Sometimes for a lawyer the best way to organize evidence to evaluate whether or not there is a case is to prepare a chronology. The sequence and timing of events, after all, is itself evidence. And sometimes that evidence is indiscernible until you construct such a chronology. WC has undertaken to create a chronology for the Trump Presidency. Please feel free to send corrections or additions to WC.
|01/26/2017||Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, informed the White House that Michael Flynn, Trump’s national-security adviser, had lied to officials about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador.|
|01/27/2017||Flynn resigns, after the Washington Post reported that he had lied to Vice-President Mike Pence and others|
|01/30/2017||Trump fires Acting Attorney General Yates, Claiming it was because she refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries.|
|02/13/2017||Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James Comey, to pledge his loyalty to him, which Comey declined to do.|
|02/14/2017||Trump asks Comey to back off his investigation of Flynn. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go” Trump told Comey, according to the Times.|
|03/20/2017||Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee that the F.B.I. was indeed investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coördination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”|
|03/20/2017||Trump asks Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, to make public statements that there was no evidence of such coordination, and asked intelligence officials if they could help shut down the investigation.|
|03/21/2017||Coats refuses to confirm or deny the President made such request. “On this topic as well as other topics, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the President.”|
|05/01/2017||Comey asks the Justice Department for more prosecutors and other personnel to accelerate the Bureau’s investigation.|
|05/19/2017||Trump fires Comey, and claims that he was doing so at the recommendation of Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General|
|05/10/2017||In an interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt, Trump admits that he had fired Comey because he was unhappy with the Russia probe, which he said was “a made-up story.”|
|05/10/2017||Trump hosted Kislyak and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, at the White House, at Vladimir Putin’s request. At the meeting, Trump reportedly told Lavrov and Kislyak that Comey was “a real nut job,” adding, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”|
|05/24/2017||Story breaks that American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers|
The pattern is pretty obvious when you see it in sequence: Trump tries to influence the inquiry process; when he fails, he fires the immediate source of the pressure and announces it’s bogus, sometimes even boasting about it. The conclusion is inferential, but it’s pretty strong. Trump’s claim that Comey told him he wasn’t a target of an investigation looks even more farcical.
There’s been a parade of senior intelligence and Justice Department officials who said publicly that there has been Russian involvement: Yates, Comey, Rogers, and James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. All believe that the Trump campaign’s Russia ties merit serious investigation. On May 23, John Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, testified, in a House Intelligence Committee hearing, that he saw “intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign.” He was concerned enough that he passed along information to the F.B.I., so that it could investigate.
Anyone who has lived through or read about Watergate recognizes the pattern. Trump is engaged in a coverup.