Once we learned the Russia dossier was created by opposition research and was potentially used to obtain warrants, the question then became: what did they know, and when did they know it?
If the Obama administration and various agencies including the FBI used the Russia dossier as evidence for a FISA warrant to spy on a political opponent during an election, it is the greatest political scandal in American history. It is basically your worst nightmare scenario out of a Hollywood movie. There aren't too many crimes against a political opponent that are bigger than this. Arresting an opponent based on false evidence is the next step, followed by state sanctioned murder. Democrats are trying to impeach President Trump and presumably arrest him for non-existent crimes...
We're used to Republicans rolling over and playing dead. But Trump uncucked the GOP, and probably a generational shift plays a role as Generation X moves into power. The Congressman who said this last week was born in 1964:
"Here's what I think Director Wray. I think Peter Strzok, head of counter intelligence at the FBI, Peter Strzok the guy who ran the Clinton investigation and did all the interviews, Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI, Peter Strzok, Mr. 'Super Agent' at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court...and if that happened...if you have the FBI working with the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign...if that happened...that's as wrong as it gets."He's not speaking in hyperbole there.
It's possible this didn't happen, or at least everyone can play dumb and nothing much comes of it.
It's possible this did happen, and Strzok takes one for the team, although probably others will go to jail over this because it's such a big story. But if that happens, it's a smoking gun. And few will believe the head of FBI counterintelligence decides by himself, with no help, to turn most of the government's intelligence apparatus against a political opponent during an election. A smoking gun will open up the entire Democrat Party establishment to investigation, including Obama administration officials.
With anyone else in office, I'd bet the Democrats get away with it. With Trump, I'll bet on major investigations. An independent counsel (or counsels) with wide latitude (because we know how these investigations go) will put a healthy chunk of the Democrat party leadership under threat of prosecution. And Trump will have the political power to purge the FBI and intelligence agencies of appointees going back to Clinton administration to get the stink out.
Finally, as we see with the #MeToo witch hunt, once there's a chance of advancement, the narrative gains support from ambitious climbers. The dirt will flow.
Maybe it's nothing. Maybe the Democrats will win political advantage and complete their coup. Maybe they'll change the narrative to "Move on, why are we still talking about the debunked Russia story?" But there is a lot of smoke billowing out of DC and we can catch a glimpse of still smoldering embers. If there's a fire, the scandal is orders of magnitude larger than Watergate. It has no precedent in American history. We'll have to dig through political thriller novels or foreign history to find comparable events.