Of course, the world keeps turning, and global and domestic events are happening every second outside of the black hole of the White House. But holy god, a lot of scary, democracy-challenging, impeachment-inviting stuff’s happening in Trumplandia right now. Accordingly, this week’s Index is going to be short and anything but sweet.
This week, President Donald J. Trump:
- Unceremoniously fires James Comey, the Director of the FBI. Across the nation, jaws hit the floor, phone lines explode, and even a few Republicans muster the courage to declare this beyond the pale. At first, Comey’s firing is blamed on his pre-election disclosures of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and on the recommendations of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General. But just as soon as his spokespeople have gone into overdrive on this message, Trump contradicts them, saying that the firing was his idea: he wasn’t happy with Comey’s performance. Later, it comes out that he invited Comey to dinner and asked for his loyalty; Comey declined to pledge fealty. Comey, of course, was leading the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections.
- Shares highly classified intelligence about ISIS with Russian officials, imperiling the info’s source, unnerving the intelligence community, jeopardizing international trust, and raising America’s hackles yet further.
- See this week’s Readings for more on both of these issues.
- Sean Spicer hides amongst bushes.
- A Comey memo suggests that Trump asked Comey to halt the investigation into Mike Flynn “because he’s a great guy.”
- The Director of the Census Bureau resigns, which could have far-reaching effects on how thoroughly populations are counted and thus how well they are represented legislatively.
- North Korea successfully launches a longish-range missile.
Here’s a picture of a puppy. Feel free to revisit this little fella when you’re driving back and forth between town halls, relaxing after calls to your legislators, resting your thumbs from furious tweeting to the White House and DOJ, and trying not to stress about the state of our democracy. Have a glass of wine, too.