Trump Complains That Republicans Were Too Easy On President Obama
Former President Barack Obama has no idea what it is like to be harassed by lawmakers, President Donald Trump complained on Sunday.
“Can you imagine if these Do Nothing Democrat Savages, people like Nadler, Schiff, AOC Plus 3, and many more, had a Republican Party who would have done to Obama what the Do Nothings are doing to me,” he tweeted. “Oh well, maybe next time!”
But those who were not asleep during Obama’s two terms know that Trump is well off the mark — including Kurt Bardella, a former spokesperson and senior adviser for Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Bardella reminded America in a Monday column for USA Today that Republicans conducted multiple multi-year investigations of Trump’s predecessor, and at the time, congressional oversight was touted by the GOP as right and necessary.
He knows this fact well, because he “was there choreographing it,” Bardella wrote.
From 2009 to 2013, I was the spokesperson and senior adviser for Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee under the leadership of Rep. Darrell Issa. During their time in the majority, the Oversight Committee alone issued more than 100 subpoenas to the Obama administration. Upon becoming chair of the committee, Issa declared his intention to hold “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.”
Both the House and Senate initiated an investigation into the “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking operation, Bardella said, sparked by a whistleblower complaint in 2011. That probe lasted for more than six years “and included an Oversight Committee vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over what Republicans believed was an abuse of executive privilege.”
And in 2012, House Republicans sued the Obama administration over its use of executive privilege and won, he noted.
Perhaps Trump has also forgotten Benghazi — though it would be difficult to explain such amnesia, given Republicans’ obsession with the issue well into 2016.
“In the fall of 2012, Republicans launched what would turn out to be a four-year investigation into the attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya,” Bardella reminded his audience. “This is the investigation that would unearth then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, a move that House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy openly admitted was part of a “strategy to fight and win” the 2016 election.”
To put all of this in context, Bardella noted that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation — which Trump continues to disparage as a “witch hunt” — lasted not quite two years. By comparison, House Republicans “launched not one, not two but three multiyear investigations that each lasted longer than the Mueller probe.”
The investigation Republicans undertook in 2013, probing allegations that the IRS was targeting conservative nonprofits, was “eventually debunked as baseless,” Bardella noted, adding that even the Trump administration said in 2017 that pursuing the matter “would not be appropriate based on the available evidence.”
Republicans pioneered this new take on congressional oversight of the executive branch, he wrote — and now that a Republican is in the White House, they are all too eager to abandon it.
Bardella concludes: “So, if Donald Trump is wondering what Republicans would have done to Obama? The answer is, everything the Democrats are doing to him and more.”