Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, in what he’s since admitted was an attempt at derailing the Russia investigation, has already backfired on him in a number of ways. It’s led to damning testimony. It’s led to the appointment of a Special Counsel to expand the investigation. And now it’s officially led to a congressional investigation into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced today that it’s opening a bipartisan investigation into Donald Trump’s firing of Comey, according to a Wall Street Journal report (link). This comes after the Republican chair, Chuck Grassley, was asked over the weekend whether he would support such an investigation. He replied that he was in if Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein was in. This prompted Feinstein to send Grassley a letter formally requesting the investigation.
So it’s not surprising to see that the committee is formally announcing this investigation today. But it is noteworthy in that, up to now, the congressional investigations surrounding Donald Trump have largely been officially focused on the actions of Russia and/or Trump’s associates. In contrast, this is officially an investigation into the behavior of Trump himself. And that points to an escalation of the congressional pushback. It’s also likely that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, based on the hints which Comey himself offered during his own testimony last week.
This is also notable in that it comes almost immediately after a Donald Trump associate revealed that Trump was considering firing Robert Mueller, which Trump himself has since backed down from. This new Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into Trump’s firing of James Comey hints at the kinds of escalating political consequences Trump would face if he did decide to try to fire Mueller as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report