The con­ser­va­tive case against a Clin­ton probe

Woonsocket Call - - Opinion - By ED ROGERS Ed Rogers is a con­trib­u­tor to the Post-Par­ti­san blog, a po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant and a vet­eran of the Ron­ald Rea­gan and Ge­orge H.W. Bush White Houses and sev­eral na­tional cam­paigns.

The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Mon­day that At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions is con­sid­er­ing the ap­point­ment of a sec­ond special coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate "a host of Repub­li­can con­cerns." As a Repub­li­can, I hope Ses­sions doesn't have to do this. I say have to, be­cause he won't do it un­less there is a com­pelling case. I want noth­ing to come of this. Some Repub­li­cans may think a special pros­e­cu­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing all things Hil­lary Clin­ton is the mother lode, but it is just fool's gold. The crim­i­nal­iza­tion of our pol­i­tics needs to stop — not just be­cause it fur­ther erodes Amer­ica's po­lit­i­cal fab­ric, but be­cause it is bad pol­i­tics for Repub­li­cans.

For some in the party, it may be emo­tion­ally sat­is­fy­ing to re­al­ize the fan­tasy of 2016's cam­paign mantra, "Lock Her Up," but Repub­li­cans should not take the bait. Repub­li­cans are the gov­ern­ing party, and we are re­spon­si­ble for the work prod­uct that af­fects the lives of vot­ers. Par­tic­u­larly, we are re­spon­si­ble for what hap­pens with the econ­omy. Repub­li­cans need to fo­cus on things that mat­ter.

No pros­e­cu­tor should waive the law or with­hold in­ves­ti­ga­tions when there is se­ri­ous ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing. But re­hash­ing griev­ances sur­round­ing an elec­tion that Repub­li­cans won is not worth the price of un­der­min­ing the gov­ern­ing process and us­ing our hold on the White House and Congress to do any­thing other than pro­duce re­sults that vot­ers need and hope­fully will ap­pre­ci­ate. An­other special coun­sel sideshow won't help.

This is ex­actly where the lib­eral main­stream me­dia wants Repub­li­cans to go. Democrats and their al­lies in the me­dia don't want to talk about is­sues. They feed on a steady diet of self­in­flicted wounds rang­ing from the pres­i­dent's wild tweets to the Roy Moore dis­as­ter in Alabama. We don't need to give them more ex­cuses to avoid talk­ing about taxes, jobs and the econ­omy. And let's all re­mem­ber the wise words from for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral Michael Mukasey, who told The Post last year, "It would be like a ba­nana repub­lic. . . . Putting po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents in jail for of­fenses com­mit­ted in a po­lit­i­cal set­ting, even if they are crim­i­nal of­fenses — and they very well may be — is some­thing that we don't do here." Well said.

At a time when the generic con­gres­sional bal­lot fa­vors Democrats by nearly 10 points, Repub­li­cans can­not af­ford to do any­thing but fo­cus on what mat­ters to vot­ers. We sim­ply won't add to the coali­tion needed to win next Novem­ber by ha­rass­ing Clin­ton or chas­ing for­mer FBI di­rec­tor James Comey and Loretta Lynch around the block.

Re­spond­ing to calls by House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Good­latte, R-Va., for the ap­point­ment of a sec­ond special coun­sel, As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral Stephen Boyd wrote that Ses­sions would con­sider the rec­om­men­da­tions of se­nior fed­eral prose­cu­tors "as to whether any mat­ters not cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be opened, whether any mat­ters cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­quire fur­ther re­sources, or whether any mat­ters merit the ap­point­ment of a Special Coun­sel." That sounds ap­pro­pri­ate, mea­sured and de­lib­er­ate. Repub­li­cans should avoid the temp­ta­tion to in­cite the mob.

Hope­fully Mon­day's ar­ti­cle was a lit­tle am­bi­tious and noth­ing will come of it. How­ever, when it comes to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, I fear that news like this will be like wav­ing a red flag in front of a bull. He will prob­a­bly think it's a great idea and in­crease pres­sure on Ses­sions at a time when he has more im­por­tant things to do. But the fact is, Clin­ton is ir­rel­e­vant. Let's keep her that way.

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