(May 10): Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is a hero. Or at least, he’s the one guy actually doing his job, while fellow Republican officeholders attacking him are party hacks.

They are hacks in the same way House Judiciary Committee Democrats wrongly holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress are hacks. Both sides — indeed, almost all members of Congress these days — repeatedly put party over country and politics over principle.

House Democrats literally want Barr to break the law in order to comply with the meritless subpoena they issued to him. The Republican critics of Burr want him to ignore important questions of national security so they can declare “case closed” on all matters of Russian perfidy related to the 2016 elections.

Shame on all of them.

In the midst of all this, Burr looks like a rare officeholder who understands the requirements of statesmanship. At some point in the last few weeks, Burr, as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, signed off on a subpoena to the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. Burr’s committee has been investigating the intelligence issues involved in Russia’s indisputable efforts to subvert the 2016 elections.

The committee’s job is different from that of special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller was conducting a criminal investigation that spun off, quite rightly, from a counterintelligence investigation. The Senate Intelligence Committee is not a prosecutorial body. Its job is to conduct oversight of U.S. intelligence agencies and of breaches of American interests.

The public does not know specifically why the committee has subpoenaed the younger Trump. Intelligence Committee deliberations, for obvious reasons, are more confidential than those of other committees. The whole world knows, though, that Trump Jr. was the person in the president’s inner circle who clearly was willing to conspire with Russian government interests if it would help his father’s campaign….

[Read the rest of the column here.]


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