While much of the Sunday show talk was devoted to reminiscing about the life of President George HW Bush, there was time for other topics: for example, the new admission from Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer that he lied to federal investigators over the scope of his role in pursuing a new Moscow real estate deal on behalf of his client, a deal whose workings merged in still-unknown ways to Trump’s praise of Russia during the campaign, his insistence that sanctions on corrupt Russian oligarchs be relaxed, and his efforts, after willing the election, to do just that.

On Meet the Press, incoming House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler was tasked with explaining why this was a big deal.

“The fact that he was lying to the American people about doing business in Russia and the Kremlin knew he was lying gave the Kremlin a hold over him,” Nadler said.

“One question we have now is, does the Kremlin still have a hold over him because of other lies that they know about?”

As House Republicans studiously blocked their own Russia “investigation” from overturning any too-large rocks while simultaneously using their powers to expose and sabotage what parts of the intelligence community’s investigation they could, i.e. the unending Rep. Devin Nunes show, we have settled into an odd public position in which the sitting president has, already, been identified as a co-conspirator in at least one federal prosecution and is the subject of others but the broader press, and especially the punditry class, is still mulling whether criminal activity on the part of a very important person is, in this context, a dealbreaker. The sorts of persons that appear on the Sunday shows are skeptical, in the extreme, of the notion of consequences; it is not in their nature to contemplate that those they have glad-handed at countless state and public functions may, at some point, end up in a federal prison over one of the very subjects of their past banter.

But the Mueller investigation has apparently entered a new phase, and a new Democratic House majority means prior House efforts to block a full accounting of Russian actions will cease. Things are about to heat up, and the odds are better than even that Nadler’s question will soon be answered.

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