Now *Senate* Intelligence Committee Dicking Around On Trump-Russia. Awesome.
We thought they were the adults in the room.
We had such great hopes for the Senate Intelligence Committee, when its leaders Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) gave a joint presser announcing that their investigation was going to be mature and bipartisan and not full of the dumbass hijinks of the House Intelligence Committee. This is the Senate, dammit, where they don't act like a bunch of five-year-olds. Senators are required by law to act like they're AT LEAST 12.
We're not saying our hopes are completely dashed, but it's disheartening to learn that, according to Michael Isikoff of Yahoo!, they're acting like kindergartners, and when we say "they," we mean Trump-supporting committee chair Richard Burr:
The committee has yet to issue a single subpoena for documents or interview any key witnesses who are central to the probe, the sources said. It also hasn’t requested potentially crucial evidence — such as the emails, memos and phone records of the Trump campaign — in part because the panel’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has so far failed to respond to requests from the panel’s Democrats to sign letters doing so, the sources said.
“The wheels seem to be turning more slowly than the importance of the inquiry would indicate,” said Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the 9/11 commission and former Watergate prosecutor, one of a number of veteran Washington investigators who have begun to question the lack of movement in the probe.
Hmmmmm! If we do a flashback to the presser Burr and Warner did the day before the committee held its first public hearings (and its only ones, so far), we see that Burr said their investigation would go "wherever the intelligence leads us," but we guess there's no danger of sliding down a slippery slope of "wherever the intelligence leads us," if you refuse to sign letters asking to see important evidence.
That laziness extends to subpoenas, to get those slimy Trumper asses into witness chairs. But unfortunately it sounds like Senator Warner, the very nice Democratic vice chair of the committee, is being a pussy:
... Warner’s handling of the probe has led to grumbling among some of his Democratic colleagues that he has been too reluctant to challenge Burr and press for more aggressive action — for fear of undercutting the perception that he and the Republican chairman are working cooperatively together. “He’s been afraid to even bring up the S-word,” said one source familiar with the details of the investigation, referring to the panel’s authority to issue subpoenas for documents.
OMG, Warner, just grow a dick and slap Burr with it.
According to Isikoff's reporting, Warner is possibly thinking about at least forming an exploratory committee to think about determining the potential ramifications of growing a dick and slapping Burr with it:
There are signs Warner’s patience is starting to wear thin. Warner “is not satisfied, with the pace of the investigation and he doesn’t think it’s moving fast enough,” a committee source tells Yahoo News. “He would like to have seen more hearings and more interviews with witnesses.”
Ugh, gentlemen? TIME IS A-WASTING, and the Russian spies are IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
As to what the committee is ACTUALLY doing, the answer is not a whole lot. Right now, a few aides are reading documents related to the intelligence community's assessment that Vladimir Putin directed the hacking of the 2016 election, and we're sure they are highlighting and underlining lots of stuff that sounds interesting, or maybe they're just drawing smiley faces in the margins to make it look like they're doing work.
And they're not even approaching those in the Trump circle who have actually made offers to testify -- you know, the ones who really want to cut deals so they can go to the fun, cushy jail where you can have as much Capri Sun as you want and sometimes the wardens let you stay up after bedtime:
Moreover, the committee also hasn’t even approached potentially key witnesses to schedule interviews with them. Manafort, Stone and Page have all publicly volunteered to be questioned by the committee staff. But so far, the committee seems stuck in a version of Catch-22: It has yet to follow up on those offers, in large part because it doesn’t want to interview them until it has reviewed their documents and emails, which the committee hasn’t asked for. (Flynn, through his lawyer, also has offered to talk but only until he first receives immunity — a step the committee is in no rush to even consider.)
Oh, for Christ's sake.
The House Intelligence Committee is vaguely showing signs of life, now that Devin Nunes has recused himself, just for maybe divulging classified information during that week he was so famous, for going to the White House in the dead of night to look at "information" about people doing "wire tapps" to Trump, which he then immediately shared with the White House, and also reporters, but not his own colleagues. The House committee has asked former acting attorney general Sally Yates to testify publicly, and has also invited FBI Director James Comey and NSA chief Mike Rogers back for a closed session. So ... maybe there is hope there again, sorta kinda?
Or maybe there is no hope and America is doomed, happy Monday and stuff.
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