By Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg
July 22, 2018
“WASHINGTON — In the nearly two years since Russia attacked the American democratic process, congressional Republicans have played conflicting roles in the drama: Some have pressed to impose sanctions on Russia and quietly pursue investigations, but they have been outshouted by Republicans who have obfuscated and undercut efforts to uncover the Kremlin’s plot.
Now, as they grapple with the political and foreign policy fallout from President Trump’s summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, all Republicans, regardless of their stance so far, are facing a charge even from within their own party that goes beyond the White House: complicity.
The Republicans’ split-screen response was underscored with this weekend’s release of highly classified documents underlying the F.B.I.’s requests to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, who the bureau believed was a Russian agent.
Mr. Trump on Sunday doubled down on his accusation that the F.B.I. had “illegally spied upon” his campaign. While Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, pushed back against the president, Mr. Trump’s allies in the House Republican conference backed him up, saying the documents contained revelations damaging to the F.B.I. and seeking to minimize Mr. Page’s role.”