Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says that he’s leaving government because the Trump administration is not getting things done.
After Republicans took the presidency with majorities in Congress, the expectation for many conservatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill was that things would begin to move quickly away from the Obama administration’s stonewalling of Congress and liberal agenda. Not so.
"The reality is, sadly, I don't see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration,” Chaffetz said in an interview with Sharyl Attkisson of the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Instead of floodgates, Chaffetz’s work with the oversight committee has met a stone wall from the administration. In Chaffetz’s telling, the Trump administration’s behavior is no different, indeed even worse, than the Obama administration’s.
“In many ways, it's almost worse because we're getting nothing, and that's terribly frustrating and, with all due respect, the attorney general has not changed at all,” Chaffetz said. “I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that's my experience, and that's not what I expected."
"We have everything from the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which is really one of the critical things. There was the investigation into the IRS. And one that was more than seven years old is Fast and Furious. I mean, we have been in court trying to pry those documents out of the Department of Justice and still to this day, they will not give us those documents. And at the State Department, nothing. Stone-cold silence."
The reason for this is President Trump has refused to clean house. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen remains in power. The State Department under Rex Tillerson’s leadership has put Obama cronies in top positions. And where individuals at the top, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, may actually be interested in helping Congress, Chaffetz says the people in the “bowels” of the administrative state are inhibiting them from doing so.
"I think if we went to the senior-most people, even the president himself, they would be pulling their hair out and they would hate to hear that but within the bowels of the organization, they just seem to circle the wagons and think, 'Oh we can just wait you out. We can just wait you out.'"
Chaffetz has correctly identified the Democratic strategy (those people in the administrative “deep state” are effectively agents of the Democratic party) – resist. Stall. Run out the clock on the Trump presidency. Distract from the issues with the Russian collusion hysteria and prevent the administration from the real work of governing.
The question is, what is President Trump and the Congress going to do about it?
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.