Director confirms agency will probe Moscow’s involvement and influence in the last US election

By Sujit Bhar

Donald J Trump is in a spot of trouble; a rather large and messy spot, actually. With his allegation of a Barack Obama-instigated wiretap in Trump Towers falling right through his presidential lie-hole, and with his second travel ban, too, being blocked by the courts, he wasn’t a happy man. And now FBI director James B Comey has come out and confirmed that the agency is actually going to investigate whether Trump’s campaign club members had a deal going with Russia.

Comey’s admission came during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, say media reports, running in the face of Trump’s defence that this Russia-link had been fabricated by the media and his political rivals, that it was “fake news”.

The more weighty situation is that this will be a criminal investigation and that the investigation would go on “no matter how long that takes”.

Comey’s words came back resoundingly to haunt Trump as even the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael S Rogers, pooh-poohed Trump’s wiretapping claim.

The media in the US—including leading ones such as The New York Times—maintain that this wiretapping claim was a ruse, to draw attention away from evidences that point to Russian involvement and influence in the American election process.

Comey’s and Rogers’ words add to the media’s assertion.

What would the FBI be doing? According to Comey, the agency was “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” media reports have said. This is a direct indication that there was more than what meets the eye in the election process and that this should and is being investigated.

While it must be admitted that such “investigations” rarely prove conclusive and rarely, if at all, has anybody been indicted as a result of such investigations, that isn’t the reason behind the US media’s elation at this news. It is a justification of its firm belief, and as a result such a potentially damning investigation hanging like a dark cloud over any administration adds little credibility to the top office.

It has also to be remembered that Trump is a duck-back case and water or allegations roll off quite easily. If one expects Trump to be worried about what Comey said, one is being wishful. Trump is not somebody who believes there is a world beyond reality TV, and within reality TV, he is the only one authorized to fore anybody.

It is an intellectual victory for the media and for the right thinking masses in the US; not that it really matters to Trump and his acolytes and millions of obtuse minds that have sided with him.

Yet, this is a beginning, no doubt. Hopefully, a beginning of the end.