There is a saying in Washington that if you want a friend you should get a dog. And never has it been more true.
With every new administration, trust and loyalty are traded for power and access. But with this one, that trading has been even more intense.
For President Trump has upended Washington’s traditional alliances and the atmosphere here is febrile, the political paranoia contagious.
Enter stage left James Comey, the Director of the FBI who later today will give evidence to the House Intelligence Committee about the dark art of spying at the heart of America’s political power.
The stakes are high.
Comey has two questions to answer:
- 1) Did President Obama authorise surveillance of Trump Tower in the run up to the inauguration - as President Trump has accused him of doing?
- 2) Did Team Trump collude with the Russians in a bid to win last year’s election?
If Comey comes out against the President (which is extremely likely) – saying there is no evidence to support his claims of illegal wiretapping against him – then pressure will grow on President Trump to apologise.
Both to Obama, and to the British who have been drawn into the affair accused of carrying out the covert wire tapping.
Trump will be damaged.
It will also put more strain on relations between the new President and the security forces.
On the Russian issue, the hearing is unlikely to succeed in getting Comey to reveal anything damning or revelatory .
He may not say much at all - citing security reasons – so the speculation is likely to continue, damaging President Trump, but also the trust in the institutions which endeavour to keep America safe.
So although we are all waiting with baited breath to get to the bottom of these two explosive issues, this time tomorrow we are likely to have only established that we need to dig even deeper to get to the truth.