This Is How Accountability Dies

As you may have heard, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham announced yesterday that the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism would be launching an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

This was greeted with much celebration and approval. Which means that most people fundamentally misunderstand what's happening.

There was a time when Graham and McCain were calling for an independent investigation. They're not anymore. And you need go no further than Graham's own statement about the objective of the committee to understand why: "Our goal is simple—to the fullest extent possible we want to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy."

Well, that sounds great. Except for the fact that "Russian activities" aren't the only issue. Donald Trump's (and his son's) business dealings in Russia need to be investigated. Former (and current) advisors to Trump—including but not limited to Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page—have ties to Russia that need to be investigated. Current members of the administration, including National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Rex Tillerson, have ties to Russia that need to be investigated. The fact that Trump clearly knew about Russian interference needs to be investigated. Reince Priebus and Mitch McConnell's indifference to intel about Russian interference needs to be investigated.

This is not just about what Russia did during the election, but about what high-level Republicans, including the president, did during the election and continue to do. That Trump eased sanctions on Russia even as they escalate their campaign in Ukraine deserves serious and meaningful scrutiny.

That is not what Graham, McCain, and the Senate subcommittee, ruled by Republicans, are interested in doing. And that is a real problem.

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