Finally, UT-R Rep. Jason Chaffetz is having his home state paper ask him to step up the plate, to do his job as head of the US Oversight Committee by starting to take his investigative and oversight duties, seriously.
As per 2/15/17, the Salt Lake City Tribune Editorial opinion piece:
“This is a congressional district-size version of the president’s oft-stated, never verified and wholly outrageous claim that the only reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in November is because millions of illegal votes were cast.”
“In other words, it’s false.”
“Chaffetz should realize soon, if he hasn’t already, that the president hasn’t just plowed this ground, he has already salted the fields for anyone who may come after. This crew — dubbed the Prevarication Administration by Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan — has helped to cure the national media of any hesitation it may have had and to start calling out untruths told by high government officials.”
“Chaffetz has not backed off of his fanciful claim that his audience (at a recent town hall meeting ) was full of ringers. But he has started to show a little political backbone by calling the administration on one important question.”
“In his role as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz Tuesday asked the White House for information about a recent evening at the president’s Florida golf resort where, press reports and social media posts suggest, the president of the United States and the prime minister of Japan were discussing classified matters — and shuffling secret papers — in a public dining room.”
“Something that could make Hillary’s email server look positively airtight by comparison.”
“Opening this line of questioning could be a first step toward some real congressional oversight of the administration. It could help Chaffetz walk back his foolish statement about how the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn was enough to solve some serious questions about what contacts Flynn may have had with Russian officials before the administration took office and, more importantly, what the president knew and when he knew it.”
“This administration is peppered with policy and political land mines. For his own good, Chaffetz should be investigating them, not trying to copy them.”
“But explaining away an unpleasant occurrence by fabricating facts about those who oppose you is something the Utah congressman should investigate, not emulate.”
As per the 2/14/17 Salt Lake City Tribune report by Thomas Burr, “House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz on Tuesday (2/14) demanded the White House answer a litany of questions about President Donald Trump’s handling of classified materials after news reports of him using the middle of a country club restaurant to discuss a North Korean missile test.”
“Chaffetz also said that he may launch an investigation into Trump’s now-former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday night and admitted misleading White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.”
On 2/13/17 Dana Milbank Washington Post While Trump scandals mount, Chaffetz decides to investigate… a cartoon character
“True, ( Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason) Chaffetz, after his unending probes of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton, hasn’t shown any appetite to examine, say, the Trump administration’s ties to Russia or its many conflicts of interest. But the chairman has shown determination to probe, without fear or favor, the threat to America posed by Sid the Science Kid.
““The chairman of the powerful panel — the main investigative committee in the House — sent a letter to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demanding to know why, in an attempt to raise awareness of the Zika virus, “CDC appears poised to make a sole source award to the Jim Henson Company for $806,000 to feature Sid the Science Kid in an educational program about the virus.”
“Sid, for readers not familiar with PBS children’s programming, is a preschool cartoon character. Like President Trump, Sid is orange. Unlike Trump, he is highly inquisitive. In each episode, Sid answers questions such as: Why can’t he scratch his ear with his foot the way his dog can? Why does his stomach growl when he makes French toast? Why did his yellow banana turn brown and mushy? In one of my favorite episodes, “The Big Sneeze,” Sid discovers that he needs to wash his hands even if he can’t see germs on them.”
“Chaffetz was quick to recognize the danger. On Jan. 26, the day after TMZ reported that the CDC was planning a Zika-education partnership with Sid, Chaffetz fired off a letter to acting CDC director Anne Schuchat, demanding a “written explanation” and “communications between CDC and the Jim Henson Company and also PBS.”
“This raises the possibility that the probe might expand beyond Sid. Can his teacher, Miss Susie, expect a subpoena? Does the inclusion of PBS in the probe suggest Curious George’s immigration status is in jeopardy? Is Kermit the Frog a dishonest journalist who broadcasts fake news?”
“Chaffetz, in closing, reminded the CDC that his committee can investigate “any matter” at “any time.”
“Yes, it can — which is why it’s so appalling that Chaffetz is focusing on an animated preschooler.”
“Chaffetz never met a probe he didn’t like during the Obama administration, from Benghazi to the IRS. In September alone, Democrats complain, his committee held five days of “emergency” hearings probing Clinton’s emails and issued 12 subpoenas.”
“Now, as my Post colleagues have reported, several U.S. officials have confirmed that national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador in the month before the inauguration — contradicting public assurances by Vice President Pence and other administration officials. But Chaffetz has showed no curiosity about that, nor about Russia’s attempts to tilt the election in Trump’s favor, nor about much of anything Trump-related.”
“Instead, Chaffetz is targeting the head of the Office of Government Ethics for questioning the Trump administration’s conflicts of interest.”
“Chaffetz thought Clinton’s use of a private email server threatened national security. But over the weekend, Trump proved more brazen: He plotted his response to North Korea’s latest missile test from the main dining area of his Mar-a-Lago Club. Club members posted photos on Facebook of Trump and Japan’s Shinzo Abe discussing the matter and poring over documents in proximity to waiters, club members and guests.”
“In this open-air situation room, Trump spoke by mobile phone and aides used their cellphone flashlights to illuminate papers — not the textbook way to handle sensitive information. One club member posted photos online of the nuclear “football” and its minder.”
Scenes such as this one highlight the need for some adult oversight of the new administration. Its travel ban has been shot down in court. The president has been attacking Nordstrom and reincarnating Frederick Douglass. His press secretary has been making up what presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway calls “alternative facts,” and counselor Conway has herself been counseled after pitching Ivanka Trump’s fashion line on TV.”
“Maybe he’ll have a hearing on the matter — once he dispenses with Sid the Science Kid and the rest of the late Henson’s empire. Many unanswered questions remain for Chaffetz to probe:”
Does Snuffleupagus really exist?
Are Ernie and Bert just friends?
Is the Count a vampire?
Does Mr. Noodle know how to talk?
And: Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?