Trump imbalanced — what will GOP do about it?
The deeper we get into the Trump presidency, the more serious the questions grow.
When he was candidate Trump acting in reckless and erratic ways, the future of the Republican Party was in the balance. Would he take it down with him?
Today the stakes are much higher. How Donald Trump acts and behaves in the Oval Office will have serious consequences for the United States.
Lately his conduct has brought a torrent of accusations that in themselves and their unrelenting fierceness can be destabilizing.
Did the president obstruct justice? Did he commit a crime? We don’t know the answers, but the allegations are powerful and credible.
Several months into Trump’s first term, the administration seems incapable of controlling the narrative, of moving beyond the kind of scandal that shadowed Trump throughout the election.
We are going to need answers quickly about this president and his capacity to function.
And the Republicans must lead.
We don’t have divided government in America. Republicans hold both Congress and the White House, the major levers of power. And they shoulder the responsibility to act on the nation’s behalf.
Republicans in Congress can no longer view Trump simply as an imperfect tool to achieve their agenda. They have to see with their own eyes there’s a cannon loose in the White House and he’s gashing the timber.
The unanswered questions about this president are not about partisan politics. They are about serious threats to this country’s stability and its international standing.
We have a president who boastfully releases sensitive intelligence to Russia — an action so reckless it should stand Mitch McConnell’s hair on end.
We have a president whose reasons for firing the FBI director are like shifting sand dunes – the inconsistencies should have Paul Ryan pounding the podium.
We have a president who fires Director James Comey with a letter in which Trump thanks the him for previous assurances he wasn’t investigating Trump.
And then we have the latest outrage: An accusation that the president asked the former FBI director to “let go” an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who subsequently resigned because he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations Flynn had with the Russian ambassador.
In plain English: That looks eerily close to obstruction of justice, although the White House denies it happened that way.
Comey continued the investigation, but Comey documented conversations, according to the Times.
What else did Comey document? That is one of many questions a Republican Congress needs to ask the former FBI director in full view of cameras and reporters.
Congress needs to hear from Comey.
We need to know if this president engaged in criminal conduct in addition to his irresponsible behavior. We need to know the full extent of Trump’s connection with Russia. We also need to know whether it is safe for this president to have access to classified documents.
Republicans in Congress stand as America’s check against what increasingly looks like an unbalanced president. They need to become the guide rails that keep him from walking us off the ledge.
It’s time to stop pretending. This is not just fodder for late-night comics. This is about America’s future.
— The Arizona Republic, May 17