Having concluded a meeting with Turkey's President Recep Erdogan, the president might well have made a decision to stealthily hoist himself over a fence and flee, leaving a rising assault of criticism and calls for impeachment in his considerable wake.
The Senate Intelligence Committee sent two letters on Wednesday to former FBI Director James Comey and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requesting their cooperation in the committee's ongoing investigation into Russia's election interference, and whether President Donald Trump's campaign was involved. Still, to a prosecutor building an obstruction of justice case, the facts as revealed in recent days by Comey associates speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity are compelling.
In his first public remarks since a bombshell report that he asked the FBI Director to shut down an investigation into his former national security adviser, President Trump said that "no politician in history" has ever been treated more unfairly. In addition to encouraging Comey to squash the Flynn investigation, Trump suggested the FBI director should imprison journalists for publishing classified information.
Curbelo, one of the most threatened GOP congressmen, is a frequent Trump critic who had been facing stinging criticism in his Democratic-leaning district for voting for House Republicans' healthcare legislation.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said late Tuesday that the developments had reached "a point where it's of Watergate size and scale". "Sure. But not against a president".
"He was using his power to do that, and when James Comey didn't go along with him, when he wasn't his boy, he fired him, which I think is also relevant to the question of what he was trying to do", Gergen said. "We know specifically that the framers argued about this", Freedman said.
Even if possible, a criminal prosecution would have its hurdles.
Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on a key House oversight panel, countered that Mr Ryan and the Republicans had shown "zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of President Trump". And legal experts say it could be hard to prove the president crossed a line.
Comey, appointed as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2013 by President Barack Obama, spoke often about his desire to be as transparent as possible about Federal Bureau of Investigation actions and about proving to the public that his agency was independent, competent and thorough.
News yesterday of Trump's request of Comey immediately renewed concerns from congressional Democrats that Trump was trying to obstruct an investigation that's been examining potential co-ordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
"If he's pressuring repeatedly and won't take no for an answer, that becomes evidence of intent", Petalas said.
Still, there's also a witness: Comey. "You can't let them get you down", he said.
Second-ranking Senate Democrat Dick Durbin told reporters, "Each day, as this unfolds, this pattern of obstruction of justice grows".
Actually removing a president from office is a three-step process. "However, the issue remains that Republican legislators control the levers for any disciplinary action". Under the theory of the unitary executive, all departments within the executive branch are constitutionally under the direction of the President.
Stock markets that have thus far remained relatively calm sold off Wednesday, as the picture of a tumultuous White House continued to build.
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