On Friday, the New York Times reported that — following the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey — some law enforcement officials opened up their own investigation into whether the president of the United States was working on Russia's behalf. Both President Donald Trump and the Kremlin have since denied the report.
Homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem told Boston Public Radio Wednesday that she believes the more salient question is not necessarily whether the president wittingly or unwittingly worked for Russia, but whether his ties with the country jeopardize American national security.
"This gets to what I have been trying to push: To not think of Donald Trump as a Manchurian candidate ... or a paid asset of the Russians, but to look at him as a threat to national security because he is compromised for whatever reason," Kayyem said.
"And that [reason] is what we'll find out: Is it the finances? Is there a tape? Was there collusion during the campaign?" she asked.
Kayyem believes that the product of Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections will not necessarily be a criminal indictment, but a document persuading Senate officials that the president may be a threat to national security, which in turn will require a political solution.
"Everyone should remember that Mueller cannot impeach the president," Kayyem said. "This is still a political answer."