WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis told a Senate Committee adviser that House Speaker Paul Ryan “put the leash” on the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, who headed the Commission, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, both confirmed to the adviser that Ryan effectively shut the investigation down, Big League Politics has exclusively learned.
This revelation has big implications for the “Russia” investigation dogging President Donald Trump’s administration. Gowdy took over as one of the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee probe into alleged Trump-Russia campaign collusion after California Rep. Devin Nunes removed himself from the investigation. Nunes angered anti-Trumpers for backing up some of the White House’s claims on surveillance and Russia. The media targeted Nunes for briefing the White House on some of his findings before he announced them publicly. Ryan ultimately decided that Nunes should be taken off the investigation, saying that Nunes’ problems “would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our election.” Some Republican congressmen are already bashing Nunes’ claims that the Trump transition team was surveilled.
Gowdy became one of the leaders of the investigation, along with Reps. Mike Conaway and Tom Rooney. But Gowdy’s history of taking orders from Ryan does not bode well for Trump, considering that Ryan is a fierce Trump critic behind the scenes with a very different agenda than the president.
Ryan‘s maneuverings in the Benghazi case occurred at the same time that he was shoring up support to take over from John Boehner as House Speaker.
Gowdy‘s interrogation of Clinton before the Commission was massively hyped but produced little actual results, instead allowing Clinton to come off calm, composed, and prepared while sitting for eleven hours of testimony. Rolling Stone called the hearing “Republicans’ 11-Hour Gift To Hillary Clinton.“
Clinton’s testimony occurred in October 2015, before Paul Ryan‘s rival Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee or even won a single primary or caucus.
The hearing also indirectly led to the political downfall of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who said during a Sean Hannity interview that the purpose of the Commission was to affect Clinton’s poll numbers. McCarthy’s bid to take over as House Speaker collapsed.
Ryan became the preferred House Speaker pick, gaining outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s support, in October 2015, winning majority support on the House Freedom Caucus in a closed-door meeting on October 21.
Clinton testified before Gowdy on October 22, one day later.
Gowdy enjoyed a shortlived stint as a conservative hero on Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, but during the Republican primary he threw in with the neoconservative wing of the party against Donald Trump. Gowdy endorsed Marco Rubio, who has been one of the most forceful anti-Trump Republican senators on the Russia issue.
FLASHBACK: Three Recent Supreme Court Justices Were Confirmed Within 45 Days
There’s ample precedent for a quick confirmation.
There are 45 days until the November 3rd presidential election, and there’s ample precedent for an expedited confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice in such a timeframe following a vacancy.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg died on Friday, setting up a possible contentious confirmation process to fill her seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging that a tentative Trump administration nominee for the position will receive a vote on the Senate floor, despite outrage and indignation on the part of progressives falsely maintaining that McConnell is breaking precedent he set by refusing to confirm Merrick Garland. President Obama tried to get Garland confirmed when the opposing party controlled the Senate, a divided government that does not exist in 2020.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg herself was formally nominated by President Clinton on June 22nd, 1993. Her confirmation process began on July 20th, and she was confirmed on August 3rd, with a total of 42 days elapsing between her nomination and confirmation.
John Paul Stevens’ nomination was advanced and confirmed in a speedy 19 days, and Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed in 1981 in a total of 33 days.
In fact, every single Supreme Court nomination of the past 45 years was nominated and voted upon within a shorter duration of the time remaining in Donald Trump’s first presidential term.
Yes, Trump has time to nominate and get his nominee confirmed to the Supreme Court. EVERY SINGLE VOTE ON A #SCOTUS NOMINEE OF THE LAST 45 YEARS was voted on in less time than what Trump has between now and the end of his current term. pic.twitter.com/og5aOZsiw1
— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) September 19, 2020
There’s actually wide precedent for nominating and confirming a Supreme Court justice within the confines of President Trump’s first term, and Democrats are being untruthful or erroneous to suggest otherwise.
McConnell is beginning initial work to advance confirmation hearings, with potential liberal Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski presenting themselves as possible holdouts. It is possible to approve a judge with 50 votes in the Senate and a Vice Presidential tiebreaker.
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