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June 16, 2019

Harass away: Trump chafes at oversight; the House must press ahead

February 8, 2019
xx (Pool / Getty Images)

With House Democrats poised to begin long-overdue investigations of the Trump administration, the President shouts about “Unlimited Presidential Harassment,” claiming that “Republicans never did this to President Obama,” an amplification of his cheap-shot State of the Union absurdity that “war and investigation” were at odds with “peace and legislation.”

Where to begin? Start with the fact that Trump himself claimed, repeatedly and without a shred of evidence, that Obama was not born in America and was therefore an illegitimate President.

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Of course, to their credit, despite how deeply it enraptured men like Trump, Congressional Republicans didn’t investigate that poisonous, racist lie. Nor did they seek to obtain Obama’s tax returns, since he had released them.

What they did do is investigate a failed sting program run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And the website the government built to sell Affordable Care Act health insurance policies. And the IRS’s alleged harassment of conservative groups. And a federal loan to a solar-panel company. And the terrorist attack on a U.S. government compound in Benghazi, which took four American lives.

All of which was, well, Congress doing its job, albeit often shedding more heat than light.

For their part, Democrats seek to uncover potential conflicts between Trump’s business interests and his presidency. Probe where Trump has run roughshod over the rule of law. And answer still-burning questions about contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russia.

He calls it harassment. We call it duty.

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