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Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee continue to remain mute thus enabling continuous repetition of Russia-Trump conspiracy theories for which no evidence has been provided. “Bipartisanship” means the Republican Party exists only to protect and defend the Democrat and media monopoly-Wall St. Journal, Kimberley Strassel, opinion

January 25, 2019

1/24/19, “Mark Warner’s Enablers,” Wall St. Journal, Kimberley A. Strassel, opinion

“The Virginia senator [Warner] gets too much respect for his Trump-Russia conspiracy theories.”

“Bipartisan” in the Warner dictionary means that committee Democrats make unfounded claims and committee Republicans must sit silent, lest they be accused of uncongeniality. That’s also the media’s definition of bipartisanship, which it daily encourages with a never-ending gush of stories about the committee’s integrity and seriousness.

All this leaves Mr. Warner free to act as the Senate’s resident conspiracy theorist, but with the veneer of respectability—the grown-up version of Rep. Adam Schiff. In recent weeks Mr. Warner has painted the lurid possibility of Trump-Russia collusion. He’s said that Mr. Trump “parroted” President Vladimir Putin’s policies in 2016; that the president “never spoke ill” of Russia; that the Republican Party “softened” its Russia platform; that Mr. Trump hid his Helsinki conversations with Mr. Putin last July.

Where are all the Senate Intelligence Republicans to remind Mr. Warner and his viewers that the committee has failed to produce any “hard evidence” for such claims? They are sitting quietly, the good members who follow the rules and don’t talk about the committee’s work—even as Mr. Warner does.

The situation has also left Mr. Warner free to get away with some unbecoming actions. In March 2017, he began secretly texting with a lobbyist who offered to put him in touch with Mr. Steele. In his texts, Mr. Warner insisted that he alone on the committee should talk to Mr. Steele first, about the “scope” of any possible testimony. He didn’t disclose any of this to his committee colleagues until months later. Who was running interference, and on whose behalf? Not only did Intel Republicans let this pass, a few even defended Mr. Warner.

Republican defenders of the committee say its primary mission was always to investigate the intelligence community’s handling of Russia’s [alleged] 2016 interference—and that it has already issued two reports—one on the community’s assessments, the other on election security.

At some point, however, Republicans might note that Mr. Warner has unilaterally redefined the work of this “bipartisan” group. Recently he told CNN that the “defining question” of the Senate Intel investigation is whether there was “collusion.” The longer he can keep that question open at a leading Senate committee, the longer the innuendo hovers over the White House….

Someone on the Senate Intelligence Committee ought to step up and offer some supervision of Mr. Warner.”

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