The House Select Committee on Intelligence’s hearings have captured the news cycle for the past few weeks. A Washington Post media columnist, Margaret Sullivan, wrote in an article after the hearings concluded that they found a surprising amount of new information – including evidence that Trump was guilty of lying about the election results.
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As of late March, the Oversight Committee employed 50 people, including a former Republican member of Congress and the former president of ABC News, who is said to make the hearings gripping television. However, some high-profile staffing decisions have also made the news for the wrong reasons. Two of the committee’s new hires have been accused of retaliation against whistleblowers.
The House Oversight Committee is composed of nine members, but there is no ranking member. The Republicans on the committee were not recommended by McCarthy and are now on the committee. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the concerns raised by McCarthy were not sufficient enough to stop the committee from doing its job.
The House Oversight Committee is also facing competition from the Department of Justice. During its early hearings, the committee was able to build a comfortable lead. But soon after, the committee entered a long period of radio silence. The committee repeatedly promised more hearings, and the delay became the subject of much hand-wringing. On Sunday talk shows, members of the committee mentioned the possibility of interviews with top Trump officials, cabinet officials, and Secret Service agents.
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While a powerful central figure like Cheney can make a Congress more entertaining, it’s unlikely that everything in it is. The partisanship of Congress can be more compelling than Cheney’s. Even if that’s the case, the political system can’t rely on such a central character to succeed. The resulting legislature would likely be seriously compromised and lack integrity.