Those who thought they saw the possibility of a Republican/Democrat rapprochement in President Trump’s offer to scale down his dreams of an immigration wall and to provide some protections for the Dreamers had to be disappointed last week. Trump had made his offers to jumpstart negotiations to end the government shutdown.
Although both proposals moved toward positions the Democrats had previously pushed for, there were no takers on the Democratic side. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said there was nothing to talk about, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to come down from her earlier pledge that there would never be funding for a wall.
Equally as disturbing was the strange controversy over that BuzzFeed report that Michael Cohen had revealed to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigators that Trump had told him to lie to a Congressional committee. According to the report, Cohen said Trump wanted him to mislead the committee as to when discussions between the Trump Organization and the Russian government for a Trump building project in Moscow ended.
Given the fact that Cohen is on his way to jail, it is inconceivable that the report was true. Cohen’s lawyers could hardly have failed to get him a total walk in return for information that would provide the information on obstruction of justice that Mueller has sought all along. And Mueller would hardly have closed the books on Cohen before nailing down this story. Moreover, the authors of the BuzzFeed story have been criticized over the accuracy of their reporting in the past.
Yet the invariable reaction from Democratic leaders was not to urge patience until more about the story became known, but rather to immediately pursue investigations on the theory that “if true” this was a very serous matter.
Of course, as it turned out, discrepancies between the two authors as to what evidence they had relied upon soon surfaced. Special Counsel Mueller’s office then denied the accuracy of the article.
So, no quarter from the Resistance. Democrats have taken power in the House of Representatives, but no sign of the civility that Speaker Pelosi had promised would come with it.