When a huge story moves at a snail's pace in terms of new developments, you know there are wheels turning but you don't know whose wheels or where they are heading or much else. The New York Times front page, as I write early in Manhattan on May 10, is about what it was yesterday.

The sign is that we do not quite know what to make of the events put in motion with the Sessions-trump firing action. The Times may not always react wisely, but when it does the story shrinks a little and becomes more manageable.


We are all like the Times. We have our story but it is in progress.

There is no clear end to it. It is in play. Nonetheless, I think we might begin with the observation that it is Trump rather than Comey who is facing the most trouble this morning. The firing is bringing back memories of Watergate. The president may want to rewrite history.

But there is a stubbornness abroad. We may be on the cusp of a poetic justice phase when all the stops are pulled and a repetition of the past becomes mandatory. If so there is a Special Prosecutor coming and it may be the result of a bipartisan decision that says enough already.


The Sessions-Trump declension of history goes like this. Comey fouled things up over Hillary and this is grounds for firing him. This is hardly pants on fire conclusion.

Comey did foul things up royally and persisted in believing he had justice on his side, despite a bit of nausea when he considered his possible effect on the election. Since then that question has sort of sat there.


Yesterday's presidential action is not calling Comey a president-maker, a one-man force to get Trump the win.

He is saying that Comey's evident atonement for the act has been destructive. Trump is mad because Comey has gradually suggested that he, the winner, is the more plausible violator of the law.

This thrust will play out in the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings now attracting massive attention. If nuance sometimes wins legal tussles, Trump has sacrificed a big advantage by trying to get rid of a master of nuance on the eve of what may now be his biggest performance.

Nuance and hubris

All you have to do is consider the results of many past studies to know that conclusions are often a matter of who holds the cards. The cards are now in play and it comes down to who can get the narration and take it home.

The prize is a scintilla of sworn testimony from someone implicating Trump. If it is found, Trump has probably bought his own fate. The scintilla will enable the conclusion that his own overreach, his hubris, brought him down.