Republicans stepped on a rake and now they need a plan to distract the public from the humiliation.

After promising the release of its anti-FBI intelligence memo would be “bigger than Watergate” and that public officials would be sent to prison because of its shocking revelations, House Republicans were left scrambling in the wake of the memo’s implosion.

Widely seen as a public relations flop, and even a social media punch line, the GOP failures now means the party needs to come up with a new strategy to protect Donald Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia and obstruction of justice investigation.

Now House Republicans who were responsible for the memo charade, including California’s Devin Nunes, are cooking up new memo releases they insist will show wrongdoing. And as they often do when they want to change the subject, they’re turning to Hillary Clinton in hopes they can use her as a permanent distraction and whip up enough hysteria among Trump’s fanatic base followers so they’ll forget that the FBI memo failed to deliver.

“Republicans close to Nunes say there could be as many as five additional memos or reports of ‘wrongdoing,'” Axios reports. “A Republican source briefed on Nunes’ investigations told me some of the work focuses on the activities of two longtime backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton: Sid Blumenthal and controversial activist Cody Shearer.”

Does his brand of desperation sound quite familiar?

“On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton,” NBC News reported last month

Uranium One!

Also, from January: “Justice Department officials are taking a fresh look at Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of State,” the Daily Beast reported. “Officials’ questions include how much classified information was sent over Clinton’s server; who put that information into an unclassified environment, and how; and which investigators knew about these matters and when.”

But her emails!

It’s just the latest proof of how House Republicans no longer see themselves as functioning in an independent branch of the government, but instead as an appendage of the White House, and eager to do its bidding.

Indeed, last week a clearly distraught Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed that Democrats had been told “for the first time” that Republicans on the committee had already opened up partisan investigations into the Department of Justice and State Department.

The move demolished any idea that the committee was still investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Instead, the rogue committee has now set its sights on trying to take down those investigating Trump. Or at the very least, to protect Trump from sharp inquiries.

And these days, that’s a full-time job.