Republican Senator Richard Burr got in hot-water last weekend when it was exposed that the Trump’s White House had asked him to call up reporters and tell them that there was nothing to the Trump-Russia scandal. The reason this is a problem, well Burr is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee given the task of investigating the Trump-Russia scandal. But it gets worse for Burr, because he’s also tied to Trump financially as well.
Because we are a nation of partisan politics, it’s a given that politicians of the same party are going to endorse each other and make campaign appearances together. But Sen. Richard Burr wasn’t merely your average partisan Republican during the 2016 presidential election. In fact, when Donald Trump headlined a fundraiser in Charlotte in August of 2016, Richard Burr was listed as an “honorary co-chair” in a report from the Charlotte Observer newspaper. That puts them in ‘bed’ together in terms of political finances.
This fundraiser, together with Burr’s role in attempted White House cover-up of the Trump-Russia scandal, creates a bond between Burr and Trump too closely aligned for Burr to be able to investigate Trump in a manner that is objective. This is a problem, because Burr is the chair of the significant Senate committee leading the Trump-Russia scandal investigation.
As a practical matter, Burr’s lack of objectivity may not stand in the way of anything. With Republican Senator Susan Collins now leading the way on the Trump-Russia scandal investigation, she and the Democrats on the committee have sufficient votes to overrule any dissent from Burr, his chairmanship notwithstanding.
SENATE LEADER SCHUMER
But there’s a reason why Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he was putting Richard Burr “on notice” this week. Burr needs to handle this Trump-Russia investigation to the ‘letter of the law’ going forward, and if he fails to do so, Schumer will publicly call him out and advise that Burr recuse himself from the committee investigation entirely.
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