By Michael Cornfield, GSPM Associate Professor and Research Director
This morning Senate Majority Leader McConnell said that “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work.” By current work McConnell meant that being conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
That puts the now radioactively hot potato in the lap of the Committee’s chair, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, a distant descendant of “Hamilton” star Aaron Burr. (The House counterpart committee has no credibility left after the antics of Devin Nunes.) Senator Burr, who has said this is his last term in Congress, said last night he was “troubled by the timing and reasoning” of FBI Director Comey’s firing last night. Burr has thus far collaborated with the ranking Democrat on the Committee, Mark Warner of Virginia, who has said the investigation into Russian involvement with the Trump campaign and the 2016 election “may very well be the most important thing I do in my public life.”
All this heartens me, as do Warner’s law degree and tech cred.
I presume and hope that neither Senator retains any ambition for higher office, as Warner has in the past. I presume and hope neither has any financial ties to the Trump Organization or the Russian state.
Their success also hinges on their capacity to summon and manage experts in financial and online data analytics and Russian studies, to withstand the pressures of authoritarian personalities and media exposure, to command respect from both political parties and FBI agents, and to follow the truth and the law in the spirit of patriotism.
Right now, Burr and Warner are the linchpin in the American republic.