The Senate’s Russia probe is crawling along at a snail’s pace. It’s a startling change from how furiously the Senate investigated the Benghazi faux-scandal.
A recent report from Reuters compared the time and resources spent on the current investigation into President Trump’s alleged communications with Russian officials while campaigning for the presidency side-by-side with the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the attack on a U.S. embassy in Libya.
While 46 Congressional staffers were put to work investigating the claims that Clinton’s alleged negligence cost the lives of four American diplomats (Clinton was ultimately vindicated), only 7 staffers are looking into whether or not the current President of the United States was working on behalf of a foreign government when running for president. The below chart shows that out of every major Congressional investigation since 1975, going all the way back to the Church Committee, the fewest resources by far have been allocated for the Trump-Russia investigation.
“We need to pick up the pace,” Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico), told Reuters. “It is incumbent on us to have the resources to do this right and expeditiously, and I think we need additional staff.”
The astonishingly slow pace of the Republican-controlled Congress’ investigation of a Republican president has renewed calls for an independent commission to look into Trump’s alleged Russian ties. According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 73 percent of Americans favor an independent investigation that won’t be compromised by partisan politics. To nobody’s surprise, only a majority of Republicans favored no independent investigation.
Despite the sluggish pace, the first major hearing in the investigation is likely to yield significant new revelations. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom President Trump fired for her refusal to enforce his Muslim immigration ban that was later overturned by a federal judge, will testify before the Senate on May 8.
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.