Donald Trump has flouted political norms since well before he actually took office, and folks, it looks like some Republican members of Congress are finally catching on.
Specifically, Politico reports that several members of the House of Representatives have recently started to worry about the president’s repeated hints that he is above the power of congressional oversight—i.e., that if they try to investigate or hold him responsible for any crimes, he’ll just tell them to kick rocks.
“I’m in Congress. I’m aligned with Congress. I’m not aligned with the executive branch. And I think we have oversight authority over the administration,” said Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “And if the president has acted illegally, then I think we have oversight authority.”
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a veteran lawmaker who first came to Capitol Hill in the early 1980s as a congressional staffer, also said he didn’t agree with Trump’s legal theories.
“Obviously there is such a thing as congressional oversight,” Cole said.
Crazy to think about...maybe this Trump guy isn’t as honest as we thought!
It’s telling, though, that the only thing that actually has the Republicans concerned is the precedent a president would set by blowing past congressional powers. They don’t really give a shit what he’s done, just how it affects their own political power.
So how far are what Politico calls “institutionalist-minded” Republicans willing to go to stand up to the president, especially after seeing his weekend rebuke of Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the first Republican member of Congress to say Trump had “engaged in impeachable conduct”?
But these lawmakers also are not preparing to act in any way that constrains Trump. They roundly support the president’s rejection of House Democrats’ investigations and subpoenas, arguing Democrats are taking their investigations of the president too far — particularly those targeting his business dealings and personal finances.
“[Democrats] are taking too broad of a view of the investigative powers of Congress and the administration’s taking way too narrow of one,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
Oh. Well. Thanks for nothing!