F.B.I Headquarters May 2021 (Present Day)
F.B.I Director Cole Kenmore realized he was in the midst of the biggest political scandal in American history. People had died. Millions of Americans regularly protested in the streets. People wanted answers and they wanted them now. The House and Senate were already doing their own congressional investigations into the matter, but this scandal was now a criminal investigation. He knew he had to get to the bottom of this, President Hayes’s presidency was on the line. Good thing he already had a list of potential suspects and witnesses. His first witness was Representative James Graham (D). Director Kenmore walked into the holding room, where the F.B.I. interviews suspects and witnesses, and sat at the only table in the room. In the room was a very dark window that was designed to look like a mirror. On the other side of the window was several F.B.I. agents. Sitting across from Director Kenmore at the table was Rep. James Graham himself. Rep. James Graham looked nervous. “The sooner you start talking, the faster you go home.”, said Director Kenmore. “Fine. It all started in January of 2019…”, said Rep. James Graham.
Washington D.C, January 2019
It was thunder storming outside. Representative James Graham watched the heavy winds and the cold pouring rain from the safety of his office room window day dreaming about the positive difference he would make for the people in his district. His office in the Capitol was smaller than the one back at home in his district. James represented the thirty-second district of Texas. He was not only a Democrat but was one of the most liberal Democrats in the House. He was also one of the few openly gay politicians from the state of Texas. James was new to Congress. He won his seat for the first time back in November of 2018. James had beat his Republican opponent, John Brenton, by winning fifty-four percent of the vote. Members of the House weren’t sworn in until the third of January following an election. So James has only officially been a member of congress for about a week.
Suddenly, I heard a knock at the door and snapped out of my day dream. I turn around in my rolling chair, once again facing my small wooden desk. “Come in”, I said. “Hello, Mr. Graham”, said Sarah Brown. Sarah Brown was the secretary for my D.C. office. She had long brown hair and green eyes. She was thin and often wore bright colored dresses. “The speaker wishes to have a word with you. She would like to see you in about thirty minutes.”, Sarah said. “Thank you, Sarah. Tell the speaker I will be there shortly”, I said. “Will do Mr. Graham.”, said Sarah closing the door behind her. I was feeling nervous. It’s not every day the Speaker of the House wants to talk to you. The Speaker of the House was Representative Lisa Steinbeck. She was the first Republican woman to ever become speaker. The Republicans had won the House in the 2018 midterms, though the size of their majority was lowered. They also won the White House back in 2016 as well as the Senate. However, the Democrats had won back the Senate in the 2018 midterms. Why Speaker Steinbeck wanted to talk to me, a first term Democratic freshman remained a mystery. I made my way through the speaker’s office and opened the white wooden door.
Inside the room, there was a bunch little wooden desk scattered everywhere. In the back of the room was Secretary Peter Taylor’s desk. Peter was Speaker Steinbeck’s secretary. Next, to his desk was the office door of the Speaker of the House. It was the biggest office in congress. I approached Peter’s desk. “Hello, I’m here to see Speaker Steinbeck. I’m Rep. James Graham. She wanted to see me.”, I said. “Aw, yes. She will see you now”, said Peter before ushering me into the Speaker’s office. “Have a seat. Mr. Graham. I have been wanting to talk to you for quite some time” said the speaker. “Oh, you have”, I said nervously while taking my seat. “Yes, I have. I want you to switch parties, you’ll be more useful that way, but first I need to know something. You're new to Washington and I want to know if you are a type A politician or a type B politician.”, said the speaker. “First, I’m not switching parties. Second, what is a type A politician? What is a type B politician?”, I ask. “The first rule of politics is simple. Perception matters more than the truth. It is very easy for the American people to be misinformed on just about any topic. Misinformed people take their anger out on the wrong things. You can be a type A politician who naively fights over policy ideas with arguments based on facts and reason and go on to lose your seat in the next election. Or you can be a type B politician who votes against whatever the American people just so happen to be angry at that day and win re-election”, said the speaker. "I would consider myself a type A politician.”, I tell the speaker.
Speaker Steinbeck laughs at me. “Everyone always says that at first. Then they feel the wrath and anger of millions of misinformed people. After that, they become type B politicians. They always do. Well, the ones that get re-elected do anyway.”, said the speaker. “Well, I won’t become a type B politician and I believe the American people would want more type A politicians in Washington.”, I said. “The American people have no idea what they want. They vote out all the type A politicians out of Washington. Then later get angry about the fact that every politician is Washington is type B. They get mad that type B politicians don’t act like type A politicians. Type A politicians are authentic, they rarely lie, and they are consistent in their beliefs and ideals. Type B politicians are inconsistent, willingly to lie in the pursuit of power, and are inauthentic. All the things the American people claim they hate in politicians, yet who do they elect over and over again. Type B. What incentive do type B politicians have in acting like type A?”, the speaker asked. I was shocked. This was the Speaker of the House. This was the person third in line for the presidency. It then that I realized that Speaker Lisa Steinbeck had to go. People like her had to be kicked out of Washington. “Well, I going to change that ma’am speaker.”, I said angrily storming out of her office. As I left her office, I heard Speaker Steinbeck’s laughter. She was mocking me for saying such a thing.
After leaving Speaker Steinbeck’s office, I decided to go to the House Minority Leader William Golding. He was the most powerful Democrat in the House. If anyone could help bring down Speaker Steinbeck, surely he could. So I made my way to his office and recounted my visit with the speaker. “As hard as it may be to believe, she is right Mr. Graham. Also, I think you should consider switching parties.”, he said. I was even more shocked.”You think I should switch parties.”, I said. “Yes, you have only been here a week and have already proven yourself to be the most liberal member of congress. You should switch parties or at least move more to the right. You know, tamper down that liberal lion. You wouldn’t want people to see you as being too…liberal. You would be more useful that way.”, he said. I was speechless. Without saying a word, I left his office and went back to mine. I didn’t just need to bring down Speaker Steinbeck, I also needed to bring the minority leader down as well. I’m a brand new member of congress, how was I supposed to bring down two of the most powerful people in Washington?
F.B.I Headquarters May 2021 (Present Day)
While Director Kenmore was questioning Rep. James Graham, F. B. I. Deputy Director Sam Rider was in a similar room down the hall questioning E.J. Dionne Jr. “I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know anything.”, said E.J Dionne Jr. “Well, you can start with the meeting you had with President Hayes in March of 2019.”, said Deputy Rider. “Fine”, said E. J. Dionne Jr.
Washington, D.C. March 2019
E.J. Dionne Jr. was currently waiting in the Oval Office waiting room. A few weeks earlier the U.S military had done a drone strike on what they thought was an abandoned warehouse filled with terrorist. The warehouse was located somewhere in Yemen. Exactly where in Yemen E.J. Dionne Jr. wasn’t sure, but what he did know was that there was no terrorist inside that abandoned warehouse. No, the only soul that had been in that warehouse was a U.S soldier. A U.S soldier that just so happened to be his son. The Pentagon blamed the incident on bad intelligence. When he first heard of his son’s death, he was sad beyond measure. It was only after he heard how his son died that he became angry. Some White House staffer had invited him to the White House. He guessed President Hayes wanted to apologize in person instead of over the phone, which was fine with him because he had questions that he wanted to be answered. A woman that he guessed was the President’s secretary walked to him. She was wearing a bright green dress, thin framed glasses and six-inch pump stilettos. She looked like was in her early thirties. “The President will see you now.”, she said with a New York accent.
E.J. walked into the Oval Office. President of The United States Chris Hayes was sitting behind his desk. He wearing a nicely tailored suit, white shirt, and red tie. The President got up to shake E.J. hand. “Hello, Mr. Dionne. Please have a seat.”, said the President. “Hello, Mr. President.”, I said sitting down without shaking his hand. President Hayes took a seat next to me. “Mr. Dionne, I want to apologize in person for the death of your son. I know my words could never bring him back. The incident should never have happened”, said President Hanes. “Is that apologize really coming from the goodness of your heart or was it because my son’s death embarrassed the Pentagon? Let me guess how this goes down. You apologize to me and then we take some photos. After that, the press will spends some time complementing your leadership and we all move on with our lives. Meanwhile, no one gets fired, especially the people who gave you the bad intelligence. I’m not here so you can apologize. You could have done this over the phone, but you couldn’t live with yourself. I’m here because you want my forgiveness. So I could soothe your concise. Well, I do not forgive you, Mr. President. I will not subdue your conscience. I will not make it easier for you to sleep at night.” I said.
President Hayes faced drop. There was a long pause and both men sat staring at each other. Then the president spoke. “There is an old saying that the founding fathers used to say, good and moral men may enter the office, but none shall leave it. Every day I have to make morally ambiguous decisions. Decisions where it isn’t clear what is right and what is wrong. Decisions where it isn’t clear if there is even a difference between the two. In politics, the truth is not what matters. What matters, is what people believe the truth to be. Hell, I‘m not even sure what the truth is and I’m the president. However, that doesn’t matter because what matters is the smoke and mirrors not what’s behind them. Look, the only thing I can be sure of is that I nor this nation can afford for me to be indecisive. We thought that warehouse was filled with terrorist and I did what I thought I needed to in order to protect this nation. You not forgiving me will never keep me up at night. What keeps me up at night is knowing that I will have to make similar decisions the next day and the day after that and so forth until I am no longer the president. I am sorry about the drone strike killing your son. I really am, but if you think I cared about your forgiveness you are wrong. Now get out of my office.” And with that E.J left without speaking another word.
F.B.I Headquarters May 2021 (Present Day)
“Is that really what happens?” said Deputy Rider. “ Yes that is really what happened.”, said E.J, sounding annoyed. “What did you do after that?”, said Deputy Rider. “I wanted to make him hurt. The 2020 Presidential wasn’t too far away. What better way to make him hurt then ensure that he was a one term president. Obviously, that didn’t work out, but I tried anyway.”, E.J. said. “Did you seek help for this plan of yours?” said Deputy Rider. There was a short pause as if E.J. was wondering whether or not, to tell the truth. “Yes, I went to Senator Sunbeam.”, said E.J. “You went to see the Democratic senator from Florida that would later be murdered the night before the presidential election?”, said Deputy Rider. There was another pause. “Yes, yes I did”.