Donald Trump and his cronies entering the White House kicked off an impressive race to the bottom in terms of what our expectations are for elected officials. News that would normally be incredibly damaging has been collectively shrugged at as a new normal, “the swamp” seems swampier than ever, and things have now gotten so bad that even U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy can’t ignore it anymore.
So what did it finally take for the GOP Rep. to turn on Donald Trump’s White House? Their knowing employment of a domestic abuser, it turns out, which is pretty odd considering their continued support of Trump’s current White House employment despite allegations of sexual assault. But they seem to feel differently when it comes to Rob Porter, Trump’s former staff secretary, who recently resigned as news broke of multiple allegations of domestic abuse against him, complete with compelling photographic evidence.
Both of Porter’s ex-wives told the FBI about the abuse they had experienced, as well as the potential for blackmail against Porter. This led the FBI to conclude that Porter couldn’t pass their background check and shouldn’t be handling sensitive information, despite the White House’s recent excuses for keeping him on despite what they knew about him, including that his background check was still ongoing, and we all know how Trey Gowdy feels about the mishandling of secret information:
On Sec. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information → if this conduct does not warrant prosecution, what does?https://t.co/QNFFnjq0ZU
— Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) October 3, 2016
That’s why he and the House Oversight Committee are launching an investigation into the whole mess, although the way Gowdy tells it, he’s more concerned about employing an abuser than he is about the security clearance issue:
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy on allegations of spousal abuse against former top White House aide Rob Porter: “How in the hell was he still employed… How do you have any job if you have credible allegations of domestic abuse?” https://t.co/vuNO7b7riO https://t.co/nHySCCvUGb
— CNN (@CNN) February 14, 2018
But as shocking as it is that we’ve finally gone so far down the path towards the darkest timeline that we’ve reached the universe where Trey Benghazi Angrier-About-Leaks-Than-the-Wrongdoing-They-Expose Gowdy is starting to make sense, finding the Porter situation unacceptable is a disappointingly low bar to clear. It’s also, again, a bit odd to make it a crusade about the moral right and wrong of violence against women when Gowdy has both endorsed Donald Trump himself for election and voted with Trump’s wishes a full 98.5% of the time, despite all the allegations against him and his harmful, continual insistence that denial is innocence.
Trump still supports Porter and wishes for the best for him, and he’s the polar opposite of Gowdy being “biased towards the victim,” tweeting his concerns about allegations destroying men’s lives and “due process.” This isn’t a one-incident issue with Trump or something that’s now in the past with Porter gone. His erosion of basic standards is ongoing, and enabling a person like Trump in the first place was always going to lead us here. This is exactly the kind of thing Trump opponents warned about during the campaign. If Gowdy really wants to get to the bottom of how something like this could possibly happen, he needs to look no further than his own failure to rise above partisanship and oppose Donald Trump before he got anywhere near the White House.
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