Based on his record, there was no reason to believe Congressman Cline would be anything other than a blindly loyal hyper-partisan defender of President Trump no matter how blatant his abuse of power.
First Cline shrugged off the serious evidence against Trump in the Mueller Report. Now he is determined to do the same when it comes to the even more alarming efforts to get the Ukrainian President Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden for possible use against Biden in the 2020 election– a flagrant case of seeking foreign interference in an American political campaign.
The release of what the White House claims is a transcript of a phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky leaves little question that this is precisely what Trump tried to do. And we still haven’t seen the complaint of a whistleblower in the intelligence community about this matter– a complaint which the intelligence community’s inspector general called “urgent.”
After days of silence on the matter, Cline issued the following statement (including of course the obligatory dig at the Speaker of the House):
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has caved to those on the far-left of her party who are demanding an official impeachment inquiry. She knows there is not enough support in the full House to pass a formal resolution of impeachment, so she has thrown her support behind the embarrassing spectacle of hearings that have been going on for months in the Judiciary Committee. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I have watched as the Democrats have failed repeatedly to build a case for impeaching the President, from hearings about nonexistent Trump-Russian collusion to the flop that was the Mueller Report. While the Speaker and her party are now focused on new rumors, phone transcripts, and third-party allegations involving the President, I remain focused on doing the job that I was elected to do by the citizens of the Sixth District. It is my hope that we can put aside these political games and work toward addressing the important issues facing the American people.”
Not a word on the indefensible actions of Trump and his administration. Just a pathetic effort to distract attention from one of the most dire threats in recent decades to our national security and our democracy.
Can anyone doubt how Cline would react if a Democratic president had done anything like this?
Cline may think that backing Trump is a matter of political survival. But as GOP political consultant Mike Murphy wrote:
In the wake of the president’s actions on Ukraine, the Republican Party and the officials who lead it must be brutally marked to market on the issue of Trump’s fitness for office. This test would create an existential question for every Republican senator and representative: Why am I here? To serve my future or my country?
I’m sure Cline would be happy to hear from his Sixth District constituents about this. If you want to contact him, you can do so via his website or by phone at (202) 225-5431.