Democrats do not want the public to know. And in that, their position is familiar to anyone who has watched Washington for the last two years: The Democrats’ determination to cut off questions about the origins of the Trump-Ukraine investigation is strikingly similar to their determination to cut off questions about the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. In both cases, they fought hard to keep secret the origins of investigations that have shaken the nation, deeply divided the electorate, and affected the future of the presidency.
From their point of view, it makes sense. Democrats were rattled by Republican efforts to uncover the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. The Steele dossier, the use of spies and informants to target the Trump campaign, the Carter Page wiretap, the murky start to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation — Democrats resisted GOP attempts to reveal them all. But in 2017 and 2018, Republicans controlled the House. Then-Chairman Devin Nunes used the power of the House Intelligence Committee to unearth key parts of the story. Nunes’ efforts eventually led to a Justice Department inspector general investigation whose results, expected in the coming weeks, could further damage the Democratic Trump-Russia storyline. And then there is the ongoing criminal investigation led by U.S. Attorney John Durham.
But Democrats now control the House. As they lead the Trump-Ukraine impeachment investigation, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and other Democrats are applying the lesson learned from Trump-Russia: Do not allow inquiry into the origins of the investigation.