Writing in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin tore into House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for standing by while President Donald Trump and California Rep. Devin Nunes (R) continue to float "crackpot" conspiracy theories in an effort to derail special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Ryan recently backed Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) when he claimed there was nothing to Trump's accusations that the FBI placed a spy in his campaign -- which the president has dubbed "spygate."
Responding to a Politico report that states, "Rep. Tom Rooney, a top Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee, is ripping President Donald Trump’s unsupported claim that the FBI inserted a spy inside his campaign," with Rooney reporting stating, "“What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?” Rubin kicked off her attack on Ryan.
"Rooney seems to be conceding that the president is acting in bad faith, trying to deliberately create chaos," Rubin wrote, adding, "House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), never one to take on Trump directly, nevertheless acknowledged on Wednesday that there was no evidence of a planted spy in the Trump campaign, as Trump has repeatedly claimed."
"Someone should ask Ryan a few follow-up questions, since he, after all, has been allowing Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and company to help float one crackpot accusation after another (e.g. the Nunes memo propounding on a false accusation about the warrant application to conduct surveillance on Carter Page; the non-scandal about unmasking), " she continued, before proposing a few of those questions Ryan should have to answer.
"Why do you allow Nunes to remain on the House Intelligence Committee? Is he carrying out his duties responsibly?" Rubin suggested. "Are you concerned that the president repeats myths, asserts them as facts and uses them as a basis for reckless accusations against the intelligence community? If a president intentionally engaged in such activity, would that be an abuse of his powers?"
Rubin then grew more pointed, saying Ryan should answer, "Have you asked Trump why he engages in this conspiracy-mongering? Have you objected in any fashion to this tactic? Have you counseled him to stop this conduct?" before proposing putting Ryan on the spot over whether Trump should be impeached.
"Under what circumstances would you ever call upon the House Judiciary Committee to consider Trump’s possible impeachment?" Rubin suggested.
Rubin then lowered the boom.
"When Republicans such as Ryan, Rooney and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have figured out that the president repeatedly spreads falsehoods to throw law enforcement on defense, detract from the FBI’s and the Justice Department’s credibility and thereby undermine the Russia investigation, it is long past time to recognize that he is abusing his office — and that the GOP House majority is not fulfilling its constitutional obligations," she wrote. "We will not be able to do anything about the former unless we get rid of the latter."
You can read the whole piece here.