In light of reports that the Special Counsel has recently subpoenaed President Trump’s business records, a move that Trump has previously described as crossing a “red line” (despite having no authority to draw such lines), recent rumors of Attorney General Sessions’ possible firing take on new urgency. These rumors include speculation that Trump may be planning to replace Sessions with EPA head Scott Pruitt. In addition to the numerous other questions this would raise, the move would also be an unlawful attempt to impede the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation.
Last night, the Democratic Minority on the House Intelligence Committee released a revealing 21-page report providing an update on the status of the investigation. The document underscores the glaring gaps in the Committee’s investigation.
The House Intelligence Committee says it is wrapping up interviews related to the Russian probe just days after new reporting revealed that a Trump associate lied to the committee. From the very beginning House Republicans have used their control of the Intelligence Committee to run interference for President Trump rather than investigate a foreign adversary’s attack on America’s democracy.
Deterrence only works if it is credible: The actor threatening retaliation has to be seen as willing to carry it out. By refusing to implement Russia sanctions mandated by Congress despite tremendous political pressure to do so, the administration has sent a clear message: Don’t worry about sanctions, the United States won’t follow through.
While attention on the Schiff memo has understandably focused on its debunking of the Nunes memo, most coverage has missed one of the most damning revelations of the entire Russia crisis: the Trump campaign not only knew that Russia possessed hacked emails, they knew that Russia planned to disseminate them anonymously.
Today’s indictments suggest a stronger case for why Manafort would facilitate collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.