Release Everything and Let the Chips Fall Where They May

Scales of Justice

Cheri Jacobus

That a United States Senator willing to risk his seat in order to get to the truth about the record of a nominee to the highest court in the land is accused of playing politics is a travesty. That a corrupt GOP is hiding congressional testimony that likely exposes their corrupt operatives to criminal liability for lying to Congress -- a federal crime -- further illustrates the abuse of power by the majority party.

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is fighting to have Trump's Supreme Court Justice nominee's full record released to the public, as Trump's Republicans in the Senate hide 90% of Brett Kavanaugh's record from the public. Booker is threatening to break Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) special rules and make the Kavanaugh docs public, despite the threats of retribution and punishment. Republican Senators are threatening him with expulsion should he release documents that in any other time in our nation's history, would be made public. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says he will stand with Booker and suffer the same consequences for transparency. There are at this writing at least three more Senators who are on record in support of Booker.

Similarly, in the House of Representatives, the GOP is keeping secret the transcripts of key testimony by Roger Stone, Michael Caputo and Donald Trump, Jr. as the Democrats fight to make public the fact that they lied under oath to Congress. There are no national security reasons to keep the testimony secret. The purpose is clearly political, as each of these witnesses take to the media, and the GOP Congress protects them, enabling them to perpetuate their coverups.

Caputo and Stone both testified that they were never contacted by Russians during the campaign, had no contact or meetings with Russians about Hillary Clinton, and did not know of anyone on the Trump campaign who did.

Caputo, who once worked for the Kremlin and briefly was employed by the Trump campaign, was confronted by Team Mueller with email exchanges between himself and Roger Stone proving they did, indeed, have multiple points of contact with Russian operatives offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, with Caputo facilitating a meeting. Caputo and Stone hid this from Congress, believing they could outsmart Mueller.

Realizing he was in serious legal jeopardy, as lying to Congress is a federal crime, Caputo immediately tipped off his mentor, Stone, and both "amended" their congressional testimony. Democrats have called for transcripts of their testimony to be made public. Yet congressional Republicans continue to cover for them.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has repeatedly called for the Caputo transcripts to be released by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and has publicly stated that Caputo lied to Congress under oath before the email exchange between Caputo and Stone was revealed. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is considering sending the Justice Department criminal referrals for those lying in their testimony to the Committee. He also wants to share interview transcripts directly with Mueller who could then bring perjury charges.

If Trump associates, family and operatives lying to Congress are given a pass, the toothpaste can never be put back in the tube. Supreme Court Justices poised to sit on the bench for the rest of their lives, making decisions that affect the lives of literally every American, being given a pass for hiding huge portions of their record cannot be tolerated. Congress MUST protect the integrity of congressional testimony. Booker, Durbin, Swalwell, Schiff et al are not playing politics, but rather are doing the hard work of freedom, work that is, alarmingly, becoming more difficult.

One ray of hope is that while GOP political operative Samuel Patten was just charged with one crime, arranging for a straw purchaser to buy tickets to Trumps inauguration on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch even though it is illegal for a political committee to accept foreign donations, he also admitted another crime -- lying to Congress.

It's time to go to the mat for the integrity of Congressional testimony, be it under questioning about contact with Russians during the campaign or the full record of a would-be Supreme Court Justice.


Cheri Jacobus