Being that he’s one of the most well-respected journalists in history, when former CBS News anchor Dan Rather offers his analysis on something, a lot of people listen.
On Thursday, Rather took to Facebook to issue a dire warning to Donald Trump following the stunning news that broke Wednesday night concerning evidence proving Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury when he lied under oath to Congress about having contact with Russian officials.
Here are a few excerpts from his post:
Every once in a while in Washington, the fuse is lit for what seems to be a big scandal. Much more rarely does that fuse lead to an explosion of the magnitude we are seeing with Russia and the new Administration, and frankly the Republicans in Congress. How can anybody say, with all this billowing smoke and sights of actual flames, that there is no need to at least independently investigate whether a fire is burning down the very pillars of our democracy?
Sessions is but the latest person close to President Trump who seems to be ensnared in a story that is more worthy of Hollywood melodrama than the reality of the governance of our country. Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign, and this story could move very quickly.
We are well past the time for any political niceties or benefits of the doubt. We need an independent and thorough investigation of Russia’s meddling in our democracy and its ties to the President and his allies.
Let’s just make this clear. This is about a foreign and hostile power trying to influence our election while being in contact with close aides to the presidential campaign that the Kremlin wanted to win. Furthermore, there are serious questions about Mr Trump’s longstanding ties to Russian money and influence peddlers. We don’t know where this might go, but it isn’t going away.
He also said that there could be perfectly explainable reasons why Trump won’t release his tax returns, why he seems to be so eager to praise Vladimir Putin, and why so many people around him seem to have ties to Russia. But that “we don’t know what we don’t know.” Which is why we need a serious, independent investigation to find out if this is all just a really bad string of mostly innocent coincidences for Trump, or if we’re legitimately dealing with a traitor in the White House.
Nothing Dan Rather said is unreasonable. While Trump, his administration, and his supporters are doing their best to spin all of this, it’s reached a point where you have to be out of your mind to not think Congress should investigate all of these allegations. How many shady ties to Russia, lies from people around him about concerning questionable communications they had with Russian officials, or times does Trump have to go out of his way to avoid saying anything negative about Vladimir Putin before his supporters realize there’s clearly something going on?
These are the people who wanted Hillary Clinton sent to prison over an email server, even though the FBI conducted an investigation that lasted over a year and concluded nothing illegal took place. Yet many of these same folks don’t seem to think Congress should investigate Trump even after the second person from his administration was just caught lying about their contact with Russian officials.
Even as I was writing this, I happened to see this story from the New York Times concerning a non-disclosed meeting back in December that disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — the same Russian official Sessions lied about meeting twice.
For those of you who might not have heard, according to U.S. intelligence officials, Kislyak is considered Russia’s top spy and spy-recruiter.
Secret meetings with Russian officials, lies about discussing sanctions with Russia on the day they were issued by President Obama, attorney generals lying under oath to Congress about having contact with top Russian ambassadors/spies, and a Commander-in-Chief who still refuses to say anything negative about the Russian government. If you don’t think there’s something going on here, you’re either in denial, one of the dumbest people on the planet, crazy, or don’t have a problem supporting a man who might have possibly betrayed this country.
As Dan Rather said, on this issue, the fuse is lit. It’s clear that not only are these Russian allegations not going away, but there’s still a lot more we don’t know — and damn sure need the full facts and clarification on.