Notes from the sideline

I agree that Trump’s intent when he asked James Comey to ‘see your way clear’ of the Flynn investigation is paramount.

Republicans have engaged in a lot of dancing around this. Early in the hearing one of the senators said he thought Trump may have only been trying to ‘save face’ for the embarrassed Flynn.

Well maybe, but I still get hung up on this: Trump admits he fired Comey because the FBI director continued to pursue the Russia investigation. After the sacking, he told Russian officials that he’d “faced great pressure because of Russia.” But now “That’s taken off.”

With all that, are Republicans saying that Trump wasn’t originally concerned with the investigation? That the president’s request of the FBI head was routine and harmless? It was only days later that he became disappointed with the director?

It doesn’t make sense. A president wouldn’t fire a 10-year appointee without being frustrated with him or his conduct for some time. Trump might have originally mentioned the investigation to Comey, they argue, but not because he was trying to shut it down. When he happened to fire the director a little later, it was for a good reason; it just happened to be coincidentally directly related to the same investigation. What are the odds, right?

It’s a silly argument. They’re saying that Trump was originally concerned about the investigation because of what it was doing to Michael Flynn. It was only days later that Trump really became concerned because of what it was doing to Donald Trump. Remember, there’s the Lester Holt interview: when asked why he fired his FBI head, Donald said “this Russia thing.” That’s a personal reason. How any of this could be okay with the GOP, I don’t know.

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