Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson interviews the former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz, who retires a frustrated man after over eight years in Congress. He’s resigning early, at the end of this month and Attkisson explores the reasons why.
The problem apparently once again boils down to two words, “deep state,” and may be the first independent verification that the system is too broken to be fixed without a major shakeup, that even President Trump is unable to accomplish what he expected and that other, more drastic measures may be required.
Attkisson points out in her questioning that the Republicans, in supposed control of the House, Senate and White House, should be free of stonewalling in “investigations of spending, waste, fraud and abuse.” Chaffetz replied, “Sadly, I don’t see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration. I thought these floodgates would open up with all of the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon. In many ways it’s almost worse, because we’re getting nothing.”
Chaffetz continues, “And that’s terribly frustrating. And with all due respect, the Attorney General, has not changed at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that’s my experience and that’s not what I expected.”
It’s not what Americans expected either, Congressman. We expected “heads to roll” where appropriate and full cooperation with investigations to be a given. Attkisson asks, “What were some of the investigations that this committee was stalled on that you hoped could be picked up now that’s not been able to happen in terms of documents not provided by federal agencies.”
We’ve been in court, trying to pry those documents out of the DOJ still we get nothing
Chaffetz says, “We have everything from the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which is really one of the critical things. There was the investigation into the IRS. And one that was more than seven years old is Fast and Furious. I mean, we have been in court, trying to pry those documents out of the Department of Justice and still to this day they will not give us those documents.”
He says, “And the State Department, nothing, stone cold silence.” She asks what Chaffetz attributes that to. He replied with a deep sigh, “I think if we went to the senior-most people, even the President himself, they would be pulling their hair out and they would hate to hear that.” The implication there is that they don’t already know about it which further signals a problem with the communication between branches. Why has Chaffetz not paid a visit to the Offices of Sessions, Tillerson and the President to tell them personally just how bad the problem is?
He says that within the bowels of the organization they just seem to circle the wagons and think, ‘Well, we can just wait you out,” a point Attkisson and Chaffetz agree they are successful in doing. They take the example of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, whom the Oversight Committee called to be impeached. An agitated Chaffetz says, “Look, you had more than fifty Republicans pleading with President Trump to release him, to let him go, fire him, or at least encourage him to retire. No, he’s still there, no changes, nobody was fired, nobody was prosecuted, nobody was held accountable.”
He expands on the futility of Congressional oversight, saying, “We tried to issue subpoenas, we try to hold people in contempt and the Obama administration said no. And the Trump administration came in and did zero, nothing, nothing changed.
Chaffetz points to the gutless nature of Congress, the lack of will, and the system that is not only broken, but which views lawmakers as party fundraisers, consuming much of the time that should be spent in taking care of the people’s business. Instead they must prioritize the feeding of the swamp monster, the political system bureaucracy.
President Trump is going to have to divorce himself from this corrupt apparatus that is a tool of the enslavement of the American people. Until he does, he will not fulfill his promises and the beast will eventually consume him. He’s going to have to take some radical actions; there’s simply no other way. It needs to happen quickly, before they succeed in eliminating him, as they are working furiously in their attempts to do.
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