Trump-Russia: What is Donald Hiding?
Stunning reports from the New York Times recently revealed in a private meeting in February, President Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to “let go” of the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. This revelation comes on the heel of news that President Trump revealed “codeword-level” classified information to two senior Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting. The president’s attempts to obstruct investigation into his campaign’s alleged collaboration with Russia echoes similar actions undertaken in late March by the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican congressman Devin Nunes. Representative Nunes inexplicably attempted to “blow up” his committee’s investigation by cancelling all scheduled hearings into the matter for multiple weeks. Public outrage over the Chairman’s actions ultimately forced him to recuse himself from the investigation, however a similar pattern of behavior was subsequently observed in Republican senators’ blocking of adequate funding for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the same affair. These publicly documented attempts at cover-up all lead to the same question: what is Donald Trump trying to hide?
On May 13, 2017, independent journalists Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor issued a report in which they claimed the FBI is currently in possession of a sealed indictment of President Trump. According to the report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation intends to present Congress with the indictment in hopes of beginning the impeachment process. There currently exists no evidence to corroborate the report outside of Mensch and Taylor’s word. Such a claim should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism; however, Taylor and Mensch have made similarly grandiose claims in the past that turned out to be (mostly) true. Their later-corroborated scoops include reports regarding the granting of a FISA warrant against Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, the procurement of an audio recording of a private meeting between Republican Congressional leaders in which the House Majority Leader states “I think Putin pays Trump” and Paul Ryan swears him to secrecy, the existence of the FBI’s investigation into collusion, the convening of a grand jury in Eastern Virginia (a grand jury that continues to issue subpoenas of Russia-connected Trump officials to this very day), and the ensuing FBI raid of a GOP consulting firm in Annapolis, Virginia. The Twitter-infamous duo’s journalistic track record is far from perfect, as their reports have incorrectly described specific details of events on more than one occasion, but those in the media who continue to claim they are nothing more than conspiracy theorists clearly aren’t paying attention. If Mensch and Taylor’s reporting of the sealed indictment is vindicated, the pair will likely be remembered in history as the Woodward and Bernstein of Trump’s Russian affair.
The final, pre-publication draft of this piece concluded by detailing at length how Republican officials and media figures must no longer deny the severity of the Trump-Russia scandal. How the actions of President Trump to prevent investigation into his alleged collusion are transparent attempts at hiding something, how the only way to restore the faith of the American people in their democracy would be for Congress to appoint an independent Special Counselor to investigate the entire affair.
Then something historic happened.
On May 17, 2017, news broke that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had just appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to lead the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump will undoubtedly view this action by his Deputy Attorney General as a deep betrayal and tweet about it.
History is truly in the making- only time can tell where this next chapter of Donald Trump’s Wild Ride takes its passengers. Impeachment and removal have gone from distant dreams to very real possibilities. The world turns its eyes to Robert Mueller. Don’t let us down.