The immediate question raised by the latest information published by The New York Times is: What next? Will Congress investigate? Will it subpoena records, including the tax records that may clarify the financial obligations—if any—Donald Trump has to Russia? And since Congress is so dominated by one party, that first question raises a follow-up and more specific question: What will the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress do?
Remember, the Republican rank-and-file remain much more intensely committed to Trump and the presidency than to their leaders in Congress. Fox News and talk radio are busily concocting rationalizations and distractions. Donald Trump will still be president a week from now—and he has many tools by which to retaliate against his perceived opponents in the intelligence services. Unless Congress revolts against him, he could well prevail, destroying the integrity and independence of law enforcement and counter-intelligence in the process.