When Republicans control Congress and a Democrat is president, it’s all investigation all the time. It doesn’t matter if any of the stuff they’re investigating is genuinely scandalous or not. They just keep at it, month after endless month.
With a Republican about to take over the White House, we all expected this to come to a halt. But as usual, Republicans aren’t satisfied with just letting their investigatory fever quietly fade away. They have to take it a step further:
House Republicans, defying their top leaders, voted Monday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail.
The move to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics was not public until late Monday, when Representative Robert Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House Republican Conference had approved the change with no advance public notice or debate.
This is all happening at the same time that the most corrupt president in modern history—almost by definition—is about to take office. Donald Trump has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t care about conflict-of-interest allegations and plans to use the presidency to boost his family’s wealth by as much as the traffic will bear. Republicans in Congress have responded by making it clear that this is fine with them, and now the House is making it equally clear that they don’t intend to allow any serious investigations of corruption among their own members. It’s going to be a free-for-all, and nobody with any subpoena power will ever be allowed to touch any Republican.
I didn’t expect them to be quite so obvious about this. But apparently they just don’t care anymore.
UPDATE: BuzzFeed does a good job of summarizing what this change means:
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 3, 2017