Republicans Vow To Continue Investigations Even If Hillary Clinton Wins The White House

House Republicans are vowing to continue their investigations even if Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

Republicans on Capitol Hill are vowing that they will continue their investigations of Hillary Clinton even if she wins the White House:

Top GOP lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol are vowing that their investigations of Hillary Clinton will continue even if she wins the White House in November.

Indeed, the FBI wrapped up its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server this summer, but congressional Republicans say they’re just getting started.

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) wants answers on the deletion of Clinton emails he says may constitute “destruction of evidence” — and he’s willing to use subpoenas to get them. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is working on a bill to pull the security clearance of anyone who broke rules governing confidential information, a jab aimed squarely at Clinton and her top aides.

And there’s percolating interest among congressional Republicans in sniffing out any connections between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department — a potential new Clinton probe inspired by reports showing foundation donors securing access to Clinton as secretary of state. CNN reported in August that FBI officials wanted to probe the Foundation connection for conflicts of interest but was slapped down by Justice officials.

Republicans have also signaled interest in diving deeper into questions of whether Clinton or her aides perjured themselves on the email matter.

“Hillary Clinton created this problem; I’m trying to untie this big tangled web,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) said in an interview this week. “I’d be derelict in my chairmanship if I didn’t pursue this with all the vigor I have.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the second-ranking GOP senator, offered a similar message on the Senate floor Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, [FBI] Director [James] Comey’s announcement back in July wasn’t the end of the story… because last month even more e-mails came to light that revealed the line blurred between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department under Secretary Clinton,” Cornyn said. “It is clear that major Clinton Foundation donors enjoyed great access to Secretary Clinton while she was serving as our nation’s premier diplomat. … I hope, soon, that we all get some answers.”

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon in a statement said “this is exactly what Americans hate about Washington: before the election has even happened, House Republicans are already plotting what political attacks they might wage against a potential Clinton administration.”

“Republicans are offering nothing more than pure, partisan gridlock, and this is why we must work hard to elect as many Democrats as possible this November,” he added.

If Clinton prevails against Donald Trump, the investigations could strain her relations with Capitol Hill from the outset of her presidency, at possibly the most fertile time for getting her agenda through Congress. But there was no disagreement among Republicans interviewed for this story: If questions remain unanswered, the probes will continue into next year, whether she’s in the Oval Office or not.

That view is shared by top leaders. A source familiar with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s thinking said he considers Congress’ oversight role — including potentially overseeing a President Hillary Clinton — to be an important priority.

“Rigorous oversight of the executive branch is important no matter who is in the White House,” the source said. “[Ryan is] not known for partisan witch hunts, but his members will conduct robust oversight if needed.”

This is hardly a surprise, of course. Republicans have been investigating various alleged scandals allegedly emminating from the Obama White House virtually from the moment they won back control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. From ‘Fast & Furious,’ the BATF operation meant to track gun running to Mexican drug gangs, to the IRS targeting scandal, to seven different investigations of the September 11, 2012 attack  on the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, there has been little that has escaped Congressional attention. On some level, of course, these investigations are entirely appropriate since oversight of Executive Branch agencies is among Congress’s most important jobs. At some point with each of these investigations, though, it has become clear that a large part of the motivation behind these investigations ended up being partisan rather than any real desire to find out what really happened in any of these incidents or determining what needs to be done to make sure they don’t happen again. It’s no real surprise to learn that Republicans intend to continue with hearings like this if Clinton wins the White House and if, as most analysts expect, and indeed it would be surprising if they didn’t.

Of course, we hardly need the Obama years to establish a precedent here. It’s already becoming apparent that a Hillary Clinton Presidency is likely to mean, for Republicans at least, a return to the same adversarial relationship between Congress and the White House that we saw during the Clinton years in the wake of the 1994 elections, with the main difference being that it will be far less likely that the Administration and Congress can work together in the manner that it did during those final years of the Bill Clinton Administration. Perhaps this will prove to be incorrect. Perhaps a Hillary Clinton Administration, together with House Republican Leadership and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell will find ways to work together to get things done the way Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Bob Dole did. One gets the impression that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and McConnell, would be amenable to such a relationship, but the difference is that these men have far less control over their members than Gingrich, along with men like Dick Armey and Tom DeLay, and Dole did over their respective caucuses twenty years ago. In the modern era, there are significant members of Congress who seem to have more loyalty to outside groups than they do to party leadership, as John Boehner learned quite well during his time in office. Additionally, it’s unclear exactly what impact the candidacy of Donald Trump might have on Republican Party politics even if he ends up losing the election. One possibility is that the Trump phenomenon fades as quickly as it came into existence and that some sense of normalcy returns to Capitol Hill in 2017. The other possibility is that the civil war inside the GOP that Trump’s rise has set off will continue, and that will make it harder for leadership to control members even on routine votes that everyone ought to agree with. If the second option becomes reality, then we may look back on the Obama years with some degree of nostalgia.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Congress, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    Yawn…more investigations in which they will find nothing.
    Meanwhile the nations business goes untended-to.
    These Republicans are incapable and uninterested in governing.

  2. Pch101 says:

    The Republican strategy since the Reagan era has been to hound Democrats at every turn with endless strings of accusations and FUD.

    This is a sort of perma-McCarthyism and it isn’t specific to Clinton. This is what you get when you have a group that is convinced that it is morally superior in spite of all of the numerous indications that it is anything but.

  3. Jen says:

    I think every news organization should carry a cost sticker on how much these stupid, unnecessary, investigations are costing taxpayers. I have no problem with investigating wrongdoing, but these are totally politically motivated. For the party of “fiscal responsibility” to continue to waste time and money on these when they are being conducted solely to embarrass Clinton and weaken her is the utter height of irresponsibility.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    This is hardly a surprise, of course.

    HUGE understatement.

  5. Mr. Prosser says:
  6. Andrew says:

    Water is wet.
    No political cost for republicans to keep doing this…seeing how it’s been close to thirty years since this became their M.O.
    Without it, Trump would be down a heck of a lot more than he is. Nothingburgers. It’s what for dinner!

  7. Gustopher says:

    The alternative to the partisan witch hunts is actually doing oversight — but that would be governing, which isn’t something that the Republicans are interested in.

  8. Scott F. says:

    @Gustopher:

    In the absence of tenable policy positions, investigations are all the Republicans have.

  9. gVOR08 says:

    OK, we all agree the GOPs will continue to behave as they have behaved. Unless, god forbid, Trump wins, in which case they’ll be even worse. So what do we do about it? What do the hypothetical loyal, but not nuts, GOPs do about it? The first possibility is that organizations like The Club for Growth (sic) and Norquist’s bunch realize that there’s more to life than low taxes and stop backing any loony toon to the right of any incumbent who’s ever made a compromise. More realistically, and much as Doug hates the idea, we have to get the flood of money out of the game. Among other benefits, that might allow the Party to exert a little discipline. Failing that, perhaps the press could stop pretending people like Louie Gohmert and Trey Gowdy aren’t scum and indulge in a little public shaming. And for gawd’s sake quit pretending Paul Ryan is a respectable moderate and not an innumerate, lying, opportunistic, Randian asshat.

  10. Mikey says:

    At some point with each of these investigations, though, it has become clear that a large part of the motivation behind these investigations ended up being partisan rather than any real desire to find out what really happened

    That point has always been “before the investigation even started.”

    And where you say “a large part of the” you should really say “the entire.”

  11. DrDaveT says:

    Republicans Vow To Continue Investigations Even Especially If Hillary Clinton Wins The White House

    FTFY

  12. dennis says:

    And the assclown car keeps on rolling …

  13. Argon says:

    When all you’ve got is a hammer…

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Meanwhile Trump is praising Putin and going on Kremlin sponsored TV to rail against US policy; is embroiled in a pay-for-play scandal; and is routing campaign donations into his own pocket…but Republican Congressional leaders still support him.

  15. Scott says:

    Maybe it is time to inflict some pain in return. Justice Dept investigations on possible war crimes perhaps?

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    Assclowns All!

    Trump’s Running Mate Pence Says He Believes Obama Was Born In Hawaii
    http://www.westernjournalism.com/trumps-running-mate-pence-says-he-believes-obama-was-born-in-hawaii/
    Donald Trump campaign manager: ‘No question to me’ Obama was born in US
    Asked why Trump doesn’t say it himself, Conway replied: “You have to ask him.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/kellyanne-conway-donald-trump-birtherism/index.html?ref=yfp

    Maybe these two Sad Sacks can ask the Gas Bag!
    Greta could hold her former boss’ buddy’s feet to the fire!
    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/09/media/greta-van-susteren-roger-ailes-apology/
    Geraldo can pin down Chump the Wannabe. He is an investigative reporter after all.
    I’m sure his inquiry of Trump will turn up at least as much as opening Al Capone’s vault!

  17. MarkedMan says:

    For a generation now the Republicans elected to congress have predominantly been conspiracy fueled man-boys. The mature Republicans have been out of power for more than a decade. The current crew lives for this type of scandal mongering nonsense. They meet together, plan, strategize and put in long hours over whether they can get Hillary for another email, or Obama for a mistake made in a field office somewhere. They yawn and leave the room when actual governance comes up. They have no interest or bent for such work and justify it by disparaging everything the government does as useless at best and more often harmful.

    It’s not good, but today if you believe the government is important you need to vote a Democratic ticket.

    -Jim

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:Probably shouldn’t use sack and bag in the same sentence.

    This is why Mr. Rivera is so glum.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/geraldo-rivera-pens-remorseful-apology-045759435.html

  19. Lit3Bolt says:

    In the modern era, there are significant members of Congress who seem to have more loyalty to outside groups the grift mill of the nation’s elderly than they do to party leadership

    Fixed that for you.

    Republicans these days are boogymen who like to scare old white ladies with social security checks about black and brown hordes, and threaten suicide of the nation unless they donate money.. Call it the Oral Roberts political strategy.

  20. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:
  21. Pete S says:

    One gets the impression that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and McConnell, would be amenable to such a relationship,

    They may very occasionally not go along with most idiotic demands of the most extreme members of their party, but I would say calling them amenable to working with the President is going way too far. McConnell in particular seems to be perfectly happy to go on losing Supreme Court cases rather than even talking about the President’s nominee.

  22. john430 says:

    @C. Clavin: Corruption is corruption, Clavin. Did you read the memo that exonerated Republicans Ted Stevens, Tom DeLay, Govs. McDonnell, Rick Perry and Scott Walker?

    Democrats weren’t very much interested in governing then and in the end, had to clear the men

    OTOH- The list of Democrats indicted AND convicted is quite long..

  23. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    30 seconds of Googling will provide extensive lists of convicted Republicans.

    Are you ignorant, in denial or just too lazy to look it up?

  24. Andrew says:

    You can not be the party of perceptual victim-hood if you actually have to take responsibility for governing or actions.

    Obama is looked down on because he had to fix the Republican sh!tstorm, and what did Republicans do? Blame him for causing the mess to begin with.

    No responsibility. No pause for party over country. As long as we have petulant ignorant man-children willing to vote, Republicans have nothing to worry about. The party of the lowest common denominator 2016!!

  25. al-Ameda says:

    The other possibility is that the civil war inside the GOP that Trump’s rise has set off will continue, and that will make it harder for leadership to control members even on routine votes that everyone ought to agree with. If the second option becomes reality, then we may look back on the Obama years with some degree of nostalgia.

    I’m fairly confident that Republicans will look back on the Obama years as a missed opportunity to impeach the President when they had a wide majority of control in the House.

  26. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Doug,
    what are the merits of this approach that your republican leaders are vowing to take?
    Also, what do you mean a return. To the days when Bill Clinton was hounded endlessly by a bunch of Pharisees straining to bring forth a gnat? In the paragraphs preceding that inanity, you enumerated geysers of disingenuous bilge that have emanated from your republican leaders these last 7+ years.

  27. Kari Q says:

    Of course they will. They are all Captain Ahab and the Clintons are the the white whale that stole something that belonged to them: The White House. They will never give up the hunting of that whale. Chelsea can expect them to examine everything she does her entire life, and maybe even her children will inherit the enmity.

    The problem for them is that in Mocy Dick, the whale wins.

  28. Kari Q says:

    @Kari Q:

    Mocy Dick? I think that’s the little known sequel to Moby Dick. The whale wins there too.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    What a bunch of sore losers…from making up $hit about Hillary’s health to wanting to hold more meaningless hearings once she’s elected, these Republican dip$hits just can’t get over the fact that they are constantly losing presidential elections (we can throw in all the Jim Crow-esque voting laws they’ve passed) because of the unpalatable nominees they keep putting forth…

  30. john430 says:

    @Pch101: Ditto Democrats. I maintain that Democrats at all levels lead Republicans in corrupt practices. And…you Hillary sycophants should remember that obstruction of justice is what drove Nixon from the White House. I wonder if Las Vegas will take bets on Hillary following Nixon?

  31. john430 says:

    @An Interested Party: Memo: See party affiliations of those who ran and still run the Jim Crow & KKK movements in the deep south. Hint: Their party starts with a “D”

  32. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    You and Joe McCarthy have a lot in common. Not a lot of facts, coupled with a fondness for “lists” that don’t exist.

  33. john430 says:

    @Pch101: Look who’s talking. All hat and no cattle Pch101.

  34. grumpy realist says:

    @john430: I suggest you look under which party label David Duke is running before making a fool of yourself any more.

  35. KarateDeathCar says:

    Good lord man, did john0430 just wake up from a 60 year coma? The south is solidly republican with south Florida being the rare exception. Agent Orange Donald trump is running almost exclusively on white resentment commingled with anti government hysteria. The Democratic Party is pro gay pro Latino pro black life’s matters. The republican leaders are working to ban David duke from running as a republican, so as to not spill the beans on a measurable percentage of racist currently identifying as republican. Sure, whatever you say john0430, if that’s you want to believe, good luck with that.

    But maybe you’ll get tired of f**cking that chicken but maybe you won’t.

  36. Steve V says:

    @john430:

    I maintain that Democrats at all levels lead Republicans in corrupt practices.

    Do you really? Why do you think that’s so?

  37. An Interested Party says:

    I wonder if Las Vegas will take bets on Hillary following Nixon?

    Well hell, the stupid “Hillary is ill” meme isn’t working for your fellow travelers so you might as well try to use the Nixon comparison…whatever works, or, in this case, whatever doesn’t work…

    See party affiliations of those who ran and still run the Jim Crow & KKK movements in the deep south.

    Hey, if you have to make $hit up, than there really is no reason to take you seriously…perhaps you haven’t noticed that the Stormfront types are all in for Trump…

  38. john430 says:

    All kinds of weird people turn out to vote. The International Socialists are all Democrats and all for Bernie.

  39. john430 says:

    @KarateDeathCar: The Democrats and their Jim Crow and KKK buddies have died off. You’re the one whose been sleeping for 60 years.

    BTW: Quit spanking your monkey. It’s fogging your brain.

  40. Grewgills says:

    @john430:

    The Democrats and their Jim Crow and KKK buddies have died off. You’re the one whose been sleeping for 60 years.

    Which explains why David Duke and Stormfront are still politically active, why the alt-right is going mainstream. It also explains which party they identify with and who they strongly support for president.