On Aug. 27, Harry Reid, then the Senate Democratic leader, sent a letter to James Comey, then the FBI Director, asking for an investigation of ties between Donald Trump and Russia. “The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount,” Reid wrote. Over the summer, Reid’s office had obtained a copy of the now-infamous Steele dossier—a report on Trump’s Russia connections compiled by a former British spy—and was desperately trying to make both journalists and government officials seriously consider the idea that Trump was compromised. There was widespread suspicion in D.C. of Trump’s Russia connections; thanks to a secret recording obtained by the Washington Post, we now know that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told his colleagues last June that he thought Trump was being paid by Putin. But somehow, amid all the chaos and weirdness of the campaign season, the Russia storyline never quite broke through.