Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus recently tried to pressure FBI Director James Comey into helping scuttle the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal, and Comey said no. We know this because the incident leaked to the media today. Based on who would have had knowledge of the incident, the leak almost certainly had to have come from Comey or his deputy or someone close to them in the FBI. And they’ve chosen to rat out Priebus for a reason.
The FBI could have simply said no to Reince Priebus in private, and then gone about its business continuing with the investigation, and we would never have known the exchange happened. But instead the FBI made a point of informing the American public today about Reince’s actions, which appear to have been illegal. By publicly ratting Priebus out over the matter, it appears the FBI is laying the groundwork for whatever action it intends to take against him next.
Is this the part where the FBI now tries to get Priebus to flip on Trump? As best anyone can tell, Priebus violated the law merely by contacting the FBI at all, as there are only four people in the White House who are allowed to do so, and he isn’t one of him (Rachel Maddow laid out the Nixon-related history of these rules in depth on her Thursday evening show). And that’s before getting to the matter of Priebus having apparently committed obstruction of justice by asking the FBI to help scuttle an investigation. If Trump told Priebus to lean on the FBI, or even if Trump was aware Priebus was doing it, then Trump is also guilty of obstruction of justice.
If the FBI threatens Reince Priebus with charges, and offers to let him off the hook for flipping on Trump, then that’s the ballgame. Proof of Russian collusion isn’t needed, if there’s proof Trump broke the law by trying to cover it up. The Senate Intelligence Committee – which now appears to be compelling Comey and the FBI to take the Russia investigation seriously – can haul Priebus in for questioning. And the FBI may have leaked all this to CNN today to make the public understand why Priebus is about to get targeted in the Trump Russia investigation. Another shoe will drop on Priebus, and soon, or else the FBI wouldn’t have made a point of airing out his dirty laundry. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report