He met twice last year with the Russian ambassador in his capacity as a U.S. Senator. He espoused early support for the Trump presidential candidacy. When just an inkling of a potential conflict of interest was raised regarding now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he recused himself from the FBI’s “Russian collusion” investigation.
When House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes was revealed to have used a secure White House facility to review information he had received from intelligence insiders, he recused himself immediately to avoid any appearance of a conflict.
Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to conduct an independent investigation into the entire Russia matter, including the potentially nefarious and illegal actions of former FBI Director James Comey. He has apparently no qualms about their long and close friendship, though. These two consider themselves mentor and protege, hardly casual acquaintances.
Furthermore, Mueller has hired attorneys for the special counsel’s work who are known to have close professional and political ties with Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and other Democrats’ political campaigns.
No impropriety here. How dare their integrity be questioned! To them, there’s not even an appearance of impropriety. Nope. None.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just last year excoriated candidate Donald Trump, saying such things as she couldn’t bear to imagine her country under a President Trump. She described him in public as many things, not one of them positive. Yet she saw no problem with sitting for the Supreme Court case on the Trump “travel ban”.
She did vote to uphold the ban, but what about future cases? A precedent has been set for her supposed impartiality. She’s good to go.
Federal statutes don’t just suggest that a judge, executive branch appointee, or special counsel step aside due to an actual conflict of interest. They require it. These statutes don’t just cover actual conflicts of interest either. They also include the simple appearance of a conflict.
Yet, it seems the adherence to these requirements has become a one-sided affair. All we hear are calls from people out of power to remove, recuse, fire, impeach, investigate and otherwise neutralize those who don’t align with their objectives.
Republicans and Trump administration officials have regularly moved to remove any appearance of prejudice in investigations and rulings. They seem serious about the public having confidence in the integrity of the process, so they act accordingly. And they do it quickly and with little or no prompting.
Those pursuing issues involving President Trump, his associates, policies of the administration, and court cases related to such policies seem to have little concern about such conflicts, whether real or imagined. They are above the fray, you know.
It seems that only a very cold day in Hell could prompt a Democrat or an anti-Trumper of any ilk to call for someone to step aside.
Why the difference? Simple. One side wants to have a transparent, fair and legitimate process, and the other just wants results. Appearances be damned. The bottom line for these people is to reach their hoped for result.
After all, they share a disdain (to be generous) with the current direction of the country under an “illegitimate” regime. Do they believe their supporters don’t care about fairness or legitimacy? My guess is yes. To them, the means are justified by the ends they so desperately seek, and they are sure their minions across the country share that view.
It’s all good to them, because they believe their way is the right way. To them, those who disagree are destroying the country and represent an existential threat. They believe “working together” means acceding to their demands.
When we have celebrities, politicians, commentators and other influential forces saying the most over-the-top, damnedest things about resisting in any and every way possible, including fighting and killing if necessary, what other behavior should anyone expect?
When we first see any Democrat, or anyone else with a progressive, political axe to grind, call for a potential accomplice to step aside, we’ll all know they have thrown in the towel. Because, to them, nothing else is considered a qualifying condition.