In the days before Donald Trump took office, when it was becoming increasingly apparent that he was knee deep in election collusion with Russia, people in the United States intelligence community were leaking all the dirt they had on him – just in case they wouldn’t be able to continue their investigations once he became their boss. The subsequent three week silence after he took office was unnerving. But in the past few days we’ve learned that the intel community is still working feverishly to take down Donald Trump over Russia.
If the U.S. intel agencies were going to continue to investigate the Trump-Russia scandal after January 20th, they were going to need to do it under the nose of both Trump and any top officials personally loyal to him. And if they were going to properly expose any new developments, they would need to leak it to major media outlets in order to bypass Trump’s desk. Sure enough, over the past three days, those leaks have begun in earnest.
The U.S. intel community has now confirmed that Michael T. Flynn was colluding with Russia by phone before and after the election, and leaked it to the New York Times and the Washington Post. It’s also confirmed key details of the existing British dossier on Trump-Russia, and leaked that confirmation to CNN. This is how it works now. These new leaks make clear that the Trump-Russia investigation is unofficially continuing unabated. Remarkably, there may also be some official cooperation going on.
Hours after it leaked that Michael Flynn had been colluding with Russia, new CIA Director Mike Pompeo signed off on denying security clearance to Flynn’s top deputy. Pompeo is a recent Trump appointee, though he was not part of the campaign, and he’s almost surely not a guilty party in the Trump-Russia scandal. When he saw the newspaper headlines, he surely figured out that his own agents are still investigating the scandal. Instead of cracking down, he appeared to go along with it. Is he already aware of what his agents are working on, and he’s fine with it? Pompeo is still a wildcard here.
But for now, at the least, this rash of leaks over the past few days confirms that the U.S. intelligence community is still working diligently to take down Donald Trump over his Russia scandal. How quickly their investigation is able to proceed is anyone’s guess. But it’s now clear that they’ll continue leaking progressively more damaging evidence as they uncover it. And at some point it’ll be damning enough to force even Trump’s political allies in Congress to reluctantly impeach him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report