Will Republicans Take This Opportunity To Break From Trump Over Russia?

In light of General Michael Flynn’s resignation over his communications with a Russian official, members of Congress have called for a 9/11 style commission to investigate Trump’s ties with Russia. The term “9/11 style commission” has become the buzzword of Washington, used by top Democrats, even by some Republican members of Congress. With a possible issue of national security looming in the background, Republican leaders need to take this opportunity to publicly and forcefully investigate Trump’s ties with Russia.

Despite what Trump said in his recent grandiose press conference, Flynn’s call to Russia was likely made public to many White House staffers before it was initially leaked to the press. If more White House officials were involved in the call, the public deserves to know. The effort by this administration to withhold information from the public regarding Russia foreshadows a potential era of secrecy. It is imperative that Republicans recognize that the unearthing of Trump’s relationship with Russia is of far greater importance than following the president obsequiously. Therefore, Republicans need to diverge from the current “Russia-friendly” agenda that we have seen so carried out so far by the Trump administration.

While most Republicans are circumventing Trump’s ties to Russia for fear of political backlash, some Republican leaders are stepping up.

For instance, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told ABC News, “If there are contacts between Trump officials and Russian intelligence operatives during the campaign, we need a joint select committee in Congress to get to the bottom of it and also look at Trump’s business ties to Russia if it is true.”

Additionally, in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) suggested that his bill to create a commission to investigate Russian hacking in the election had received a Republican co-sponsor from North Carolina. Having a Republican support this commission raises the question of whether or not more Republicans will follow suit and confront the Trump administration or continue to remain silent out of fear of an early morning Twitter attack.

So, will more Republicans speak out against this administration’s suspicious ties to Russia? Not likely. Republicans are too busy looking at politics as a zero-sum game rather than addressing the national security issue at stake. The Republican Party continues to portray this act of unity by standing by President Trump. However, they have an obligation to the American people to continue to protect our country and listen to their constituents. Our government’s ties to Russia could lead to a possible national security crisis if we continue to favor Russia by exploiting our traditionally close ties. The current the Intel investigations in the House and Senate should be called into question seeing as they’re overlooked by James Comey and newly elected Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who are likely to not be the ones to defy President Trump. With Congress issued to be the “checks and balances” of this new president, it is imperative that Republican leaders do not sit back and allow President Trump to continue to pull their strings at the cost of national security and their constituents interests.  

Ultimately, however, the preeminent issue is not Flynn’s call with Russia, but Trump’s potentially clandestine ties to Russia. If Republicans fail to sufficiently investigate these new revelations, they will be ignoring the concerns of their constituents in town halls across the country, and the Trump administration will continue on its trajectory of surreptitious behavior. 

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