How We Got Here

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

I have been out of town and/or recuperating from being out of town, so the events of earlier this week caught me off guard.  Nothing to say, and yet so much to say, and yet so much has already been said.  Clearly though, this appears to be the beginning of the end for Trump. We are in impeachment territory, and the only open questions now are how long before his base erodes to the point where Republican Congressmen HAVE to step up to the plate?

Anyway, for future reference, this is how the crisis has unfolded.

July 5 2016

Comey recommends that the DOJ not bring charges against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State, but says she and her staff were “extremely careless”.

October 28

The FBI announces it is opening a new probe into Mrs Clinton’s emails, following an unrelated criminal investigation into Anthony Weiner, a former congressman and estranged husband of a Clinton aide.

November 6

Days before the election, Comey reaffirms his previous decision that no charges be brought against Mrs Clinton. Trump complains that Clinton is protected by a “rigged system”.

December 11

Trump attacks a Central Intelligence Agency report that Russia hacked Democratic party servers to help secure his election.

February 14 2017

Flynn “resigns” (is fired) as national security adviser after admitting he misled vice-president Michael Pence over his Russian contacts. The FBI had been investigating the conversations between Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

February 17

Trump slams leaked reports that his campaign team was in contact with Russia during the campaign.

March 20

Comey tells the House intelligence committee that the FBI is investigating Russian connections with Trump associates.

May 3

Comey testifies before a Senate committee and says he feels “mildly nauseous” at the thought that he could have influenced the outcome of the presidential election.

May 9

Comey is fired. A letter from the president says he was dismissed on the advice of the justice department over his handling of the Clinton case.

May 11

Trump says he would have fired Comey “regardless” of the justice department’s advice, and adds that he was unsatisfied with Comey because of the Russia investigation.

May 13

Trump appears to threaten Comey with the release of tapes of their private conversations.

May 15

The Washington Post reports that Mr Trump shared classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting.

May 16

Trump tweets that he has “absolute right” as president to give Russians information for counterterrorism purposes. The New York Times reports that Trump asked Comey in February to halt the investigation into Mr Flynn. “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Comey, according to a memo the FBI head wrote at the time.