GOP’s late to the game

High-ranking Republicans are standing up to Trump—finally

A handful of congressional Republicans have finally worked up the courage to stand up to President Trump’s efforts to neuter the investigation into his campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.

This week, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, among others, went on the record to suggest that efforts from the Oval Office to impede the inquiry would result in a “constitutional crisis” that likely would end in impeachment proceedings.

Their comments follow a series of recent events showing the president is pushing for an early end to the probe, including firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It began with the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday (March 19), just days before his planned retirement, a vindictive move that makes him ineligible for his full pension after decades of federal service. The next day, via Twitter, Trump attacked McCabe and James Comey, the former head of the FBI, whom he fired last May. On Monday, the president called the investigation a “total witch hunt” that should “never have been started.”

Perhaps the biggest signal from Trump, whose tweets appear to serve as trial balloons, is that, for the first time, he directly invoked Mueller’s name. Meanwhile, POTUS’ personal attorney, John Dowd, issued a statement calling for the Justice Department to end the probe.

While it’s comforting to see Republicans put their foot down on Trump’s blatant executive overreach, we have one comment for them: It’s about damn time. Where were they 10 months ago when Comey was fired? Why had they remained silent for the better part of a year, as Trump consistently used his position to undermine the credibility of the nation’s federal intelligence agencies? Indeed, the nation is already in a constitutional crisis. The GOP is just late to the game.

As Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina succinctly said in response to Trump’s attorney’s statement: “If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it.”