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

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work