the public eye. Whether people agree with this approach or not, it has proven successful so far.
By going after the issues that aren’t “sexy” or seemingly partisan, the Foreign Affairs Committee is slowly working its way toward digging into even more of Trump’s dirt, especially claims of retaliation by Trump. The committee has amassed quite an arsenal of documents on this issue. Let’s face it: Trump has his dirty little hands in many cookie jars, and any number of them could cost him dearly even if they don’t end his “presidency.” Most Americans want to see Trump pay for all he has done to harm our democracy and us. Does it matter how that’s done? If this committee is successful in its quiet investigations, the end result is the same: Out with Trump.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years