It has become commonplace to refer to a series of news reports concerning an investigation as a “drip, drip, drip” of revelations, and that metaphor [which conjures images of the fabled Chinese water torture] has certainly seemed apt during past investigations, most notably during the appropriately named Watergate, which, I keep reminding myself, took twenty-six months from the break-in to Nixon’s resignation. But the development of the investigation into the possibility of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians to influence the outcome of the Presidential election has come to resemble a stream, not a drip-drip-drip. Today we learn that Representative Nunes [CA 22] has unilaterally cancelled not only the scheduled appearance of former Deputy Attorney General Sally Nunes before an open meeting of the House Intelligence Committee but the meeting itself and all other meetings, open or closed, of the Committee!
We must of course all be mindful of Robert Shore’s admonition that everyone is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty [in a court of law, although he omitted that important phrase] but we are permitted to speculate, I trust, inasmuch as we are none of us sitting on a jury. I for one find myself speculating that there is a network of secrets concerning Trump/Russian collusion that Trump and his closest circle are quite eager not to have revealed. Early this morning, in a transparent effort to distract the media from a story taking on the lineaments of a genuine and possibly prosecutable scandal, Trump tweeted about the fact that the Clintons took big fees for speeches in Russia. That smacks of desperation, I am afraid.
All of this is unfolding rapidly only two months into the new administration. It reinforces the defeat on the health care bill, and allows us to begin to wonder how long it will be before on-the-record under oath testimony reveals manifestly illegal Trump/Russian collusion.
Meanwhile, Trump and his cabinet appointees are beginning a series of seriously malign attacks on workers’ rights, the environment, internet security, and scientific research, among many other things. For the moment, Democratic Senators and Representatives are opposing Trump’s initiatives, but it goes without saying that most of them cannot be relied upon. We have an opening here to push the Democratic Party firmly to the left, and we must seize it.