First Republicans talk possibility of impeachment for Trump

Republicans are beginning to talk of the possibility that President Trump could face impeachment after reports that he pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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Timeline: Targeting Sessions

Flynn was the first obstacle who had to be overcome. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the next. The Trump loyalist with a strong Department of Justice background would also need to be briefed on the anti-Trump efforts unless he could be sidelined. Comey admitted that early in Sessions’ tenure, he deliberately hid Russia-related information from Sessions because, “it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations.” To secure that recusal, yet another leak was deployed to the Washington Post’s Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller. The leak was intended to tar Sessions as a secret Russian agent and was dramatically spun as “Sessions Spoke Twice To Russian Envoy: Revelation contradicts his testimony at confirmation hearing.” One meeting was in passing and the other was in his function as a United States Senator, but the hysteria was such that the Post authors could get away with suggesting Sessions was too compromised to oversee the Department of Justice’s counterintelligence operations involving Russia. It is perhaps worth noting that the Special Counsel idea was pushed in this article.

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Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence

WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

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Timeline: Leak targets Flynn

The strategy to get Flynn fired didn’t immediately work so another leak was deployed to Greg Miller, Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post. That article, headline “National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say,” was sourced to people who happened to share senior FBI leadership’s views on the Logan Act. This article was also based on criminal leaks of top secret information of phone call intercepts and laid out the FBI’s case for why Flynn’s contacts with a foreign adversary were a problem. The fact that such phone calls are routine, not to mention Flynn’s case that improved relations with Russia in a world where China, North Korea, and Iran were posing increasing threats, never made it into these articles for context.

See: Obama, Biden Oval Office meeting on January 5 was key to the entire anti-Trump operation

Source: Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist.

Timeline: CNN leaks dossier

In an amazing coincidence, CNN found the excuse to publish the Russia claims after a high-level Obama intelligence operative leaked that Comey had briefed Trump about the dossier. This selective leak, which was credulously accepted by CNN reporters Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper and Carl Bernstein, may have been the most important step in the operation to harm the incoming Trump administration. The leak of the briefing of Trump was used to legitimize a ridiculous dossier full of allegations the FBI knew to be false that multiple news organizations had previously refused to report on for lack of substantiation, and created a cloud of suspicion over Trump’s campaign and administration by insinuating he was being blackmailed by Russia.

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Timeline: Comey briefs Trump

An ostensibly similar briefing about Russian interference efforts during the 2016 campaign was given to President-elect Trump. After that briefing, Comey privately briefed Trump on the most salacious and absurd “pee tape” allegation in the Christopher Steele dossier, a document the FBI had already used to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page. Comey told Trump he was telling him because CNN was looking for any reason it could find to publish a story about Russia having compromising information on him, and he wanted to warn Trump about it. He did not mention the dossier was completely unverified or that it was the product of a secretly funded operation by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

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