We have to take folk at their word: Yesterday, the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee brought that panel's investigation of Trump and the Russkies to a screeching halt.
Among other things, they said they've found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russkies. For the record, we don't know if any such collusion occurred.
Last night, Erin Burnett conducted a long interview with Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla), one of the Republican committee members. How assiduous was the committee's search for the truth? At one point, Rooney made the highlighted remarks in response to Burnett's perfectly sensible question:
BURNETT (3/12/18): OK. When you say no collusion, how are you so confident about that? There are so many reasons, right, to ask this question. Yes, you had a lot of time to look at it. However, Bob Mueller has not yet reached that conclusion.To watch this exchange, click here, move ahead to 4:15.
BURNETT: Your Senate colleague, Richard Burr, the Republican leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said they have not reached that conclusion tonight.
BURNETT: Why are you all so confident that you have, and you are doing so completely on a partisan line?
ROONEY: I think that we have to go with the facts and the evidence as we've seen down in the committee. And the over 60 witnesses that we've interviewed, the documents that we have reviewed, just asking them point blank to their face, "Was there any of the things that we're looking at, was there any collusion, coordination, conspiracy, any of those things? Over the last year," have we been able to find any evidence of that, and we haven't.
Now, I know some of my friends on the other side of aisle say that we can't just take people's testimony at their word—
ROONEY: —but I think, in this system, you have to assume that people are telling the truth. And if it comes out that they were lying, then there's consequences for that. But I think first—I'm just going to base on evidence and fact of what we asked all of our witnesses. But Mueller and the Senate, who knows, maybe they're finding things that we haven't seen. But we certainly have not seen that.
Rooney was courteous throughout. But in that exchange, he issued a remarkable statement about the way an investigation should work:
"In this system, you have to assume that people are telling the truth!"
Some Democrats think you should try to check the facts about the various things different people tell you. To Rooney, that's going too far.
Thus spake Rep. Rooney! They asked sixty people, "point blank," if they colluded with the Russkies. None of the sixty said they had! On that basis, case closed!
Burnett simply moved on at the point. We think she should have lingered.
Meanwhile, this is the point to which our political culture has devolved. There's no sign that the downward spiral has stopped, and a great deal of the downward spiral is occurring Over Here, on our own liberal side.