Revelations that former FBI Director James Comey created contemporaneous memos documenting his conversations with President Trump have rocked the White House.
The details of the memos, which are starting to make their way into public view, not only have the administration scrambling on formulating a response, but have GOP lawmakers running for the hills, with even Fox News announcing that it was having trouble booking Republicans to defend the President.
Reports of one memo first emerged in the New York Times on Tuesday, documenting a meeting which occurred the day after Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned. At the February 14 meeting, President Trump allegedly cleared the Oval Office, which included Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence, leaving him alone with Comey. At that point, Trump allegedly urged Comey to shut down the investigation into Flynn.
The White House issued an anonymous statement denying the reporting, which has been confirmed by multiple other news outlets. According to most analysts, if the allegations are true, Trump’s actions would amount to criminal wrongdoing.
Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that the allegations which have surfaced so far are just part of one of many memos which Comey created. The contemporaneous notes of FBI agents are commonly given evidentiary value in a court of law.
“The obstruction of justice articles of impeachment counts are stacking up, it seems,” an FBI agent told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. Axing the former FBI Director was a “big gamble. You’ve got to kill him, metaphorically. You can’t just wound him,” the agent added.
According to Trump administration officials who were interviewed by The Daily Beast, the West Wing is in a state of chaos and anxiety as senior aides jump from one crisis to the next.
“I feel like running down the hallway with a fire extinguisher,” one senior official told the publication regarding Tuesday’s developments.
Another White House staffer said “Every time I feel like we’re getting a handle on the last Russia fiasco, a new one pops. On Tuesday, the staffer updated that sentiment: “I guess I was wrong about the timing. We can’t even wrap up one Russia fiasco before we’re on to the next one.”
One senior Trump administration official — who is not new to Trump chaos as he worked on the campaign as well — offered perhaps the most candid and concerning assessment: “I don’t see how Trump isn’t completely fucked.”
Brad Moss, a national security attorney, had some concerning words. “Even if there is some legal nuance that the President could rely upon to save himself here from an obstruction charge, the allegation (if true) is politically devastating,” he said, adding “The President didn’t just walk up to the line. He stepped over it without a moment’s hesitation and threw aside decades of institutional precedent separating the FBI from the White House.”
According to former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, who spoke to the Beast, “This is now a consistent patter of obstruction [of justice] by the President … The loyalty oath dinner, the request to squash the Flynn investigation and Comey’s firing over Russia all point to a President Trump who has no respect for the rule of law, and doesn’t realize that he should not run the country the way he ran his businesses.”
As Senator John McCain has said multiple times when commenting on the Trump-Russia scandal, “more shoes are going to drop,” likening the debacle to a centipede. McCain’s words appear to be prophetic as it is now clear that there are many more shoes if one were considering nothing but the multiple Comey memos of what he considered disturbing interactions with the President.