Revelations that President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with the Russians during an Oval Office meeting last week seems to have little importance to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Today he attempted to minimize the story, claiming that he had no concerns that the President could handle classified materials given to him by the intelligence community.
But McConnell, whose wife Elaine Chao works as Trump’s Secretary of Transportation, is not only compromised but has already demonstrated how little the welfare of his nation concerns him as compared to his party.
Today The Hill published an opinion piece from Professor Mark Feinberg of Pennsylvania State University, arguing that McConnell should recuse himself from any decisions concerning the Senate’s oversight of the Trump-Russia investigation. In summary, Feinberg points out that because Trump pulls no punches when it comes to the retaliatory firing of individuals, McConnell should understand that even his voicing the possibility of supporting an independent investigation into Trump could lead to his wife’s untimely dismissal.
But it is unclear in the opinion piece from what position Feinberg thinks McConnell is supposed to recuse himself. He does not sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee which is currently investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. His decisions derive from his status as majority leader of the Senate.
McConnell undoubtedly is compromised and has demonstrated little concern about tip-toeing around the Constitution in order to solidify power. Indeed he is in no position to make decisions on how to approach the investigation. So the only logical way to address the problem is for McConnell to step down as Senate majority leader, effective immediately.
McConnell’s continued complicit behavior in the face of a nepotistic conflict of interest has disqualified him from continuing in his leadership position. The longer he avoids pressing for an independent investigation, however, the greater the pressure on him will increase.
There are signs that the Russia imbroglio’s distraction from the Republican’s current policy agenda has lit the fire beneath his feet. Perhaps–perhaps–McConnell will come to his senses and realize that the more he drags his feet, minimizes, and stonewalls what is a growing constitutional crisis, the more all that he and the rest of the GOP has worked for will implode.