Andy Schmookler: How can anyone take seriously what Bob Goodlatte says?

andy schmooklerToday, Bob Goodlatte tweeted this:

“The truth is best served with transparency. What is Director Comey trying to hide from the American people with his baseless motion to quash?”

Good to know that Goodlatte favors transparency, right? One problem.

James Comey — who has been subpoenaed by Goodlatte’s House Judiciary Committee — has expressed his complete willingness to come and testify, but wants the session to be open, whereas Goodlatte is planning for it to be behind closed doors.

Here’s what Comey tweeted:

Today my legal team filed court papers to try to get transparency from House Republicans. Let the American people watch.

The Huffington Post article about this exchange reported this about the case Comey, through his attorneys, is making to a federal court:

Comey’s attorneys argued in the request Thursday that Republicans had “abused their powers with selective leaks” of information to further their political agenda, saying that, by doing so, lawmakers had “unfairly prejudiced” prior witnesses.

“The obvious way to eliminate selective and inaccurate leaks and to curb the potential for abusive conduct by the Joint Committees is to make these proceedings open to the public,” Comey’s lawyers wrote. “The clear pattern of leaks and other comments by members of the Joint Committees make plain that the request for secrecy in these interviews is not about secrecy, but a mechanism to permit selective and biased exposure of testimonial snippets.”

So this is the context in which old Honest Bob comes out and claims to be in favor of “transparency,” and accuses James Comey of “trying to hide” something.

Goodlatte has been dealing in falsehoods for a long time. (Which is why I ran against him in 2012 with a campaign slogan of “Truth. For a change.”)

With all that practice, shouldn’t he be better at it by now?

Column by Andy Schmookler

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