Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kansas congressional delegation mostly approves appointment of special counsel, but Marshall calls it a ‘witch hunt’

Members of the Kansas congressional delegation as of May 18, 2017, from left: Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Pat Roberts, Rep. Ron Estes, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Rep. Roger Marshall and Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Members of the Kansas congressional delegation as of May 18, 2017, from left: Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Pat Roberts, Rep. Ron Estes, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Rep. Roger Marshall and Rep. Kevin Yoder.

May 18, 2017


— The Justice Department's decision to hire former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian government officials drew mostly positive reaction Thursday from Kansas' all-Republican congressional delegation.

That represents a slight change in position from a week ago when none of Kansas' senators or House members said they supported calls for a special prosecutor in the wake of Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

First District Rep. Roger Marshall, of Great Bend, issued the most caustic comment Thursday in a series of tweets in which he called the investigation a "witch hunt."

"It seems that long before this witch hunt, there has been a national media bias," Marshall wrote. "There is so much noise, and so much conjecture. That said, if a special counsel is what it will take for us to move on to actually do the people's work — so be it."

Mueller headed the FBI for 13 years, from 2001 through 2013, a period that spanned the administrations of Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama. His first day on the job was Sept. 4, 2001, exactly one week before the terror attacks of 9/11.

Second District Rep. Lynn Jenkins, of Topeka, whose district includes Lawrence, posted a statement on her Facebook page saying Mueller enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress.

“As the former FBI Director in both President Bush and President Obama’s administrations, Robert Mueller has earned support from both sides of the aisle in Congress," Jenkins said. "I welcome the Department of Justice’s decision to add Robert Mueller as special counsel to their investigation. With an investigation in the House, Senate and Department of Justice underway, I believe now is the time to return our focus to helping Americans by reforming our tax code and getting more folks back to work.”

Third District Rep. Kevin Yoder, of Overland Park, shared the same sentiment.

“Robert Mueller is a man of the utmost integrity and the American people can trust him to go where the facts lead," Yoder said in an email statement. "I commend the Justice Department and the Administration for taking action to restore the trust of the American people and clear the air on this issue so we can return our focus to reforming our broken tax code, growing our economy, and rebuilding our military to ensure the safety and security of our nation.”

Kansas' newest member of Congress, 4th District Rep. Ron Estes, of Wichita, issued a press release saying he supports Mueller's hiring.

“In a case of such public interest, it is imperative to foster confidence and independence to assure the American people that we are still a nation grounded in the rule of law," Estes said. "I have confidence in former Director Mueller and the professionals at the U.S. Department of Justice to give us a full and fact-based account of any possible efforts to undermine our election process. As this investigation progresses — as well as those of the House and Senate Committees — it is important to give the process and people involved our support and patience.”

Sen. Jerry Moran said in a statement that he expects Mueller to focus on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, but he made no mention of possible ties or collusion with the Trump campaign.

“There have been many questions raised about the effect of Russian interference in our elections, and I welcome the naming of a special counsel to conduct the investigation," he said. "With this appointment, my hope is that the distractions can stop, the counsel can do his job and Congress and the President can deal with the many challenges facing our country. I expect Mr. Mueller’s pursuit of truth to be conducted in a manner that gives the American people confidence in the findings, regardless of the outcome.”

Sen. Pat Roberts, who said last week that he supported Trump's firing of Comey, did not issue a statement on the hiring of a special counsel, but his communications director, Sarah Little, said in an email that Roberts "supports the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel as an appropriate way forward."


Tony Peterson 10 months, 1 week ago

Investigating what did or didn't happen isn't a "witch hunt". It's no different than something like an employment discrimination claim. Both sides have their version of what happened but both can't be right so the only way it can be settled is to do an investigation to find out the truth.

If the claim is found to be false that's the end of it. If it goes the other way then you move on to the next step.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months, 1 week ago

Exactly!!! Thank you for putting it so precisely.

Ray Mizumura 10 months, 1 week ago

Noise and conjecture--that's what I call Marshall's sweeping generalization of poor people as losers and leeches who lead enviable lives of indulgence, just sitting back waiting for those hefty Medicaid payments to fall into their lazy laps.

Not a dime's worth of difference between Marshall and the man he vanquished, Tim Huelskamp. Marshall came on smoother during the primary, but Huelskamp turned out to be much more "what you see/hear is what you get."

Hell, Marshall even uses the same language of victimization as the 45th President does--"witch hunt." We've got ourselves two peas in a pod, a real pair of snowflakes in Trump and Marshall.

Steve Jacob 10 months, 1 week ago

I am surprised the only one in the picture who is "defending" Trump is Marshall. Everyone else is waiting it out to see how the wind blows.

Michael Kort 10 months, 1 week ago

1600 Pennsylvania Ave.............not exactly an occult hide out address ?..., flying monkeys ! ...... nor castle troopers with big fur hats and long coats !

Which hunt.......are we talking about ?

Maybe. the hunt for the.truth about a guy who lies so fast that even his own political party has buyers remorse .

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

Watergate,Iran Contra,several financial fiascos have occurred under the conservative umbrella since Reagan/Bush. So to say there is not a pattern is nonsense.

Why shouldn't law enforcement be interested in a man who got bailed out of bankruptcy through Russian crime bosses?

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

The president’s tweets may undermine an effort to claim executive privilege, analysts say. And his need for a private attorney is viewed as a priority because he has been relying on government lawyers, who could be called to testify about private conversations with him.

On the bright side, Trump has created all this chaos himself.

Other views:

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

Trumpcare may have died in Congress, but that does not mean Republicans have given up on destroying the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. Trump’s cronies in the administration will do everything possible to sabotage it.

And Big Pharma and predatory insurance companies will use the chaos to push “fixes” that further entrench their power over life-and-death medical decisions.


Frankly I like choices though I am firmly backing Medicare Single Payer as choice we taxpayers should have at our disposal.

The U.S. health insurance system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion or more annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes.

This $2 trillion tax dollars or more is the source which would likely cover the cost of a single payer system. At least a sizeable portion.

I say repeal the mandate STAT. This is nothing but a free lunch for the medical insurance industry.

Provide 3 choices:

=== ObamaCare which retains the health insurance industry

=== Single Payer Medicare for ALL = excellent coverage for those who wish to enroll.

=== Self financed health care for those able to do so.

USA healthcare coverage is extremely relevant in this discussion about reckless conservatives insensitivity to the needs of this nation. The Kansas delegation is a perfect example.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 10 months, 1 week ago

Why does anyone pay one bit of attention to what the debauched pervert thinks?

Impeachment is the only proper and correct resolution. But will the Republicans who are so damned loyal to this travesty have the stomach to do what is decidedly the correct action???

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