If you’ve gotten the sense that Donald Trump’s Russia scandal has only gotten worse for him in the day since he tried to make it go away by firing FBI Director James Comey, you’re not alone. In fact the trouble seems to be deepening at an accelerated pace, as Trump attempts one of the sloppiest coverups of all time. And now his own staffers are being dragged so deep into it that they’re being advised to lawyer up while they still can.
That’s the word from Politico, which spoke to a number of veterans of major Washington scandals, who pointed out that it’s often the staffers who take the brunt of the legal consequences because they’re the ones who end up committing coverup crimes like perjury or obstruction of justice at their boss’s behest (link). I’m not surprised to hear this at all, considering how many of Trump’s staff members have already committed apparent crimes this week while going along with his antics.
First there was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who seems to be auditioning for the Press Secretary job, but should probably instead be auditioning attorneys. We all watched her admit on live television that Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing Comey specifically to try to derail the Russia scandal. If she keeps talking like this, she’ll end up on track to have been part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. And then there’s Jeff Sessions, who illegally participated in the firing of Comey after having recused himself from it. There are surely other White House staffers further down the line being asked to do the coverup dirty work for the higher ups, and something’s got to give on that front.
So it turns out your eyes aren’t deceiving you: we really have reached the stage this week where the scandal and especially coverup have grown so out of control that those who’ve been there before are now advising Donald Trump’s current staffers to lawyer up before they end up going down with him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report