More than anything else, it’s the timing of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey that has everyone on edge. Their ostensible excuse – that Trump acted in defense of Hillary Clinton – has been almost universally dismissed, and it’s assumed by most analysts that this is a clear response by the administration to the FBI’s investigation into Russia. But that still begs the question: why now? Why risk looking so guilty now, when they could have fired him much earlier?
The answers are starting to come. Late this evening, we learned that the federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to business associates of Michael Flynn, Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor. Later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders went on FOX News to tell host Tucker Carlson:
“When are they going to let Russia go? It’s been going on for nearly a year. Frankly, it’s kind of getting absurd. There’s nothing there. We’ve heard that time and time again. We’ve heard that in the testimonies earlier this week. We’ve heard it for the last 11 months. There is no ‘there’ there. It’s time to move on and frankly it’s time to focus on the things the American people care about.”
Now it appears Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also considering shutting down the Russia investigation himself. Bloomberg White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) tweeted this afternoon that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke to Attorney General Sessions and could not get a commitment that the Russia investigation will stay active and open.
Dem Dick Durbin says AG not saying if will continue FBI investigation into Russia and possible links with Trump associates. @StevenTDennis
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 9, 2017
Jeff Sessions has had his own Russia-related complications. During his confirmation hearings, he told Senator Al Franken (D-MN) under oath that, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians…”
It turns out he did, and it forced him to recuse himself from any Department of Justice investigations of the campaign and of Russia. But the FBI is till under his jurisdiction as Attorney General, and so it’s not inconceivable that he could find a way to shut down the investigation, however politically unpopular that may prove to be.
It’s getting impossible to deny that this is a coordinated purge of anyone and anything that could bring down this President. Stay tuned.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.