Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told the media on Friday that President Donald Trump is “new to this” in regard to long-standing protocols, and that explains his asking former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating the now-fired security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Oklahoma’s Senator James Lankford, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Trump’s action on the Flynn situation was a “light touch.” Other Republicans expressed relief that the FBI was not actively investigating Trump while Comey was still the director.
The Republican response has led many to believe the party has lowered its standards by constantly defending Trump. The reality is that is does not matter whether Trump did not know the rules or was attempting to defend a friend. The president is not allowed to interfere in any investigations. The fact that he allegedly asked Comey to stop an ongoing case invites questions about his character.
Of further concern is Congress, which should be reminding Republicans that their loyalty is to the Constitution, not President Trump. Congress is just as responsible for political misconduct as it is for legal miscues. The current situation places the country in a precarious position because of possible abuse of the law.
Congress now faces the question of whether or not Trump acted appropriately to fire Comey to protect his personal interests. While Republicans seem on board with Trump’s actions, it remains to be seen whether they will face political repercussions from the public.