Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now publicly leading the charge in her committee’s investigation into Donald Trump and Russia. She’s calling for a number of remedies, ranging from hauling in Michael Flynn for questioning, to subpoenaing Trump’s tax returns if necessary — and shifting the balance of power of the committee.
In so doing, it appears Senator Collins has sided with the Democrats on the Senate Intel Committee, handing the Democrats control of the Trump-Russia investigation. There are eight Republicans on the committee, along with six Democrats and one Independent who is aligned with the Democrats. Whatever transpired behind closed doors during the committee’s meeting on Friday afternoon with FBI Director James Comey, it must have been enough to prompt Collins to decide that she wants a serious investigation. Her vote, along with the six democrats and one independent, are enough to take the committee in that direction.
Susan Collins is now publicly calling for Michael Flynn to testify before her committee about Trump-Russia, and she’s threatening to subpoena Donald Trump’s tax returns if it ends up being necessary to get to the bottom of it, as spelled out in this new Politico report. This represents a major shift in events. As recently as last week, the only known progress being made on Trump-Russia was through leaks from the intel community to the media.
Shortly after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s meeting, word leaked out via Reuters that the FBI was investigating front companies connecting Trump financially to Russia. It suggests a sequence of events in which Comey shared intel with the committee which prompted Collins to side with the Democrats in forcing a serious investigation, causing Comey to put things in motion in the FBI field office in Washington DC, which then leaked word of the investigation. It all points to the Democrats (with Collins) now having control of the Senate Intel Committee with regard to Trump-Russia. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report