After glossing over every corner and under-turning every stone, House Republicans appear ready to call it a wrap on their Russian investigation. It's perfect timing. Just weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians provided the first verifiable road map to Russia's attack on our democracy, House Republicans just want to shut it all down.
Honestly, it might be a relief. Perhaps House Intelligence chair Devin Nunes will stop broadsiding the FBI and Democratic members of the real Russia inquiry in the Senate with bogus claims of malfeasance.
Sure, Mueller's team is knee-deep in exploring Team Trump's efforts to establish a secret back-channel to the Kremlin. But really, why upset the apple cart by initiating an interview with George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who has emerged as the lynchpin to organizing a secret meeting between Trump associate Erik Prince and a representative of Vladimir Putin?
Why check into the cluster of meetings that took place between Team Trump and Russian associates just after Trump was elected but before he was inaugurated? Those interactions were bookended by Jared Kushner enlisting help from Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a Dec. 1 Trump Tower meeting also attended by Michael Flynn, and the Erik Prince rendezvous, which mysteriously took place just before Trump's January 20 inauguration at a remote island location in the Indian Ocean. Nothing like privacy!
In between those to meetings, Kushner met with the head of the state-run Russian bank, VEB, in mid-December, but forgot to disclose it; Flynn secretly contacted Russian officials on Dec. 22 at Kushner's direction in an effort to influence a U.N. vote while Obama was still president; and on December 29—when the Obama administration placed new sanctions on Russia for its election interference—Flynn placed a flurry of secret phone calls to the Russian Ambassador, accounting for one of several instances that Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about.
Nader, who helped arrange and attended what was perhaps the final pre-inaugural contact between Russia and Team Trump, seems at least somewhat interesting, no? I mean, Mueller's team sure thought he was interesting enough to greet at Dulles Airport with a subpoena in hand. But the GOP House Intel boobs, they're content to give him a pass altogether on a round of questioning.
That's fair. Why bother with interviews when you don't care whether witnesses lie or even answer any questions? That's been the House GOP's entire M.O. for every Trump aide who’s sat before the Intelligence panel. Steve Bannon refused to answer questions not pre-approved by the White House. Corey Lewandowski refused to answer questions he didn't like, as did Hope Hicks. Turns out Hicks particularly didn't like a line of questioning about her part in that little Air Force One fiasco—where Team Trump drafted a complete whopper of an explanation for Don Jr.'s 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer and other Russian operatives.