Last week began with explosive testimony by FBI Director James Comey at the #House Intelligence Committee public sitting where he confirmed the ongoing investigations into possible collusion between members of the Trump team and Russian agents during the presidential campaign and the transition period. As the later part of the week saw the Battle of the Republicans in the House for the repeal of the ACA the intelligence investigations continued on their course..
Subsequent revelations and documentation about former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and his activities involving #Russia and the Ukraine have added further fuel to this fire. As a result Manafort requested that he be heard by the House Committee.
These revelations coincided with the assassination in the Ukrainian capital Kiev of former Russian parliamentarian Denis Voronenkov who was considered a possible witness in the investigations of Russian collusion.
Also complicating this matter was the serious and suspicious fall last week of lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov near Moscow who was also involved in a court case in Cyprus regarding money laundering in which Manafort’s name had been also been linked in the course of investigations in regards to payments received for his work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Janukovych who is now in exile in Russia...
Further affecting the investigations by the House Intelligence Committee was the unusual behaviour by its Chairman Devin Nunes who angered the Committee’s senior Democrat Adam Schiff when he briefed President #Donald Trump and then spoke to the Press about intelligence reports that members of the Trump transition team, including possibly President Donald Trump, may have been monitored “accidentally” during activities.
Making this behaviour even more worrying was the fact that Nunes had formally been a member of the Trump transition team and hence raise the possibility of bias in his investigations..
Nunes’ statements and behaviour have the potential to weaken the capacity of the House Committee to investigate the allegations of Russian collusion and interference in the presidential campaign in favour of Donald Trump.
Should these developments threaten the House Committee’s investigations they may have the effect that the White House would not want to see.
Due to the serious nature of the allegations there had already been calls for a Special Prosecutor even before FBI Director Comey's revelations on Monday. This appointment may now be inevitable in the light of these developments.
There is little likelihood that this particular shadow hanging over the White House will disappear soon. In fact they even affect the Administration’s negotiations with its allies for at least the foreseeable future.
As the new week begins the American public will be wondering what new revelations will come on the investigations and what effect they will have on the White House.
Unlike the fabled elephant the Russian bear hiding in the corners of Washington will not remain unmentioned and will be the subject of much speculation and many surprises well into the future.