This firing of Comey is going to make RussiaGate explode, not go away. Special prosecutor and select committee in Congress now are both more likely. I have been a non-believer in RussiaGate as evidence has not been presented to sustain it but the Comey firing, at the time of a lot more going on, has me reconsidering. If a doubter like me is reconsidering, then true believer Democrats are going to escalate. as will anti-Trump Republicans as well as other GOP-ers now worried about being tied to Trump because they are unsure where this is going.
The Trump team started planning the firing after Comey recently testified. People are not commenting on it, but it may be because of the New York City FBI office colluding with Rudy Guiliani to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign. This seems small in comparison to the RussiaGate claims, but it is bigger than Watergate. At the time Comey came out with his letter on Clinton being investigated, there were reports he was being pushed to do so by the NY FBI office — it was going to leak [the letter], so Comey had no choice but to [release it] himself.
The NYC connection may also be why Trump/Sessions reversed themselves and fired the US Attorney Preet Bharara, who also was investigating Trump foreign business dealings. Bharara had previously been told he would be staying on as US Attorney by the Trump team. Comey is the third person fired by Trump who was involved in the investigation (former US Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is the other).
There [also were] the arrests of 10 Russian mafiosi in March who also have ties to Trump. This may be related to the Russia investigation. And this report of a Russian mafia figure being tied to Trump and being wiretapped in Trump tower came at the same time.
[White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared] Kushner seems more involved in this: He met with a Russian bank against whom the US has economic sanctionsduring the campaign (this also came out around the same time as the above stories), again tied to Russian mobsters. Kushner has been called to meet with the Senate committee about his dealings with this very suspicious bank — an encounter he did not disclose. This bank is one of the many items under investigation that ensure the RussiaGate investigation will continue and very likely expand, especially with the firing of Comey.
And, on the same day Trump fired Comey, [ousted National Security Agency adviser Michael Flynn] was subpoenaed by an Alexandria, Va., grand jury in investigating Russia. Flynn has said he is willing to cooperate in an investigation if he gets immunity from prosecution. Does Flynn know about all of the above and more? Could he confirm it? Tie it to the Trump campaign? To Trump? Or, to Trump’s family?
Now these incidents are not the RussiaGate stories of official ties between Trump or of his campaign being tied to the Russian government, at least not directly, but if they turn out to be true, they could be enough to make RussiaGate a major mid-term election issue. If so, along with all of Trump’s other blunders, the Democrats could retake the House. If they do, impeachment could become a very real issue.
It looks like things were getting hot in the Trump-Russia investigation. The FBI, Congress, and grand jury were taking actions. The investigation was believed to be getting into matters involving Trump’s family. This explains the timing of Trump’s firing of Comey, but if he hoped that sacking the FBI director would stop the investigations, I suspect he is wrong. The firing is more likely to propel them.
Next: Expect leaks from the FBI about where the Trump investigation was when Comey was fired.
Kevin Zeese, JD, is a Baltimore-based lawyer and peace activist who has worked on a wide range of issues including ending the war on drugs and mass incarceration and helping to organize the 2011 Occupy encampment in Washington, DC, at Freedom Plaza. With his partner, Dr. Margaret Flowers, he hosts the radio show “Clearing the FOG.”