What everyone agrees to:

  • Someone hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
    • Note: This is not the same thing as the hack into the voting booths, which did not occur according to President Obama.

What people disagree on:

  • Who did it:
    • CIA says it was Russia
    • Trump has walked back previous assertions regarding the interference of Russian hackers to challenge the CIA assessment
  • Scope of hack:
    • CIA says that Russia hacked the Republican National Committee (RNC) in addition to the DNC
    • Congressman Michael McCaul walked back a prior statement indicating that the RNC was hacked and Reince Preibus is now denying that the RNC was hacked at all, despite the fact that DC Leaks (which published the results of the DNC hack) also posted emails belonging to various Republicans
  • Purpose of hack:
    • President Obama says it was to destabilize the elections and undermine American confidence in democracy
    • Democrat Senator Reid says that it was to aid President-Elect Trump
  • Effect of hack:
    • Senator Reid says that the sharp drop in the polls for Hillary Clinton proves that the release of the emails that were hacked were detrimental to her campaign
    • Trump supporters argue that we can’t possibly know the result of the hack
  • Whether an investigation should be conducted:
    • Leading Republican and Democrat Congressional leaders assert that an investigation should be conducted above and beyond President Obama’s request for a report
    • Trump supporters on social media assert that this is a waste of resources
  • Purpose of the investigation:
    • Liberals on social media are calling for the prosecution of Trump and other leading Republicans for collusion with the Russians
    • Democrats like Representative Pelosi are calling for an assessment of “lessons learned,” so that this sort of thing can be avoided in the future
  • What an investigation might look like
    • Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee argues that this issue can be handled within the Intelligence Committee and that an expanded investigation is unwarranted
    • Republican Senator McCain and others argue that a non-partisan committee investigate the issue

Pros and Cons of an Investigation:

Cons:

  • Using resources and distracting from other issues
  • Encouraging divisiveness, fueling liberal arguments challenging the legitimacy of Trump’s election

Pros:

  • Verifying who really perpetrated the hack and how
  • Isolating what, if anything, went wrong in the response
    • For instance, the FBI’s efforts to notify the DNC of the hack and the immediate reaction of DNC personnel was fundamentally flawed
  • Determining ways to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future
  • Healing divisiveness, allaying liberal fears that Trump colluded with a foreign government in order to win the election

The pros of conducting an investigation certainly outweigh the cons.

Republicans should support an investigation and, what’s more, they should support a non-partisan investigation. This is the only way for Republicans to avoid the taint of bias. Otherwise, accusations that a pro-Democrat bias is motivating the call for an investigation will continue to ring hollow.