Sunday, 21 May 2017

What is this Russia business?

The Russian scandal, which involves the Trump's campaign of working with Russia, has developed in what feels like a Law and Order episode ever since Trump took office. The firing of national security advisor Mike Flynn over contact with the Russians and possibly working for Turkey, the testifying of Sally Yates that Obama warned Trump about hiring Flynn, and evidence that multiple people in the Trump campaign were in contact with suspected Russian spy Sergey Kislyak has all led to the past week.

The political world is on fire with the firing of FBI director James Comey, which Trump himself admitted he did to get rid of the Russia investigation. Sean Spicer, Trump's press secretary (kind of a spokesman) offered contradictory explanations on this that left more questions than answers. Insiders say Trump hoped Comey's controversial letter that doomed Hillary's campaign meant Democrats would be on board for this, but apparently not.

This and records that Trump pleaded Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn could amount to an obstruction of justice, something Trump could be impeached for. You might be thinking, wouldn't the Republicans have to vote to do that? Why would they? However, numerous Republicans have been more and more critical of Trump and have expressed frustration at the constant drama he causes. If Trump were impeached, his more level-headed and establishment-friendly Vice President Mike Pence would be president. Pence would be massively preferred by most Republican congressmen.

The latest is that Comey left a memo documenting all of Trump's attempts to shut down the Russia investigation and that there are tapes of the now-infamous dinner where Trump asked Comey to shut the investigation down. Even worse for Trump, as Democrats called for a fairer investigation a special prosecutor who mostly can't be influenced by Trump named Robert Mueller. He has a golden reputation for being impartial, tough, and thorough. Some politics is still in play-- people in the FBI resent Trump for firing their well-liked director and now Robert Mueller, who is investigating Trump, is a former FBI director who liked Comey as well. In trying to jettison the investigation, Trump brought the full wrath of the FBI down on him. However, some of this is Trump's fault. At a meeting closed off to American press, Trump met with the suspected spy I mentioned (Sergey Kislyak) at the request of Putin and revealed U.S. intelligence about ISIS in what sources report was meant to show off how he got all the info. Meeting with a Russian spy, giving him U.S. intelligence, only allowing Russian press in, and doing this all at the request of Russia's prime minister was probably not a good move right now, even if the information shared was minimal and in his right to do.

As you can imagine, Trump was not silent about what is happening on Twitter:

Media biases to be aware of: We are nowhere near impeaching Trump and we aren't sure if what Trump has done amounts to an obstruction of justice. So avoid left-wing clickbait about how 2 congressmen called for Trump's impeachment. However, keep in mind that this possibility is being raised and could be politically possible before this year ends. On the other hand, be skeptical of right-wing media saying that this is all nothing or is led be Democrats. There is bipartisan support for the investigation and it seems like there are legitimate grounds for an investigation.