For years friends have told me that Senator Richard Burr is a nice guy. They characterized him as an affable frat boy, proud of not wearing socks. They said he'd never do anything of importance, but that he would be a good soldier, for the most part, and toe the party line. No one ever said he'd prove to be a corrupt lap dog to the most dishonest president in history. But that's what he is.
Burr is the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In that role, he is among the last safeguards against foreign interference in US government affairs. Even Senator Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the committee, has cautiously said that Burr is a good man for the job of investigating Trump's Russian connections. Warner's rhetoric took a sharp turn this week, however, when he voiced dismay at Burr's partisan zeal.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Burr told them he had talked to reporters about reports of contacts between Russians and Trump associates. "I felt I had something to share that didn't breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigation," Burr told The Post. Warner said he will consult with the other Democrats on the panel to determine what to do next "so we can ensure that the American people get the thorough, impartial investigation that they deserve, free from White House interference." Warner last week said he had confidence in Burr, but that now appears to have been shaken.
Warner's fear of Burr muddying the waters was expressed two days before Attorney General Jeff Sessions was found to have lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his contacts with Russian operatives during Trump's campaign. That story is still developing, but there is no question whatsoever about Sessions' perjury. The only question is whether Richard Burr is going to go down with the rest of the Cover-up Crew.
I used to accept my friends' assertions that Burr was just an empty suit slopping at the public trough for 20 years. Along the way, I held out hope that he would ultimately rise to the occasion and represent North Carolina honorably in the face of the countless lies we're seeing from the White House. All that has changed. Richard Burr is fundamentally a compliant coward who will do anything to avoid having to take a stand. He is as corrupt as the chief he serves.