Mitch McConnell finally broke his silence on the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago executed on Monday. On Tuesday night, McConnell released a statement calling for a “thorough and immediate explanation.” What took so long, Mitch?
McConnell was asked about the raid on Trump’s home earlier in the day but refused to answer any questions. “I’m here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood.” That was understandable because he was addressing the recent flooding in eastern Kentucky. You can’t blame him for keeping the focus on his constituents who are in need of assistance in their recovery. But, it’s odd that he, as the top elected Republican in Washington, didn’t release his statement earlier. His office could have done it any time during the day.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declines to comment on the FBI raid on Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago.
"I'm here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood," he said when asked for his reaction. pic.twitter.com/jJakuUz2BD
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) August 9, 2022
McConnell’s statement was typical McConnell – short and direct.
The Senate minority leader eventually released a statement Tuesday evening, echoing others in his party: “The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday. Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately.”
That statement is in sharp contrast to the one issued by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He came out swinging and promised that when Republicans take back the House, there will be an investigation. McCarthy was talking about “immediate oversight” for the Department of Justice. “Attorney General Garland: preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”
Attorney General Garland: preserve your documents and clear your calendar. pic.twitter.com/dStAjnwbAT
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 9, 2022
If only we could believe McCarthy that Republicans will hold the DOJ accountable. We’ve heard that kind of rhetoric for years and Republicans are good about having hearings but nothing ever really comes of them. How many hearings were there on Benghazi when Republicans were in control of the House? How about the abuse of Lois Lerner and the IRS toward conservatives during the Obama administration? Republicans talk a big game but have a problem when it comes to follow-through. Plus, Biden will be in the White House after Republicans take back the House and maybe the Senate in November. He’ll stop whatever Republicans try to do.
McConnell has a more strained relationship with Trump than does McCarthy.
According to “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, McConnell crowed that Trump was “thoroughly discredited” by the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, believing that the then-president’s influence over the GOP would soon fade.
And Trump has frequently bashed McConnell since leaving office, most recently after the Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act on a party-line vote.
McConnell’s silence was noticeable, though, because every Republican within striking distance of a microphone was weighing in on the unprecedented FBI raid on the former president’s home. One thing the FBI raid did was to bring conservatives and liberals out to criticize the move. Critics didn’t have to be Trump supporters to speak out against the raid and an apparent overreach by the federal government against a former president. People noticed McConnell’s silence.
The GOP Senate leadership is still silent about the FBI’s raid on Mar-A-Lago. If we don’t take the Senate it’s on McConnell and his lackeys. They’re absolutely awful.
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 9, 2022
DOJ must disclose the bona fide nature of the August 8 action or else the republicans will use it to Discredit the Jan 6 investigation, which would be a terrible disservice to the good work of the house committee in exposing The Trump administration violations. https://t.co/KQ8AIK3DAJ
— Andrew Cuomo (@andrewcuomo) August 9, 2022
The FBI raid may very well backfire on Merrick Garland and Democrats. Trump seemed to be on a downward slide – not a full-on downhill slide but a slow one- in recent weeks as Ron DeSantis rose in some polling for 2024. Trump now will almost certainly run again in 2024, with the FBI raid the final deciding factor. The question remains – when does Trump announce his candidacy? Does he do it before the November midterm elections when Republicans are expected to win big, thanks to a red wave in response to Joe Biden’s utter incompetence? Or does he wait and time it after the midterm elections? I hope he’ll keep his powder dry and wait. Let the Republican wave hit Washington without any outside complications. Let the Democrats continue overreaching in their desperation to keep Trump out of the presidential election in 2024. We’ll have to wait and see if McCarthy keeps his word and actually follows up on action, besides just a series of oversight hearings.