CNN is now confirming what we've all suspected for a while now: House Republican caucus and committee leaders have been in regular communications with the coup-attempting Donald Trump, keeping him personally up to date on the status of committees and investigations launched to help cover up Trump’s suspected crimes.
"Not only are Trump, his aides and close allies regularly apprised of Republicans’ committee work, they also at times exert influence over it," reports CNN. And those communications have "emerged as a crucial method for Trump to shape Republicans’ priorities in their newly-won House majority."
It's long been evident that House Republicans have seen their defenses of Donald Trump's often criminal-seeming acts as their top priority—and if there's any priority number two, it's certainly not evident. House Republican have made efforts to scuttle Trump's impeachment for the extortion of the Ukrainian government and block investigations of the Trump's Jan. 6 rally and the resulting attempted insurrection, refused to testify about their own acts leading up to and during the coup attempt, created a new committee devoted to "investigating" those that who have investigated Trump, and demanded that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg turn over all evidence in his own investigation of Trump's hush money payments and the possible criminal cover-up of those payments. Republicans have been all-in in their efforts to sabotage any and all investigations of Trump.
CNN's report puts a new spin on it, however. It's not just that House Republicans have volunteered themselves as Trump's personal saboteurs. They've been coordinating with Trump himself, even two years after Trump left office following his attempted coup.
CNN names Rep. Elise Stefanik as Trump's "key point person" in House leadership, reporting that she and Trump "spoke several times last week alone, where she walked him through the GOP’s plans for an aggressive response to Bragg." House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan and Trump also "speak regularly," and Trump "has been regularly briefed" on what Oversight Committee Chair James Comer is working on.
The news that House Republicans have been in constant communication with Donald Trump as they mounted their new attack on Bragg would seem to be even more evidence that Jordan, Comer, and House Republican leadership are mounting the "investigation" of Bragg's case specifically so that they can share confidential information about Bragg's evidence and witnesses with Donald Trump. That's been a long-running game among Trump's House defenders. House Republicans invariably respond to investigations of possible crimes by Trump by exposing and then publicly demonizing witnesses and investigators, often by encouraging hoaxes and false claims against their targets.
So, yes. Jordan and other Republicans have been in constant touch with Trump as they formulated their attacks on Bragg. And yes, it does appear that there's a direct pipeline in place that will feed whatever confidential information about Bragg's case to Trump's lawyers and Trump himself. It's not obstruction of justice if Jordan does it!
What's still not clear in any of this is just why Jordan and the rest of Republicanism continues to live inside Trump's boxer shorts. Trump has been out of office for two years. Trump left office as the first American president to attempt a coup rather than give up power. Hundreds of police officers were attacked inside the U.S. Capitol as his insurrectionist mob battled their way towards the joint session of Congress that was held to formalize Trump's loss. Trump is currently facing state lawsuits and investigations related to rape, bank fraud, campaign finance crimes, and a pressure campaign against Georgia election officials encouraging them to alter vote totals.
At any point, any at all, House Republicans could have cut Trump loose. It would have been easy. Jordan could have hopped up to a podium and said, "I'm sorry, we Republicans can overlook a whole lot of creepy-ass crimes but this dude is too much. We're out." Anyone could have said it. Trump only has power over the entire Republican Party if the entire Republican Party gives it to him. If Fox News, the conservative conference circuit, and the aimless wanderers of the Republican House and Senate caucuses declared Trump to be a Secret Liberal or in league with groomers or take-your-pick, history suggests the Republican base would go along with it without much complaint. A new Dear Leader gets chosen, photos of the last one get airbrushed away, done.
But no—for some reason, Republicans are more unified behind this golf-cheating blowhard then they've been around any other figure in the party's modern history. It's George W. Bush who's been sent off to paint pictures of dogs. Donald Trump, on the other hand, gets constant updates on what precisely each elected Republican sycophant is doing to benefit him on any given day.
There's something about the constantly lying, cheating, whining grievance machine that convinces Republicans that Donald Trump, of all people, is the savior the party has been waiting for all along. That's just ... ew.
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