Trump’s children: Fair game for investigators?
Ivanka, Eric, Don Jr.: Under scrutiny
House Democrats have eagerly “gone to war” with President Trump, said Andrew Desiderio and John Bresnahan in Politico.com, “but there’s one target they’re skittish of hitting too hard: his children.” It would be “impossible” for sprawling new probes into Trump’s political and business careers to ignore Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, particularly since all but Eric work in the White House. Yet some Democrats fear that investigating the Trump children would create sympathy for the president. That’s why some on the House Oversight Committee hope to leave the kids’ crimes to federal prosecutors “while they take on the president.” Recent revelations make that difficult: Trump reportedly overrode aides’ objections to grant Jared and Ivanka top-secret security clearance, and Donald Jr. signed checks reimbursing Michael Cohen for illegal hush payments from the campaign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinks family is fair game, saying, “Whoever falls into the net, falls into the net.”
What an apt metaphor, said Michael Goodwin in NYPost.com. The House is embarking on a “ridiculous fishing expedition” to smear Trump, and going after “his children and business” is “way out of bounds.” Some Democrats apparently believe Trump’s election and conduct “give them license to eliminate all restrictions” on congressional oversight. It’s true that “putting a member of the president’s family in the investigatory hot seat is a delicate business,” said The New York Times in an editorial. But the public needs to know why the CIA didn’t want to give Kushner a security clearance, among other things.
Trump supporters will no doubt cry foul, said Tina Nguyen in VanityFair.com. In certain circles, the first family is revered like “royalty,” and Trump’s three eldest children collectively have about 12 million Twitter followers. No one in Trump’s orbit spends more time “taunting the president’s critics and pursuers” than Donald Jr., said Greg Sargent in WashingtonPost.com. He seems to be “daring the fates to come at him,” confident he will “skirt any consequences.” It was he, remember, who replied “I love it” when Russians offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. When House investigators recently requested documents from Eric Trump, he called the inquiry “a joke.” Trump’s children seem to think they’re untouchable; whether that “hubris” ultimately brings them down “remains to be seen.” ■