Last week I was in touch with John Faso's office (NY-19) a few times, asking about Trump's sharing of highly secret intelligence with his Russian visitors to the oval office.
According to his staff, the congressman was resolute in not having an opinion.
I ended the last of those calls by telling the intern that if Mr. Faso is really interested in finding out what happened, he can vote for the discharge petition calling for an independent commission to investigate Trump's ties to Russia.
So a couple days ago I got an emailed letter from his office - about the Comey firing.
The full text is below. The "fun" takeaway is that in discussing the firing, Faso is still stuck on the White House talking points from May 10th. There seems to be no recognition that Trump himself invalidated that in his interview with Lester Holt.
It's understandable that Faso doesn't trust Trump's own account of his own actions. After all, the man has given little reason to believe that any particular thing he says is true.
It's also convenient for Faso not to believe Trump.
Passing by the press in Israel, Trump made a big deal of getting everyone's attention to tell them that he never said "Israel." Which of course nobody had ever said he'd said, but he did essentially confirm that he had shared intel with the Russians.
So if Faso's going to make a habit of not trusting his president, he can avoid having to face the reality that Trump betrayed national security.
When in doubt, misdirect.
Faso's letter (dated May 23rd):
Thank you for contacting me regarding the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in US elections. I appreciate your input on this matter.
As you know, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9. This decision is both unsurprising and shocking at the same time.
It is unsurprising in that Mr. Comey's actions relating to the Clinton email matter caused major controversy on both sides of the political aisle. He appeared to assume a decision-making position which would have been better left to his Justice Department superiors. His recent statements before a congressional committee regarding Huma Abedin's emails were perhaps the final misstep he has made in this regard.
The firing, however, was shocking in that the FBI has an ongoing probe into Russian efforts to influence the US elections last year. The public must have absolute confidence that the FBI investigation will be thorough, and result in a complete resolution of that question regardless of the outcome. The facts must be known.
It is therefore incumbent upon the administration to nominate a new FBI director who will be someone of unquestioned integrity and experience, acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, to lead this critical agency on the Russian investigation and all other matters coming before it. I strongly support the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation. It is now necessary for us to let the professionals at the DOJ and FBI execute the task at hand, free from political interference and speculation, to get to the bottom of this matter once and for all.
Thank you again for contacting me with your thoughts. Please do not hesitate to inform me of your concerns in the future through my website www.faso.house.gov or by phone at (202) 225-5614.