With Donald Trump’s legal prospects growing worse for him with each passing day, we’re seeing a number of prominent Republicans in Congress quietly but unmistakably try to distance themselves from his sinking ship. It’s not that they’ve necessarily had a crisis of conscience, but rather that when Trump’s presidency implodes, they don’t want any of it to land on them. This process is serving to expose the Republicans who are caught in Trump’s criminal scandals and coverups. Suddenly, Mitch McConnell has been placed on the hot seat by his own party.
This week, four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to formally commit themselves to Donald Trump’s demise when they voted in favor of a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s job. This included Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, who have at times strongly aligned themselves with Trump. But now they’ve made it official that they want Mueller to be able to finish the job of taking Trump down. Why the change of heart? You’d have to ask them.
These Senate Republicans chose to advance this bill out of committee even after Mitch McConnell publicly stated that he wouldn’t allow the bill to come to a full Senate vote. Now that the committee has done it anyway, McConnell is basically alone on this. If he still refuses to allow it to come to a full vote, it’ll hang solely around his neck, and it’ll paint him as being so guilty in the Trump-Russia scandal that he’s willing to look suspicious in a desperate last ditch effort at protecting himself.
Even though Mitch McConnell appears to personally despise Donald Trump, he’s tried to protect Trump from scandal every step of the way. It was McConnell who threatened to publicly accuse President Obama of partisanship if he exposed Russian meddling during the election. Trump then appointed McConnell’s scandal-plagued wife to his cabinet. Somewhere in there, McConnell took $2.5 million in barely legal Super PAC money from a Kremlin oligarch with dual U.S. citizenship. We may be about to find out what else McConnell is hiding.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report