Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, Comey set to testify 10am EST on June 8th, June 14th BREAKING NEWS Trump is now under investigation, and other still-unfolding events
- "The Trump team" found out on Jan. 4th from Michael Flynn himself that he was under federal investigation for paid lobbyist work in Turkey, giving Trump plenty of time to find someone else to play National Security Advisor. Because he didn't, military actions Turkey didn't want to see happening that might have won the war against ISIS in Raqqa were put on hold at Flynn's urging.
- Weeks after taking office, Trump asked FBI director James Comey when federal authorities would put the word out that he was not the subject of an FBI investigation.
- Comey was ordered to have dinner with Trump on January 27th. While doing so he was asked to pledge his loyalty to Trump forever and ever. He wisely chose not to.
- Trump asked Comey in February to shut down the FBI investigation into Flynn over his ostensible ties to Russia and to imprison White House leakers instead. While the way Trump worded his shutdown request ("I hope you can let this go") is legally murky, it certainly sounds like a potential obstruction of justice.
- Comey told Congress and the public for the first time in March that the FBI's been investigating the Trump campaign's Russian ties since July of 2016. But her emails!
- Sally Yates (also fired shortly before Preet Bharara, ostensibly for refusing to enforce Trump's Muslim ban, more likely because of her own investigation into Trump's Russian ties) testified to Congress on May 8th that Michael Flynn was in clear danger of being blackmailed, in what many believe was the actual run-up to Comey's firing.
- Around the same time Yates gave testimony, the FBI was closing in on Flynn, who the Russians, by their own admission, thought they could use to influence Trump. CNN reported that subpoenas were issued for a grand jury investigation into Flynn's Russian ties shortly before Comey was let go. Obama himself warned Trump not to hire Flynn.
- Comey asked Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein - the guy who ultimately wrote the regime's official letter of recommendation to fire him and who later admitted he knew Comey would be fired the day before he wrote it - for more money and resources to expand the FBI's investigation into Trump's Russian ties.
- Sean Spicer dropped a small hint on Comey's fate by declining to say if Trump still had "confidence" in him. Comey was fired the next day.
- Comey was initially said to be fired for "making derogatory remarks" about "the subject of a declined criminal investigation" and for taking other unusual public actions around looking into Clinton's private email server. Riiiiiiiiight. Like that bothered Team Trump all that damn much until they realized *they* were the ones under investigation!
- Dems rejected that explanation as the nation erupted into still-ongoing protests. With that, the "official" story began to change: first it morphed into Comey is a grandstanding showboat stealing Trump's shine so he wanted him gone from the start, but grew especially hot to do so after Comey dismissed Trump's wiretapping claims against former President Obama.
- Now we finally get to the truth - that he fired Comey to squash the FBI investigation into his Russian ties, but of course only because it's a topic he considers "made-up".
- The day after firing Comey, Trump met with foreign ambassador Kislyak and shared highly classified information from a foreign partner about ISIS's already-known plans to bomb airplanes with rigged laptops, putting national security at risk. The information Trump shared turns out to be from Israel. This is a particularly unfortunate event as our intel can now be used by Russia to blackmail and intimidate the US, to help ISIS avoid detection of future attacks, and to help Russia carry out an attack using ISIS to intimidate us into doing whatever Russia wants. Russia wants us to stand down to North Korea's missile tests and threats, so this isn't a good look.
- In the same meeting Trump told the Russians he "just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job". So says the man whom 55,000+ mental health professionals say is mentally ill and must be removed from office before he gets the rest of us, you know...killed. But then everything with this guy is projection. A lot more on Flynn in this entry of What The Fuck Just Happened Today.
- Firing the FBI Director to end a much-needed criminal investigation into yourself breaks the law. Proving it takes the help of those sort of party-over-country types who would make small talk as Trump shoots up the next White House Easter Egg Roll with an Uzi - if that's what it takes to ram their hate legislation through, then hey, they're all in. Gotta have your priorities straight, right?
- Trump has threatened Comey via Twitter not to talk now that he's fired him, lest he break out tapes of their super-seekret convos. I WISH HE WOULD. I think any tapes surfacing will finish off this deeply deranged cheese puff and about fucking time. I've heard he admires Nixon but holy shit, Trump has finally proven he's MORE NUTS THAN NIXON. Let's go!
- Rosenstein has now chosen to have a special prosecutor, former FBI director Robert Mueller, look into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia but according to sources who spoke with Reuters, the Trump administration has plans in place to undermine his investigation, because of course "undermining" goes on only exactly when there's nothing to hide, amirite?
- In spite of threats by Trump not to talk because "the tapes", Comey has agreed to testify in an open Congressional hearing sometime "after Memorial Day".
- Comey will be testifying today (June 8th) on Capitol Hill starting around 10am EST for the Senate Intelligence Committee. I cannot explain the sense of elation I detect in people who, like myself, are looking forward to it
sooooo damn much...
- Ahead of live testimony, you might want to read Comey's prepared remarks to get up to speed on what he knows and/or plans to say. Here's some of the dynamics that might play out during the hearing.
- I'm planning to do a post on Comey's testimony (but don't hold me to that; I don't write on much of a schedule anymore). Once it's done, I'll unsticky this post and link back to it from the next. ETA, 6-21-17: I was unable to view Comey's live testimony and also missed Session's unproductive turn at it, so 'til then, I'm lj-cutting for length (you can see fresh posts from the top fold again, yay).
- BREAKING JUNE 14 - Trump is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for obstruction of justice! Shit's getting real!
Disclaimer: I began this timeline on May 11th and keep it updated so I can process what's going on, which is why it's not formally constructed and lacks obvious chronological dates (but as far as I'm aware, it is in chronological order of when each event actually occurred). For more of what you might be looking for in timelines (though I can't guarantee they are or will ever be kept up-to-date) you can try this one by NPR or this Google search.
*Yes, French, as also seen in the title. But things are getting so dire even French can't do this ongoing mess any justice.