One way to understand the events of the past ten days is to see them as the revenge of the capital’s professional classes. Last Monday, the career prosecutor Sally Yates sparred with Ted Cruz at a Senate hearing, taking obvious relish in her mastery of the legal context for the President’s travel ban, deploying the word “promulgated” like a whip. Last Thursday, after the President fired Comey, the word was that rank-and-file F.B.I. agents were horrified, that Comey was popular and his dismissal was received as a transgression. On Monday, anonymous intelligence officers disclosed that Trump had given classified intelligence, which had been passed to American agents by their Israeli counterparts in exchange for the promise of secrecy, to the Russian foreign minister. (The conservative writer Erick Erickson wrote that he knew one of the sources of the leak, whom he described as politically pro-Trump but horrified by Trump’s exposure of an ally.) Tuesday turned on the disclosure of that Comey had taken notes of his meetings with Trump. The critical stories were written by newspaper beat reporters: the national-security reporters Greg P. Miller and Greg Jaffe, of the Washington Post, and the Times’ man at Justice, Schmidt. Professionals know where to find each other.
What will happen next? On Tuesday, Politico reported that some Republican congressmen, privately, were wondering about impeachment. Publicly, most were much more reticent. But the Comey memo has likely already altered the trajectory of the various investigations swirling around the White House. In addition to the question of whether Trump’s Presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government, there is now the question of whether he interfered to stop an investigation—whether he, as President, obstructed justice. This is the realm of lawyers—timelines, documents, protocols. The early word is that Comey could testify next month. Already, Congress is seeking documents. “I have my subpoena pen ready,” the House Oversight Chairman, Jason Chaffetz, wrote yesterday.