(RFE/RL) One day before the phone call that led to the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump, there was a public appearance by the man whose investigation, many assumed, had already imperiled Trump's presidency.
The focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 22-month investigation was the same focus of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the U.S. intelligence community: Russia and its role in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. [...]
Ivan Kurilla, a history professor at the European University in St. Petersburg and a specialist in U.S. politics who authored the 2018 book Sworn Friends, said that a new Trump-Putin summit won't happen anytime soon.
And he argued that, with U.S. lawmakers and policymakers consumed by the impeachment probe, its aftermath, and then election-year politics, Russia could feel emboldened.
"At the same time, Trump and the Congress will be so focused on the procedure that Russia could find she has a green light to do whatever it wants in different regions," Kurilla said. "America will not respond [unless] the move is so bold that the U.S. public demands retaliation." [...]
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