On Thursday, President Trump gave Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016. Immediately some congressional Democrats blasted Trump’s decision and began to politicize the move.
It is difficult to comprehend why any member of Congress would object to the president’s decision to disclose the truth behind one of the biggest scandals in U.S. history. To the contrary, all members should welcome this information with open arms and should refrain from politicizing the president’s decision.
Shortly after Trump authorized Barr to declassify the documents, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff criticized the move. According to The Daily Caller, Schiff stated, “While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies. The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American.”
Schiff’s comments are perplexing. On the one hand, Schiff and his fellow members of Congress should welcome this information so as to discover the truth, deliver justice to the real perpetrators, and to slowly bring closure to a country that desperately needs it.
After all, the American public was fed a false Russia-collusion narrative for years. The investigation into this false narrative was very costly and further polarized our country. Moreover, the narrative ruined numerous people’s lives and compromised the credibility of some of the nation’s most sacred and respected institutions, including the FBI and CIA. Therefore, from a “what is best for the country” perspective, all members of Congress (who are elected by, and serve, the people) should welcome this information.
Based on the troubling information that has been disclosed to date, the pending inspector general report, the ongoing U.S. attorney’s investigation, Barr’s investigations, and the utter failure of the Mueller report to establish collusion or obstruction, Schiff and other Democrats are understandably nervous about what the American public will learn once the declassified material is released. Therefore, from a political standpoint, Democrats know that the release of this information could create big problems for Democrats come 2020. This is especially true among moderates and independents, who are not hard core “anti-Trumpers.”
Unfortunately, there is a clear disconnect between Democrats’ political aspirations and what is best for the country. Otherwise, why would any member of Congress object to learning the truth behind what really happened?
For example, who ordered the surveillance on the Trump campaign? Why? What steps were taken to put this surveillance in motion and who was involved? What was the basis for this surveillance and how was it obtained? The answers to these questions are vital to establish closure for the American public and to deliver justice to the people who were involved in any wrongdoing, regardless of their political affiliation.
It is inconceivable that any member of Congress would turn down the opportunity to learn the truth behind one of the largest political scandals in U.S. history. As White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
All members of Congress should welcome this information with open arms, including Schiff. It is an opportunity to get to the bottom of a scandal, the likes of which this country has never seen. If Congress is so concerned with transparency and oversight, the release of this information could provide a treasure trove of new information. The concern among some could lie, not in the act of releasing the documents, per se, but in what the documents will ultimately reveal.
Contrary to Schiff’s characterization, there is nothing “un-American” about exposing a possible, and likely, coup to remove a duly elected president from office. There is nothing “un-American” about exposing one or more people who allegedly and improperly spied on the Trump campaign. To the contrary, it would be irresponsible not to disclose this information.