President Trump is right about this much: The Russia investigation really is interfering with his ability to enact his agenda. If there was any doubt about that, remember that this week was meant to mark the big rollout of Trump’s ambitious plan to rebuild America’s roads and bridges. But good luck finding anyone in Congress talking about infrastructure anymore. Infrastructure Week has been replaced by Comey Week.
According to prepared remarks released Wednesday by the Senate intelligence committee, former FBI Director James Comey plans to tell the committee that Trump called him on March 30 and told him that the Russia investigation was “‘a cloud’ that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country.” Trump, Comey says, then asked him what could be done to “lift the cloud.” Comey says he was noncommittal; Trump fired him six weeks later.
Experts are already debating whether Trump’s comments — assuming Comey’s description of them is accurate — constitute obstruction of justice. But whatever the legal implications of the previously undisclosed phone call, there’s little doubt that the cloud Trump (allegedly) described is real. There are at least three big ways that the Russia investigation and all its various branches could derail Trump’s plans.