According to a bombshell report by The Washington Post, Trump had asked the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to “intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe.”
The meeting with Trump took place on March 22nd, only days after the Senate confirmed Coats. The DNI Director then reportedly discussed his interaction with Trump with other officials and “decided that intervening with Comey as Trump had suggested would be inappropriate.”
The President then followed up with Coats in a phone call, asking him to “issue a public statement denying the existence of any evidence of coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.” Coats, for his part, once again refused.
Coats, who will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, is expected to be pressed by lawmakers for information regarding his interactions with Trump. Comey himself will testify in a highly anticipated hearing before the same committee on Thursday.
Of his impending hearing, Coats said, “I certainly will provide [the Senate Intelligence Committee] with what I know and what I don’t know.”
This bombshell revelation is only the latest in a string of unfavorable developments for the President, who was apparently quite reckless in his blatant attempts to obstruct justice. To his dismay, our democracy is not nearly as loyalty-based as Trump had hoped.
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.