Richard Burr, North Carolina’s senior senator and a Republican, must have sat “bolt upright” this week when a commentator for the MSNBC network mentioned him in the same context with the late Sen. Sam Ervin, a Democratic hero for his work as the chair of the Senate Watergate Committee.
Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has stated emphatically that his committee is focused on fully pursuing the matter of Russian medding in the 2016 election and that effort’s possible ties to the Trump campaign. He has reassured his committee members and the public that he’ll not engage in the circus stunts in progress on the House intelligence panel, where the chairman’s coziness with the White House has drawn calls for him to recuse himself.
Burr said this week he voted for Trump, “but I’ve got a job to do,” and he promised he and the committee will work without fear or favor on the task at hand. He got a vote of confidence from his ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. This is a career make-or-break test for Burr. If he stands for truth no matter the consequences for the president, Burr will indeed walk in Ervin’s path. He most certainly doesn’t want to ruin his legacy in his third term in the way House intell chair Devin Nunes has.
But the greater mission is about finding and exposing the Russian-Trump connections once and for all — what they were, how they might have affected the election. Burr’s duty is not to party or president, but to country.