According to members of Congress briefed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, federal investigators have now expanded the Russia probe to investigate if White House officials have engaged in a cover-up. It is not yet clear whom this element of the probe is targeting.
This development comes on the heels of a news report that Trump had attempted to get then-FBI Director James Comey to end his investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn.
The Russia investigation has grown from a probe into whether Russia had interfered in the 2016 election – which is accepted with certainty at this point – into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the outcome of the election, into – now – whether a cover-up for those actions had occurred.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, explained that still left to be determined is whether there was “collusion with the Russians, and the possibility of an attempt to cover up.”
In past instances in which impeachment charges were pending or levied, cover-ups have been a major contributing factor in the downfall of those administrations. Both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings included allegations of obstruction of justice, as they attempted to hide their nefarious activities.
Since The New York Times broke the story that Trump attempted to pressure Comey into ending the Flynn probe, if proven true, there would be grounds to allege obstruction of justice by Trump.
Not known to be modest, Trump then further implicated himself by bragging to the Russians – who had exclusive access into the Oval Office for a meeting with the President – that firing the FBI Director would relieve pressure from the Russia investigation.
To this matter, Cummings said, “This new report that President Trump openly admitted to the Russians that he ‘faced great pressure’ from the FBI’s criminal investigation that was ‘taken off’ when he fired Director Comey is astonishing – and extremely troubling.”
If the White House was truly innocent, they would obviously not go to the lengths to which they have to obstruct this investigation. Yet by virtue of taking every possible step to thwart justice, they may have further implicated themselves in what is now a criminal investigation. Given the breakneck pace at which Trump’s illegal activities are being exposed, it should not be long until impeachment proceedings begin and this volatile, infantile, and dangerous man is removed from the White House.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.