WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) lightly distanced himself on Wednesday from President Donald Trump’s recent tweet criticizing his attorney general for bringing charges against two Republican congressmen.
Now, Ryan would like the issue to go away, thankyouverymuch.
When asked about the tweet where the president attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for bringing charges against Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) ― the two congressional Republicans who were first to endorse Trump during the GOP presidential primaries ― Ryan said that “justice should be blind.”
“I think it’s very important that we respect that fact that justice should be blind,” he said, saying the concept of blind justice is the “emblem” of the Justice Department.
But while Ryan expressed opposition to Trump’s version of justice ― i.e., political corruption ― the speaker didn’t say Congress would do anything about Trump’s tweet. He didn’t volunteer any remedy for having a president openly expressing his preference for the attorney general not prosecuting Republican lawmakers. Nor did Ryan indicate there would be any sort of investigation or repercussions for a statement that Republicans would almost certainly find disqualifying if it were uttered by a Democratic president.
(Vox laid out a case for impeachment on Wednesday based on the president’s tweet, which hinges on how the public can no longer trust Trump or anyone he would appoint to be the next attorney general.)
Trump’s tweet came Monday after Collins and Hunter were both indicted on credible charges ― Collins for insider trading and Hunter for a long history of using his campaign account as a personal piggy bank.
Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
Both lawmakers remain in Congress, though they’ve been removed from their committee assignments while the charges are pending. (Ryan also said Wednesday that removing Collins and Hunter from their respective committees was “appropriate.”)
But Ryan evidently plans to do nothing further in response to Trump’s statement. Republicans are already pretending they’re powerless to address the tweet. Most likely, the news will slip away without any real consequence, while Ryan collects a round of headlines for “breaking with Trump” when he really did no such thing.
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