The New York Times today delivers a gripping analysis of precisely what might bring Donald Trump crashing down after the circus atmosphere of Congressional hearings and frantic reactions to Presidential tweets. All it will take, Risen suggests, is for one Russian agent to defect. Risen provides a compelling argument.

Remember Ames?

Risen says the Trump case begins with the hacking of DNC computers. The case of Aldrich Ames began with an arrest in Moscow. The narrative can go for many years before it reaches a conclusion. The American penchant for quick answers may need to take a rest.

In the end, when Aldrich Ames was brought down for an incredible run of spying for Russia, it became clear that he could not have worked alone. That led to the apprehension of an FBI agent named Robert Hanssen.

A discouraging prospect

Reading the Risen narrative offers little hope that the Trump investigation will come to a clean, clear ending. Risen notes that an interagency group took 16 years to wrap up the Ames case and that many details of that story remain secret. In Trump's case, it is almost certain that the only hope for a solution lies beyond the antics of intelligence inquiries on Capitol Hill. The bickering among agencies remains but they can function with a better chance of success over time.

Will Comey prove the hero of this story?

There would be a curious symmetry if James Comey, who probably got Donald Trump the 80,000 votes he needed to win a most narrow victory with his suggestive and unfounded remarks about Hillary Clinton, was now to be the scourge of the President. But there is an alternative to Risen's evocation of the Ames case and cold war history.

What if there is a simple indication that Trump has been covering up crimes and misdemeanors that can be laid at the feet of the many Trump associates who have had contacts with Russia?

It's the cover-up that gets you every time

There is speculation that Michael Flynn might be the key to the Trump case. We know that he lied about his Russia contact. If Trump can be implicated in covering that up, or in similar cover-ups, then he could be toast sooner than later.