Mitch McConnell just got backed into a corner

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We all knew that no matter how openly corrupt Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was, she was never going to be criminally prosecuted while Donald Trump still had control of the DOJ. Whether Trump cared about Chao’s fate or not, he was going to protect her, in order to keep her spouse Mitch McConnell happy, because Trump needed McConnell.

With Trump gone, the DOJ is now free to prosecute any holdover criminal cases it sees fit. But it’s widely expected that any such major decisions won’t be made until Attorney General Merrick Garland takes office. Of course he was nominated six weeks ago, and the Republican Senate is still going through the last of its procedural moves to stall his confirmation.

This brings us back to Mitch McConnell. It’s his Republican Senate doing the stalling on Garland. And now we know that it’s his wife who’s facing potential criminal prosecution once Garland is confirmed. McConnell has been publicly supporting the Garland nomination. But it stands to reason that the Republican Senators who have been stalling on Garland are doing his bidding, at his instruction. Keep in mind that Trump surely tipped off McConnell that Chao was facing criminal investigation when the referral was made in December.

Here’s the thing, though. It seems more than plausible that the DOJ leaked this about Elaine Chao tonight specifically because it wanted to back Mitch McConnell into a corner. Now, if his Republican Senate does anything else to stall the Merrick Garland nomination, it’ll be widely seen as an attempt at corruptly protecting Chao. It’s McConnell’s move now. But we’re left to wonder if his GOP Senate henchmen will suddenly back off from stalling Garland any further.

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