With hearings starting today, the House Intelligence Committee will begin its inquiry into allegations of Russia's meddling into the 2016 election. Democrats, including Rep. Adam B. Schiff (California) - the committee's ranking member - as well as Reps. Jim Himes (Connecticut) and Jackie Speier (California) have predictably threatened to "walk away" from the table altogether if Republicans stonewall "legitimate lines of investigation."
But by their definition, the investigation can only be "legitimate" if it perpetuates innuendo, promotes baseless accusations and supports the disclosure of leaks to the liberal media. Otherwise, Democrats will declare a cover-up without having to present any real facts or credible evidence of wrongdoing.
Never mind that Republicans in Congress, much of the media, and even the Obama administration for a while did everything in their collective power to fully investigate the claims of Russia's interference in the election. Democrats just can't seem to accept that the evidence does not point to a crime or even hint at someone doing anything but what they were supposed to.
Their witch hunt is clearly a joke. So far, the only comical part is a retelling of the incident in which the FBI contacted the gang that couldn't shoot straight at the Democratic National Committee to inform them that they'd been hacked, only to be transferred to the general help desk. Yet, the geniuses at the DNC who did nothing at the time are some of the same people insisting there was malfeasance with the Russians and the Trump campaign.
I hope the committee calls the DNC officials to testify about why this was considered trivial at the time but is momentous now. The reason is that President Donald Trump beat them and they can't get over it. They have shrill leaders and no real plans, so they whine and gin up faux outrage that just turns voters off.
What began as Democrats deflecting attention away from their candidate's notorious "missing" emails quickly evolved into unsubstantiated, yet widely reported claims by the left that Russia somehow colluded with Trump at Hillary Clinton's expense. Sensing an opportunity to leverage the rage of the so-called "resistance," Democrats kicked the witch hunt into high gear.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn even resigned from his position despite not having done anything remotely illegal. And now, Democrats are trying to demonize Attorney General Jeff Sessions for simply dismissing the notion that he was somehow in cahoots with Russian officials during the campaign.
The only "legitimate lines of investigation" they are interested in are those that happen to paint the president and his staff as literal agents of the Russian government. But nothing will come of these allegations. They are not true, and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. The Democrats' only remaining option is to pivot and attempt a dramatic walkout. No one should act surprised. It's all so predictable.
It has been said that when you're winning and have the facts on your side, stress logic and simplicity. When you are losing, distort, distract and appeal to emotions. Well, the Democrats were issued a devastating loss in 2016 and things are only going to get worse as a result.
Without much recourse left, the Democrats are ratcheting up their efforts to discredit the election. They will pressure Republicans to support the formation of a costly, lengthy select kangaroo committee or independent investigation that, in the end, won't produce a thing. And if they don't, more leaks and baseless claims will follow.
The story isn't over, not by a long shot. But Republicans should not take the bait.
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• 12/21/16: The Russians weren't that good; the Obama administration was that bad
• 09/19/16: Trump's economic plan is a good start
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• 05/23/16: Three reasons Bernie Sanders should stay in the race
• 05/17/16: Obama calling the kettle black
• 03/29/16: Can we talk about Ted Cruz?
• 03/10/16: After Tuesday's results, all eyes are on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell