Trump wants to prosecute his political opponents. These members of Congress want to help him.

“We understand the Russians tried to influence the election, but the Obama administration tried to influence the election, right?”

CREDIT: Fox News screengrab
CREDIT: Fox News screengrab

While publicly humiliating his attorney general during a string of tweets posted Tuesday, President Trump called for new, arbitrary prosecutions of his political opponents.

A group of Republican congressman are trying to make Trump’s wish a reality. Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), Andy Briggs (AZ), Matt Gartz (FL), and Mike Johnson (LA) have filed an amendment that “would stymie one Democratic effort to investigate the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey by transforming it into an effort to probe Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal,” as the Washington Post put it.


The amendment would change the language of a House bill seeking information from the Justice Department about Comey’s firing — which Trump admitted was motivated by his frustrations about the Russia investigation— so that it would instead end up seeking information about “leaks by James B. Comey,” “the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to possible Hillary Clinton co-conspirators,” and Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case, among other matters.

On Wednesday, Jordan discussed his effort to gin up new scandals involving the previous administration during an interview on Fox & Friends. He urged viewers to “never forget what [Comey] did,” before talking about about Comey’s effort to handle the Clinton investigation independently of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“We’re calling for a special counsel to look into this issue,” he said.

“We understand the Russians tried to influence the election, but the Obama administration tried to influence the election, right?” Jordan said. “You want to talk about collusion. Think about this, think about what James Comey did after he was fired. He leaks a memo through a friend to the New York Times for the stated objective — he said this under oath — for the stated objective of creating momentum for a special counsel.”

Jordan’s allegations overlook Comey’s testimony that he went out of his way to stay free of political influence while overseeing the Clinton investigation. He’s also overlooking that there isn’t a shred of evidence Comey did anything wrong by authorizing his friend to leak memos about his conversations with Trump to the press. Comey testified the he wrote the memos so that they didn’t contain classified information, and recounting conversations with the president is not a crime.

Nevertheless, during a segment later on Wednesday’s edition of Fox & Friends, Eric Trump applauded the efforts of Jordan and others to appoint a new special counsel.


Eric Trump — who pledged to run the business his dad still owns and profits from without meddling in politics, but has recently emerged as one of his father’s key media surrogates— mentioned a number of different allegations that have gotten play in right-wing circles and asked, “When are people going to start going after that?”

“It seems like this is a one-way pile-on and I think that is probably my father’s frustration,” he added. “When there are legitimate crimes over there that everybody has proof about — you don’t have any proof on Russia, there is nothing there — but you do have proof that Loretta Lynch was on an airplane with Bill Clinton while they were investigating his wife.”

As the Russia scandal has unfolded, Trump and his backers in Congress has repeatedly tried to shift blame and create distractions by invoking Obama. In early March, as the investigation intensified, Trump accused the Obama administration of wiretapping him before the election. Despite the best efforts of conservative media outlets and Republican members of Congress to validate his claim, no evidence of usual surveillance ever emerged.

Republicans have gone to extreme lengths to help Trump. Acting on a request from the White House in February, the chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees — Devin Nunes (CA) and Richard Burr (NC) — “made calls to news organizations… in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives,” the Washington Post reported.


Nunes and Burr’s actions look worse in light of Donald Trump Jr. release of incriminating campaign emails earlier this month. The emails indicate the Trump campaign was at the very least willing to collude with Russian officials and aware of the Putin regime’s interest in meddling in the election on behalf of Trump.

Last week, Burr announced he’ll stay away from the White House while Trump’s campaign Russia ties are under investigation, including in the Senate Intelligence Committee.