Republicans find themselves damned by 2016 attacks on Hillary Clinton


Vice President Pence and Republican leadership had a lot to say about why someone under FBI investigation should not be president. They don't want to be held to those words now.

Donald Trump and the GOP repeatedly declared that Hillary Clinton should not be president because of an FBI investigation into her email practices. Now that James Comey has revealed an investigation exists into the possibility of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government, we should hold the Trump administration and the GOP to their words that an FBI investigation into a president is a disqualifying event.

In the final run up to Election Day, Mike Pence, then vice presidential candidate and governor and now Vice President, appeared on Fox News and brought up the FBI investigation of Clinton, asserting "no one is above the law," and praising the FBI:

"Hillary Clinton and her foundation are under a current investigation by the FBI...I mean, Chris, the American people know no one is above the law. We commend the FBI for following the facts and reopening the investigation."

A mere week before Election Day, Priebus and the Republican National Committee took the extraordinary step of releasing a statement asserting the Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, should be disqualified from running due to the FBI investigation:

"The FBI’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just eleven days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be. This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law. What’s indisputable is that Hillary Clinton jeopardized classified information on thousands of occasions in her reckless attempt to hide pay-to-play corruption at her State Department. This alone should be disqualifying for anyone seeking the presidency, a job that is supposed to begin each morning with a top secret intelligence briefing.

The use by the Trump campaign and the GOP of the FBI investigation as a weapon to undermine Clinton began early. In October 2015, Dan Scavino, Jr., the Trump campaign's director of social media and the now assistant to the president, had said "nobody" else other than Clinton would dare to run with a "scandal" like being investigated by the FBI:

In February 2016, Sean Spicer, the then communications director for the GOP and the now White House press secretary, said this:

In June 2016, Kellyanne Conway, the then Trump campaign advisor and now special counsel to the president, used the FBI investigation to mock Clinton's historic nomination as the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party:

As a candidate, Trump himself angrily asserted that a president under criminal investigation by the FBI to "govern or lead" and that it would be "impossible" for government to function if a president was under such investigation.

Through January 2017, Trump said Clinton should not have even been able to run because of the FBI investigation:

A week before the election, Trump surrogate Senator Marco Rubio spoke before an audience in Florida and engaged in this exchange:

Rubio: "Can this country afford to have a president under investigation by the FBI?"
Audience: "No!"
Rubio: "Think of the trauma that this would do to this country."

Trump and Republican leaders have called an FBI criminal investigation into a president "disqualifying" as to the responsibilities of the position and a "trauma" to this country. They have asserted, correctly, that no one is above the law in the United States.

We must work together to hold them to those words with respect to Donald Trump and any and all of his associates who might be implicated in the FBI investigation revealed by FBI Director Comey.