The evidence to suggest that this President has made every effort to impede the investigation into his administration’s ties to the Kremlin is so laughably mountainous at this point that it hardly bears repeating.
He fired the FBI Director in charge of the investigation, the same FBI Director from whom the President tried to extract a loyalty pledge earlier this year and the same FBI Director who was pressured to “let it go” with regard to the probe into disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
He publicly shamed his own Attorney General for recusing himself from the Russia matter.
He’s thrown up smoke screen after smoke screen (remember Devin Nunes?) to deflect attention from the investigation.
He’s made thinly-veiled threats directed at Robert Mueller regarding the White House’s “red lines” for the investigation, lines which, if crossed, will “force” Trump to try and fire the Special Counsel, the constitutional crisis that would invariably set in motion be damned.
And that’s just a quick list off the top of my head which doesn’t include the dozens of tweets and innumerable other egregious attempts to obstruct justice.
Meanwhile, Trump has continued to rub his Moscow connections in America’s face, at one point going so far as to take pictures with Sergei Lavrov and the infamous Sergey Kislyak inside the Oval Office just hours after firing James Comey.
This has been pushed below the fold recently, but not because the investigations are dying down (indeed, the recent predawn FBI raid of Paul Manafort’s home certainly seems to suggest that things are just starting to heat up) but rather because of other egregious things Trump has done including, but certainly not limited to, failing to immediately condemn white supremacists and almost starting a nuclear war.
On Wednesday night we get a bit of incremental information that may shift some attention back to the Russia probe, as Politico is out reporting that according to three sources, Trump essentially tried to block the Russia sanctions bill and also suggested that he is highly displeased with Congressional efforts to protect the integrity of the Mueller probe.
And yes, the story is just as damning as it sounds. Here’s Politico:
President Donald Trump privately vented his frustration over Russia-related matters with at least two other Republican senators this month, according to people familiar with the conversations — in addition to the president’s public admonishments of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Jeff Flake.
Trump expressed frustration over a bipartisan bill sanctioning Russia and tried to convince Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that it wasn’t good policy, according to three people familiar with the call. Trump argued that the legislation was unconstitutional and said it would damage his presidency. Corker was unrelenting, these people said, and told Trump the bill was going to pass both houses with bipartisan support.
Trump dialed up Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Aug. 7, two days before a blunt call with the Senate majority leader that spilled over into a public feud. Tillis is working with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on a bill designed to protect Robert Mueller, the independent counsel investigating the president’s Russia connections, from any attempt by Trump to fire him.
The Mueller bill came up during the Tillis-Trump conversation, according to a source briefed on the call — the latest signal of the president’s impatience with GOP senators’ increasing declarations of independence from his White House. Trump was unhappy with the legislation and didn’t want it to pass, one person familiar with the call said.
You’re reminded that Bob Corker recently became the first GOP Senator to publicly question the President’s competency.
I mean, at a certain point it’s difficult to find the right words to express how outrageous this is. There are still far too many Americans who seem to be buying into this idea that this is all “hysteria” or an example of hyper-Russophobia.
Believing that – i.e. believing that this is overdone – is to not believe your own eyes and ears. No rational person who has looked at the evidence could possibly conclude that this is isn’t beyond the pale. In short: this is precisely what it looks and sounds like.
For now, we’ll just leave you with one last quote from the above-linked Politico piece:
Trump’s chewing out of GOP senators, according to people briefed on the calls, reflected the president’s frustration that fellow Republicans would make moves that could damage him, particularly on an investigation that he detests. Trump also complained about the Russian sanctions measure in a call with McConnell earlier this month that devolved into shouting. The New York Times first reported that Trump discussed the Russia probe with McConnell.
“It seems he is just always focused on Russia,” one senior GOP aide said.