In those halcyon days before the election results came pouring in, there was some speculation that a Hillary win might claim Sen. Richard Burr as a casualty. His Senate race against Deborah Ross was viewed as an opportunity for a pickup for the Democrats.
There was further speculation earlier that Burr, whose Southern-conservative bona fides and position as chair of the intelligence committee gave him a built-in voter base and foreign-affairs credentials, might make a suitable vice-presidential candidate for Trump.
Burr pulled it off by almost 6 points, mostly without mentioning his party’s presidential candidate, though he did come out against Trump back on Oct. 7 — you know, after the “grab them by the pussy” thing; remember that? — but by Oct. 10, according to the News & Observer, had “forgiven” him. And Burr was one of three GOP senators in close races to attend the national convention in July.
Now circumstances — namely a CIA report outlining the ways the election ws influenced by Russian agents — bring Burr to bear against his sort-of ally.
As chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, he will oversee the investigation into these allegations — not a special investigation like Benghazi, mind you, just a regular old Senate investigation.
Burr has been called “the CIA’s favorite senator” for his hawkishness on national security. And on these matters he genuinely seems to know what he’s talking about.
But the Electoral College meets on Dec. 19, putting the North Carolina senator in a bit of a squeeze. Either he gets it done before the EC vote — which would hardly be thorough, considering the timeframe — or he kicks it down the road and begins an investigation against a sitting president, perhaps before he’s even inaugurated.
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