Maddow Blog | As members scurry to Trump’s trial, GOP leaders run into trouble

The House Oversight Committee had a specific plan for this morning. The Republican-led panel, chaired by Republican Rep. James Comer, was poised to advance a resolution holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

The measure lacked merit, and it appeared to be little more than a stunt, but GOP members were nevertheless eager to advance the resolution, scratch a partisan itch, and provide fresh fodder for conservative media outlets.

There was just one problem: The Oversight Committee apparently couldn’t pass the resolution because too many of the panel’s Republican members had something else to do. The Hill reported overnight:

The official line from the committee was that the votes were delayed due to “member schedule conflicts.”

It was a week ago today when Sen. Rick Scott showed up at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, not because he was a witness or a party to the case in any way, but because the Florida Republican apparently saw symbolic value in expressing his support for Trump.

This apparently helped inspire a growing number of GOP lawmakers to leave Capitol Hill and do the same thing. Today’s parade reportedly included Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Bob Good of Virginia, Michael Waltz of Florida, Eli Crane of Arizona, Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina.

Some were seen in the actual courtroom, while others were not, but the larger point remains the same: They showed up at the Manhattan courthouse, while the House was in session, as part of a pro-Trump display.

In fact, so many Republicans were in New York City this morning that it’s likely that Democrats were in the majority in the House chamber. As of this writing, Democratic leaders haven’t tried to engage in any mischief, exploiting this apparent advantage, but the day isn’t over yet.

Marveling at the circumstances during a Judiciary Committee meeting, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California declared this morning, “I don’t think that anything could animate the phrase ‘do-nothing Congress’ more than missing votes and canceling hearings to go up and be a spectator at your cult leader’s trial.”

This article was originally published on MSNBC.com

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