Only a day after the shocking revelation that Donald Trump leaked highly classified information to Russia comes another devastating story that Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down his investigation of the Trump team's ties to Russia.
On Monday, we learned that Donald Trump had violated the trust of a close ally by releasing classified information shared with the United States to Russian officials.
Contradicting denials from his own top aides, Trump confirmed the story in a bizarre and unfinished Twitter rant Tuesday morning.
Only a day later, the New York Times has another devastating report that Trump asked James Comey, the FBI director he fired, to shut down the bureau’s investigation of the Trump team’s potential ties to and collusion with Russia:
President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.
The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.
Democrats have increasingly called not only for independent investigations, but for Trump’s impeachment. A new poll from PPP shows that a plurality, 48 percent, support impeaching him, and a majority believe Trump fired Comey because of his investigation into Trump’s team and Russia.
Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — immediately condemned this latest revelation of Trump’s apparent attempts to obstruct justice to protect his team and quite possibly himself.
Republicans — who have slow-walked investigations in the House and Senate, defended Trump at every turn, and been unable to muster any response stronger than to say they are “troubled” by such stories — have nothing to say.
"We've tried to get Republicans to come out & talk to us & there aren't Republicans willing to go on camera tonight as of yet" @BretBaier
— Kristin Fisher (@KristinFisher) May 16, 2017
Republicans’ silence speaks volumes, as do their non-verbal reactions:
I just asked @DarrellIssa abt the Comey news and he flicked me off — literally gave me the middle finger — and kept walking. Said nothing
— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) May 16, 2017
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, meanwhile, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has yet to take his responsibilities at all seriously. He merely tweeted that “if” the Comey memo exists, he would like to see it “sooner rather than later.”
.@GOPoversight is going to get the Comey memo, if it exists. I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready.
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) May 16, 2017
Subpoenas are long overdue and not nearly enough. As Democrats have repeatedly said, Americans need and deserve an independent investigation. But in the last 24 hours alone, it seems we need far more than that.
We need protection from this president.
It would be naive to expect that Republicans in Congress, who stood with Trump through his campaign and have continued to stand with him through his already disastrous presidency, would take any action.
But they should. They must. Our president is undermining our democratic principles, our national security, and our relationship with our allies around the globe. Every moment that he remains in power is a moment that America is not safe. It is time for Republicans to put country over party, and over Trump, and do what is right.