Caught On the Tape

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If you’ve been watching cable news over the past few days, you may have noticed a new refrain from GOPers, led by NRSC chair Sen. John Cornyn. Ever since Harry Reid admitted on “Meet the Press” that he had spoken to Rod Blagojevich about filling the vacant Illinois Senate seat, Cornyn has been demanding that a tape of their conversation be released. If such a tape exists. Which no one knows. And if it does exist, it isn’t in the hands of Reid but of Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney investigating Blago.

So Cornyn isn’t demanding the release of the tape so much as calling on Reid to call on Fitzgerald to make the tape–again, if it exists–public, “in the interests of public disclosure and transparency.” It’s unclear why a request from Reid would have any sort of influence over Fitzgerald. And it’s also unclear why the U.S. Attorney–who is so busy that he had to get a 90-day extension to obtain an indictment against Blago–would take time to get involved in a political fight. Or why Cornyn, who is himself a former state attorney general, thinks it makes sense to interfere with an ongoing investigation.

It is clear, however, that kicking around Blago has lost its fun for congressional Republicans and chasing the idea of a Harry Reid scandal sounds ever-so-much-more appealing.

(h/t: KT, who is traveling and off blog-duty this week)