Senator John McCain talks a big game about conservative soul searching.
He loves to criticize President Trump, though he votes in Trump's interests 83% of the time. He gives stirring speeches blasting Republican abuses of power and begs his colleagues to return to regular order right after helping them abuse their power. He'll vote to support something and then denounce it. You really never know what he's going to do, but his speeches and press releases calling out his own party let him justify his cherished 'maverick' public image.
McCain is currently out of the office fighting life-threatening brain cancer, but he has made an effort to stay current with the hubbub in Washington. This week's Republican party released, against the express advice of the Justice Department, the FBI and tons of moderate Republicans, a heavily-doctored memo that Trump and his loyalists insist demonstrates bias in the FBI's investigation into ties to the Russian government. They want the public to trust Trump and only Trump.
McCain, on record as pro-national integrity, put out a press release blasting the effort as "manufacturing partisan sideshows."
McCain isn't alone. Fellow Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) released a joint statement criticizing the memo's intent.
We say "intent" because a quick read of the memo reveals yawn-inducingly little. There's no smoking gun, just a bit about how former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who denies being a Russian agent despite gloating about it back in 2013, was investigated from a few different angles, including one former British spy who at some point was funded by the Democrats. The End. Yet Team Trump intends to erode people's trust in federal law enforcement and the Justice Department because Trump happens to be under investigation for that whole Russia thing.
So they released the thing and claimed absolute vindication.
Folks like McCain and Flake have long been critics of Trump, but the release of the memo has prompted even Trump loyalists like lame-duck Rep. Trey Gowdy to break faith. It remains to be seen what the fallout of the memo's release will be, though there are certain Nixonian undertones to the effort.