Throughout his campaign and in the first months of his presidency, Donald Trump has been crossing lines never before crossed in our history. He may now have crossed a Rubicon. What is on the other side?
In firing FBI Director James Comey, the top cop investigating his campaign for possible collusion with Russia as it meddled in the 2016 campaign, Trump seems to have badly miscalculated. He appears to have believed that the move would garner support — or at least not ignite much resistance — from Democrats unhappy with Comey’s treatment of Hillary Clinton. Having instead provoked a hurricane of blowback from both Democrats as well as a growing number of Republicans, Trump has been knocked on his heels.
Trump and his surrogates have put forth a succession of contradictory explanations for his decision to sack Comey. The initial version, that he was persuaded to take the step on the recommendation of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, did not pass the laugh test.
Trump has beaten a hasty retreat from that implausible stance and, flabbergastingly, acknowledged that the Russia investigation was on the forefront of his mind.