Former GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina was on a local Virginia talk show, the John Fredericks Show, today (full disclosure, I never heard of him until this article so I can tell you nothing about him) and opined that Congress just isn’t able to investigate the allegations about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“We’ve got to have either a special prosecutor or an independent commission, and that’s still the right answer,” Fiorina said on the “John Fredericks Show.” “And every day that goes by, it becomes clearer it’s the right answer because the Democrats will not let this go, and the American people need to be reassured about what actually happened here.”
“That’s the only way you’re gonna get to the bottom of this in a way that everyone trusts,” added Fiorina.
In a previous appearance on the show in early March, Fiorina said an investigation needed to be one that “no one can question” but didn’t specifically say a special prosecutor was needed.
Fiorina is weighing a bid for the Senate in Virginia in 2018.
There are two parts to this proposal. One part is utterly insane. The other part could pass for sanity with just the right amount of darkness.
First the insane part. A special prosecutor. Nuts. A prosecutor is warranted where there is an allegation of a crime. As of this writing, there is exactly one alleged crime: someone leaked the transcript/substance of Mike Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador. That’s it. I’m all in favor of a special prosecutor for that because with each passing day I get the feeling the FBI is as much a part of the problem as it is the solution in this probe. What the House and Senate are allegedly investigating is the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including contacts between various members of both campaigns, though particularly Trump’s, and Russian nationals that may have related to the campaign. No special prosecutor ever folds their tent and says “nothing here, folks.” Once appointed they are going to prosecute someone, even unjustly in the case of Scooter Libby. Thankfully, the Trump administration would have to agree to do this and it is doubtful that happens.
If you keep the room just dim enough, a special commission can look attractive in a very homely kind of way. While superficially composed of non-partisans, a commission will contain the usual roster of latently political lackwits that peopled the 9/11 Commission. Undoubtedly, the Democrats will have Joe Biden and they will probably wheel in Lee Hamilton to reprise his 9/11 douchebaggery. The GOP will have Bob Dole and maybe Allen Simpson. The staff supporting them will be hyper-partisan. There is no way the GOP agrees to a commission unless they can pull in John Podesta and Hillary Clinton on their own Russia connections and the Democrats aren’t going to go along with that. In the end, you get nothing but everyone feels a little bit better. The positive side here is that it requires an actual law, passed by Congress and signed by the president, to establish one of those. So we’ve dodged the bullet here because Trump is probably more likely to allow a special prosecutor than he is to sign a law for his own investigation.
Neither of these ideas is all that bright. If committees in the House and Senate can’t conduct the investigation there is no reason to believe a prosecutor or commission is going to be able to do it.