George W. Bush on appointing special prosecutor to investigate Trump: ‘We all need answers’

Aaron Rupar

Aaron Rupar Journalist, Think Progress

Over the weekend, Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) became the first and so far the only Republican to come out in favor of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.

Asked about Issa’s position during a Today interview on Monday, former President George W. Bush said, “We all need answers.”

“Whether or not the special prosecutor is the right way to go, you’re talking to the wrong guy,” Bush continued. “I have great faith in Richard Burr, for example — he’s head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, really good guy, an independent thinker and if he were to recommend a special prosecutor then I’d be — it’d have a lot more credibility with me.”

“But I’ve never been a lawyer,” he concluded. “I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”

Bush stopped short of expressing support for a special prosecutor, but a former Republican president saying he’s open to the idea of a special prosecutor investigating a president from his own party is significant. But his comments about having “faith” in Burr are undermined by reports that the White House used Burr in an effort to undermine recent reports about Trump’s campaign being in regular communication with Russian officials during the election.

During a TV interview on Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said talk of a special prosecutor is premature.

“I don’t think we’re there yet,” she said. “Let’s work through this process. You guys want to jump to the very end of the line… We’re confident whatever review that Congress wants to do, that’s the first step.”

But on Friday, Issa said that he doesn’t think one of Trump’s most outspoken supporters during the campaign — Attorney General Jeff Sessions — should oversee an investigation into something he was involved with himself.

“You’re right that you cannot have somebody — a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions — who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,” Issa said on HBO’s Real Time. “You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.”

During his Today interview, Bush also criticized Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward the press and crackdown on immigrants.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work