On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey delivered a classified, hour-long briefing
to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia scandal, and soon after, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent
"formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee's investigation" into the controversy.
We don't know much about how the briefing went -- committee members were tight-lipped
following Comey's presentation -- though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted
late Friday that he's "now very confident" that the committee will conduct "thorough bipartisan investigation" into Russia's "interference and influence."
Reading between the lines, this makes it sound as if the Republican-led panel is trying to knock down the idea that a special select committee is necessary to investigate the scandal without political interference.
A day later, Reuters reported
that the FBI is pursuing "at least three separate probes" related to Russian intervention in American politics, "according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation." Two of three, according to the report, relate to alleged cyber-crimes, while the third is the ongoing counter-espionage probe.
And then yesterday, the New York Times moved the ball forward
, though in an unexpected way.
A week before Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security adviser, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.
Mr. Flynn is gone, having been caught lying about his own discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador. But the proposal, a peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, remains, along with those pushing it: Michael D. Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, who delivered the document; Felix H. Sater, a business associate who helped Mr. Trump scout deals in Russia; and a Ukrainian lawmaker trying to rise in a political opposition movement shaped in part by Mr. Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The "Ukrainian lawmaker," in this case, is Andrii Artemenko, who's allied with Putin's government.
According to the Times' reporting
, Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, claims he received a sealed envelope from Felix Sater, a controversial figure in Trump's orbit, and Cohen delivered the envelope to Michael Flynn before his resignation. read more