While President Trump was preparing to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, the House Judiciary Committee was also doing something historic — though quieter, and apparently less deserving of headlines.
The 40-member committee killed a Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res. 111) introduced on Feb. 9 by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). The inquiry would have directed the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives documents relating to the president’s financial practices, including the administration’s possible ties to Russia.
Eighteen Republicans voted no. Sixteen Democrats voted yes. Six members of Congress didn’t vote at all.
Historic? Yes. It was the first time Congress voted on legislation concerning an investigation of Trump conflicts and Russia ties.
As Nadler later tweeted, “Today we learned who wants to know the truth and who wants a cover-up … on the record.”
The House Judiciary Committee, you may recall, is the one that determines whether grounds for impeachment exist. It participated in the impeachment process of President Richard Nixon in 1974 and President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Nadler delivered these remarks to Congress on Feb. 28: “Mr. Chairman, each day, more questions arise concerning President Trump’s foreign business entanglements and his inexplicably cozy relationship with Russia. Each day, Democrats on this committee, and on other committees, have requested hearings and investigations into these serious issues. And yet, each day, with a few exceptions, we have been met with a deafening silence from our Republican colleagues.”
“This resolution is particularly important because Attorney General Sessions, who was involved in the Trump campaign, has refused to recuse himself from any investigation, and it is not clear that he could be impartial, or that he will even conduct an investigation at all.”
The very next day, The Washington Post reported Sessions met with a Russian envoy twice, contacts he did not disclose during his confirmation hearing. Key Democrats are now calling for his resignation. Key Republicans are calling for him to recuse himself from any Department of Justice probe on Russia conflicts.
If Democracy Dies in Darkness, as the snappy new Washington Post slogan proclaims, here’s a little illumination for you. It’s a complete list of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including those who voted no on H. Res. 111 and those who didn’t vote at all. Guess which ones are up for re-election in the 2018 midterms? All of them.
Feel free to devise a pithy but polite sentence or two and tell your public servants how you feel about this vote.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (Chairman)
Virginia’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Jr.
Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Lamar Smith
Texas’ 21st Congressional District
Rep. Steve Chabot
Ohio’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Darrell Issa
California’s 49th Congressional District
Rep. Steve King
Iowa’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Trent Franks
Arizona’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Louie Gohmert
Texas’ 1st Congressional District
Rep. Jim Jordan
Ohio’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Ted Poe
Texas’ 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Jason Chaffetz
Utah’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Tom Marino
Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District
Rep. Trey Gowdy
South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Raul Labrador
Idaho’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Blake Farenthold
Texas’ 27th Congressional District
Rep. Doug Collins
Georgia’s 9th Congressional District
Rep. Ron DeSantis
Florida’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Ken Buck
Colorado’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. John Ratcliffe
Texas’ 4th Congressional District
Rep. Martha Roby
Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Matt Gaetz
Florida’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Mike Johnson
Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Andy Biggs
Arizona’s 5th Congressional District