Republicans claimed to care about the safety of classified information when they were attacking Hillary Clinton. Now all they care about is protecting Trump.
During the 2016 presidential election, Republicans made a lot of noise about the release of classified information.
They accused Hillary Clinton of exposing national security secrets through her email server and said it disqualified her from the presidency.
Speaker Paul Ryan said Clinton “recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information.”
Donald Trump, who attacked her on a near-daily basis on the campaign trail, said, “She was willing to risk our foreign enemies reading her emails as long as the voting American public could not.”
But now with special counsel Robert Mueller now heading up the FBI investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s role in that intrusion, many of those Republicans have changed their tune.
They are now fighting to release a memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), despite the FBI’s “grave concerns” that the information could be damaging to ongoing law enforcement efforts. It’s part of a larger smear campaign by the GOP and the White House to undermine Mueller’s investigation and the entire FBI.
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer both blasted the hyper-partisan attacks from Nunes and the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee he chairs and called on Ryan to remove Nunes.
But Ryan is also part of the problem. He also supports releasing the memo, saying it will “cleanse” the FBI to “get it all out there.”
Concerns about the safety and integrity of American law enforcement now clearly have an expiration date for Republicans like Ryan and Trump. When it’s about trying to damage their political rivals, they express concern for law enforcement.
But if it means protecting Trump politically, law enforcement officers do not have a reliable ally. Trump, Ryan, and other Republicans have been more than happy to hang them out to dry to try to protect themselves.