The tale of the “maverick” is one of the main-stream media’s favorite stories to highlight. The legendary Republican that is willing to buck conservative orthodoxy in order to stand up for his principles.
In the time of President Donald Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AR) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) were dubbed “mavericks” and in the new Senate, the mantle from the media has been passed on to the likes of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).
But the story concocted by the media about the so-called “maverick” has always been a lie unless Republicans are willing to prove their courage, stand up to Trump and refuse to do his dirty work when it comes to the congressional hearing of his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Trump is in a bad way when it comes to the law.
Associates of his campaign are being dragged off in the night, his lawyer is admitting to additional crimes on live television and his panic shines through his twitter on a regular basis.
A major cause of his concern is the upcoming testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen who is already facing prosecution and is widely expected to have additional incriminating information concerning the president.
Trump has used his traditional tactics of intimidation to deal with the Cohen situation by tweeting, “Watch father-in-law!” at the end of a recent tweet on Jan. 18. Cohen interpreted this as a threat to prosecute members of his family with the force of the executive branch.
Pointing out how Trump’s remarks are a clear obstruction of justice does not mean that Cohen’s family is devoid of wrongdoing. It is clear Cohen is a lifelong criminal, but it is also true that Trump is using that to intimidate Cohen from testifying to Congress.
After wavering from his decision to testify, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for Cohen’s testimony, which is now scheduled to take place in mid-February.
The White House will apply pressure to Senate Republicans like Sasse and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to ask Cohen questions concerning his family that have nothing to do with the charges concerning his lies to Congress.
The question now arises, what will the “mavericks” do in this hearing?
Trump loyalists within the Senate will undoubtedly parrot Trump’s accusations concerning Cohen’s family and are unlikely to ask questions pertinent to the Russia investigation.
Now is the perfect opportunity for Republicans to take the investigation of the president seriously. If they truly believe that Trump did not coerce Cohen into lying to Congress, then asking him to provide evidence should not be a difficult proposition.
Rather than simply differing from Trump in terms of rhetoric, Senate Republicans should refuse to go after the president’s political enemies and instead go on a quest for the truth.
If these “mavericks” in the Republican Party want to be taken seriously as politicians, unwilling to bow to the political whims of the president, they will hold firm during Cohen’s hearing and stay committed to finding the truth.
Jared Sellick is a junior majoring in political science.