Michael Crichton, James Patterson and Jeffrey Archer can step away from the keyboards for awhile--the next great political thriller featuring espionage, computer hacking, blackmail and maybe even a little sex will be written by reporters at the New York Times, the Washington Post and on Politico.com. And, unfortunately, it's not going to be a work of fiction.
Chapter One was written last week, as the National Security Advisor is forced to quit his job just a few weeks in after those reporters learn that he was in contact with foreign officials while still a private citizen--and then flat-out lying about it. The Advisor resigns in shame--and the ball is set in motion for the "discovery" of more nefarious backroom dealings.
Chapter Two appears in the newspapers today--as we find out the FBI has documents showing continuous contact between high-ranking officials in the new President's former campaign staff and foreign intelligence officers in the months leading up to the election. Right now, our writers can only speculate as to what those conversations may have entailed--and who initiated those contacts.
Chapter Three is likely a flashback to that heated campaign, where the President's opponent is badly hurt by emails that her campaign manager allowed to be accessed from his account. We learn a little bit more about how the initial hacking attack took place--and then we follow the complicated paths by which the information made its way back to the West--and onto the internet.
In Chapter Four, things start to get serious, as the connection to the foreign intelligence operatives moves inside the White House itself. A close senior advisor is discovered to be compromised. His termination comes quickly--but that is not enough. Now Congress wants an investigation. The President appoints an "independent investigator"--but when that probe starts hitting a little too close to home, he (or she) is canned as well. Now Congressional hearings begin, high ranking officials close to the President are subpoenaed--but plead the Fifth and refuse to testify.
Chapter Five brings in a national crisis. Even the most-ardent supporters of the President can no longer publicly support him. Protests are daily occurrences across the country. Rumors swirl of military leaders ready to act unilaterally to protect US interests from this external threat--as the motives of the Commander and Chief cannot be known or trusted. And just when it seems the tension can't get any thicker......
Well, I don't want to spoil the ending here--so we will just all have to wait for those chapters to be written. In the meantime, let's make sure the First Lady isn't showing the President any Queen of Diamond playing cards.