Every time Democrats call up key members of the Trump administration or Trump transition team to Capitol Hill to testify in the ongoing Russia investigation, there may be an underlying hope that it generates headlines that can only be beneficial for them going into 2018.
"I feel like Democrats get something out of it, even if there's nothing necessarily that comes out of it," Associated Press reporter Josh Lederman mused Thursday on MSNBC.
Grilling the likes of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Jr. and others in Trump's family, organization, or circle helps Democrats build the narrative of collusion, Lederman added.
Politico White House reporter Nancy Cook said her fellow panelist is not that far off in his assessment.
"Partly it is a political thing," she said. "It's a good talking point for Democrats."
They're "trying to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks," she added in her analysis.
Republicans, meanwhile, are busy investigating the FBI and the DOJ, concerned that they are waging an investigation through an anti-Trump lens.
President Trump has dismissed special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian investigation as a "witch hunt." He and Republicans have had reason to be suspicious, especially in recent weeks with revelations that an FBI agent on the Russia probe had sent scathing anti-Trump texts to his mistress last year. Still, Trump has told the press that he has no plans to fire Mueller.
The first indictments to come out of the investigation were against Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates in October. They were charged with money laundering and conspiracy against the United States, the Trump campaign not being mentioned. The third was George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign, and the fourth was former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both found to have lied to the FBI about their Russian contacts.