On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a public hearing with the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, the Director of the National Security Agency Mike Rogers, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The hearing was originally focused on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which Republicans have decided to focus on as opposed to the Trump-Russia criminal investigation on the White House. Blasting News has reported extensively on the fact that Republicans have been reluctant to conduct or manage any kind of investigation on the President over possible collusion with Russian officials.

Trump's Idaho surrogate provides cover

Even more, when the investigation became one of criminal intent and was assigned to a special prosecutor, Republicans also showed that they were not interested in getting "on board" with the process. While the public hearing with the four intelligence and justice officials showed a bipartisan effort to go off-script from their original focus on FISA to ask the officials questions about the investigation, one Republican senator from Idaho, Jim Risch, defied his colleagues and the committee's trend from their focus on the Russia investigation to provide some cover to the Trump administration.

On Wednesday, Sen. Risch followed questioning by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va) by first acknowledging Warner's statement saying "with all due respect" before attempting to clarify, for the record, what he saw the intelligence officials say, which was that they -- quoting Risch: "had not been pressured by anyone, including the president of the United States to do something immoral, illegal or anything else." The bulk of the questioning by the dais was as to whether the President had told them directly to block the FBI's investigation that was being conducted on members of the Trump transition team.

Risch during Comey hearing

On Thursday, Risch would continue to provide cover for the Trump White House by being the first in the Senate Intelligence Committee to suggest that President Trump had in fact not told Comey to end the investigation at all. Risch played with the language used by Comey saying that when the President told him that he "hoped" he would end the investigation on Flynn, that it wasn't the same as ordering him to do so.

James Comey was the former Director of the FBI who was fired by President Trump for investigating members of his transition team. Here is a segment of Jim Risch "grilling" James Comey.

Risch during FISA hearing

Many reports have come to light to say that President Trump had tried to talk James Comey into dropping his investigation on Gen.

Michael Flynn. These reports accompanied those about Rogers and Coats being asked by the President to block the FBI's investigation. After Risch made his statement during their hearing, he began to ask his questions saying condescendingly that the purpose of the hearing was to talk about FISA. Blasting News has written about that FISA narrative that the administration has focused on since President Trump claimed that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by the Obama administration.

Republicans like Nunes -- and now Risch -- have continued to provide cover by attempting to do things as drawing out details with saying that President Obama misused the FISA court to "unmask" the names of Trump transition team officials.

One article by Blasting News reported on Devin Nunes' subpoenas to the intelligence and justice community that specifically focus on that unmasking. Blasting News has also written on Jim Risch and a more detailed view as to why Risch represents the reasons Republican lawmakers are not interested in conducting an investigation on the President.

Risch ignores negative news on Trump

The administration has also attempted to distract the narrative of Russian collusion by focusing on leaks that have uncovered potential obstruction of justice on his part, while at the same time calling those reports fake news. Right after James Comey was fired by the Trump administration, Risch was on the PBS NewsHour -- as the video below will show -- where he was asked about the memos that Comey had kept, to which Risch claimed he hadn't seen the reports.

As the Blasting News article referred to earlier also mentions, he did the same thing with other reports that were even confirmed by the Trump administration's own Press Secretary Sean Spicer over the firing of General Flynn.

In his latest interview, Risch seemed quite anxious to answer every question with an acknowledgment that President Trump had full power to do what he wanted, including declassifying classified information before Russian officials. Sen. Risch's Senate seat will not be up for re-election until 2020. Here is his interview with the PBS NewsHour from May.