Two stories on, well, if you'll excuse the pun, the Russian front today. The plan as of today for the Trump regime is whataboutism involving the Democrats, and deflection of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's growing list of inquiries. First comes the most ridiculous of denials...
An attorney for President Donald Trump was adamant on Sunday that the president is not under investigation, despite the president’s tweets this week referring to one as a "witch hunt."
“Let me be clear here,” said Jay Sekulow, a member of the president’s legal team, on NBC's “Meet The Press.” “The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction."
On Friday morning, President Trump sent a tweet that seemed to confirm that he was under scrutiny, writing, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
But Sekulow claimed the president wasn’t referring to an actual investigation in the message, but instead a news report about one.
“The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources purportedly leaking information to the Washington Post,” he said, referring to the Post’s report this week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election now also includes a look at whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
Sekulow claimed the president is not spending a lot of time composing the tweets, but defended them as a means of speaking directly to voters, saying "he's responding to what he's seeing in the media in a way in which he thinks is appropriate to talk to those people that put him in office."
"He's not afraid of the investigation — there is no investigation," Sekulow said, adding, "there is not an investigation of the President of the United States, period."
No penalty for Sekulow to lie on TV here, which he's obviously doing and has every reason to continue doing. Meanwhile, Trump's allies in Congress have locked on to a new target now that their plans to go after former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice failed, and their attempt to discredit Mueller ran into Trump's ham-fisted attempts to float Mueller's firing, prompting calls even from the GOP that such an act would be obviously over the line.
Their new obsession is former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch, briefly mentioned by James Comey in his testimony earlier this month.
The move could allow Republicans to attempt to pivot away from the investigation into Russia's election meddling — which top GOP lawmakers have signaled belongs to the Intelligence Committee — and focus on Lynch, who has long been a target of Republicans.
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican who is a member of both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, said it “would be very helpful” for Lynch to testify before the Judiciary panel, which oversees the Justice Department.
“Frankly, a lot of what Hillary Clinton was exposed to by Director Comey’s misconduct and the way he handled that was apparently in response to his lack of confidence in the attorney general, and I think there is a lot we could learn from that,” Cornyn said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also wants to hear from Lynch and is pushing for the Judiciary Committee to “get more involved.”
“The accusations now that ... the current and former attorney general were political — that has nothing to do with Russia as much as it has to do with how the Department of Justice is being run,” he said. “I want to find out all about that.”
A spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Judiciary Committee chairman, stressed that no decisions have been made and staffers needed to first “gather evidence."
But the spokesman said it was “likely” after Comey’s remarks before the intelligence panel that Lynch’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee “will become necessary at some point.”
Republicans are tying anything to get the story off Russia, but every time Trump tweets he shoots his own party in the foot. I suspect that this will only continue as the Trump camp gets more and more desperate.