When the weekend began, it appeared that individuals from the U.S. intelligence community would have to take Donald Trump down by themselves, leaking one piece of evidence about his Russian collusion after another until the scandal drove his approval rating so low that those who would rather protect him – including the Senate republicans and FBI Director James Comey – would finally be forced to act. But what a difference forty-eight hours can make. Now we know the FBI is officially knee deep into the Trump-Russia investigation, and a bombshell has gone off that appears to have prompted even the reticent Comey and Senate GOP to take it seriously.
The moment that changed everything came on Friday afternoon in the Senate basement. That’s where the republicans and democrats on the Senate Intelligence Community locked themselves away with James Comey in a secure room for an urgent briefing that couldn’t wait until after recess, as Roll Call and others. When they emerged from the meeting, it became clear that whatever was disclosed and discussed, it was enough of a bombshell to put them all promptly on the same page.
We know as much because the democrats on the Senate Intel Committee, who were in the meeting, didn’t want to talk about the meeting. Reporters accosted them afterward and asked them about it. But instead of taking their usual public stabs at Comey over his lack of progress on Trump-Russia, the democrats decided to strategically go quiet and say nothing at all. Their only possible reason for doing so is that they were finally satisfied with what they were hearing from Comey in the meeting, leaving no need for continued public posturing.
The bombshell appears to be this subsequent leak, which surfaced the next day after the U.S. intel community fed it to Reuters, and details a previously unknown FBI investigation into front companies and middlemen that were used as financial go-betweens for Donald Trump and Russia. The details of this bombshell must have been so damning that it prompted Comey to no longer even try to stand in the way of his own agency’s impending takedown of Trump over Russia.
And it must have been so damning that the republicans on the Senate Intel Committee immediately decided to begin taking decisive action on Trump-Russia; otherwise the democrats on the committee would still be publicly complaining. The only reason for them to go silent is if the committee – and Comey – are now doing precisely what the democrats have wanted all along.
In fact, CNN is reporting that one Senate democrat on the committee has confirmed that the evidence and documents in the Trump-Russia investigation have now been secured so that Trump and the White House can’t destroy them. That’s just how serious the investigation has suddenly gotten. Comey and the Senate GOP cannot be trusted to do the right thing. But they can be trusted to do whatever they think is best for them personally.
And this latest bombshell appears to have led them to quickly conclude that Trump-Russia is going to hit the fan whether they try to stand in the way of it or not – so they’ve decided to try to get out ahead of it. Which is a remarkable development, considering that just forty-eight hours ago, the Trump-Russia investigation was still largely being out through unofficial channels. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report