Everyday, Easy Cowardice (Palmetto Virtue Edition)

#rapeculture | #WhatTheyVotedFor

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC04) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, 6 January 2016, before the start of the committee's closed-door hearing. The House committee is looking into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya and is interviewing former CIA director David Petraeus as the investigation enters its third calendar year, and a presidential election year. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

The report from Griffin Connolly, for Roll Call, might not be surprising—

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will not initiate an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump, he signaled in a letter Tuesday.

—but it seems worth pointing out that Republicans are not even trying. Nor is this a new phenomenon; it just seems especially relevant.

More than one hundred house members signed a letter to the House Oversight Committee leadership asking for an investigation into claims of sexual harassment and abuse by President Donald Trump; Chairman Gowdy (R-SC04) has passed the letter to the Department of Justice on the grounds that the allegations would “constitute crimes”:Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser for veterans organizations, 28 January 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc)

“This Committee, nor any other Committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes,” Gowdy’s letter said. “We are sending a copy of your letter to the Department of Justice albeit with the understanding the Department does not have jurisdiction over state law violations.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA14) reiterated that the House Rule X authorizes investigation into “anything at any time”. And while Mr. Gowdy, a former state solicitor and U.S. Attorney, knows well about the dangers of dissembly, as well as how to both accuse and commit such turpitude. Indeed, note the disrespect of his flaccid dismissal. He is not even trying; sexual abuse apparently is not important to the former federal prosecutor.

Should we even bother with a show of hands about DoJ? Attorney General Jeff Sessions can probably be cornered into pretending to take something seriously, but the present Congressional cowardice is intended to bury the issue.


Image notes: Top — House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP Photo).  Right — Donald Trump appears at a campaign event in January, 2016. (Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc)

Connolly, Griffin. “Gowdy Will Not Initiate Oversight Investigation Into Trump Allegations”. Roll Call. 13 December 2017.

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