Russia is Big. So Is Trump’s Russia Problem


In October 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed the Russian government had directed the “compromise” of data from U.S. citizens and institutions.

Before President Trump was sworn into office, the New York Times reported on intercepted communications and financial transactions, which the FBI, the National Security Agency, the C.I.A., and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit were investigating.

By the end of January 2017, Seventeen American intelligence agencies had confirmed the cyber attacks were used strategically, in timed releases of the stolen material, to influence the outcome of the 2016 Election.

One of the first pieces of evidence to become public is a series of memos (Dossier) prepared by a former British intelligence agent.  BuzzFeed was one of the first media outlets to write about the Dossier, on January 10, 2017.

The Dossier was explosive, and the allegations it contained amounted to a conspiracy between Trump, his associates and the Russian government.  Investigative experts have since verified some of the agent’s findings and facts.

Since much of the Dossier could not be verified by the media, BuzzFeed published a copy of it, so people can decide for themselves what to think, as lawmakers and intelligence agencies review the evidence.

It is only part of the material that ranking Congress members and intelligence agencies are reviewing, to determine whether a special investigation is necessary to get to the answer of exactly what happened in the 2016 Election.

There are twists and turns meanwhile.

President Trump forced his own National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign 22 days into his newly appointed term.  Flynn continues to be a focus in a story that some want told and others want to bury.

By February, the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN–all the major media networks began releasing report after report filled with new details about President Trump and his campaign aides’ repeated contacts with Russian intelligence officials.

In early March 2017, the Director of the FBI, James Comey, testified before the House Intelligence Committee.  Comey confirmed in that hearing, that the FBI was indeed investigating, even going so far as to confirm that the agency is “investigating whether members of President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.”

CNN created a timeline of events based on what was known to be factual as of March 22, 2017.  The article reads like a mystery novel–and it was only March.

CNN reported in April that the FBI and the Justice Department had obtained a foreign intelligence warrant to monitor a Trump adviser named Carter Page.  The warrant had been obtained in August of 2016.

On May 10, 2017, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

NBC News detailed possible paths forward after the dramatic firing of the FBI director, who had been leading an investigation into President Trump and his associates.

Within hours of the firing, President Trump hosted Russian officials at the White House and the State Department.  Trump denied the American press access to the conference but allowed Russian media to attend and photograph the event.

This was a tipping point.

On May 10, the first subpoena in relation to investigations was issued to Michael Flynn, Trump’s fired national security advisor.  Congress is ordering him to turn over documents related to Russia, presumably because Flynn will not turn them over voluntarily.

On May 11, 2017, the NYT wrote an open letter to Rod Rosenstein at the Justice Department, begging him to “restore Americans’ confidence in their government” and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Russia issues.  Six days later on May 17, Rosenstein obliged and appointed special counsel to oversee the Justice Department investigation.

The Times also published a piece detailing the investigations to date, considering and contemplating possible paths forward in the investigations.  Not all of the investigations depend solely on the Congressional investigations.

Photo Credit: (Rachel) MaddowBlog/

As additional details fall into place, the investigations mount.  We will watch to see where the subpoenas fly and what they land.