The host of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Wednesday recounted the extraordinary actions by Barack Obama's administration to preserve evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Maddow reminded how the Obama administration ejected 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives, seized two Russian "big, luxury compounds" and announced new sanctions.
Obama also ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to produce a report on what actions Russia took to interfere in the 2016 election.
Maddow noted how U.S. intelligence agencies sought to "preserve the intelligence" about Russian meddling -- and contacts with Trump associates -- by spreading the information widely through government.
She noted America's allies also did the same.
"So there was this scramble -- as the Obama administration was wrapping up and getting ready to leave and as the Trump inauguration was nearing -- there was this scramble to make sure the intelligence collected on the Russian attack and specifically on contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians during the attack, that intelligence, they scrambled to make sure it could not be disappeared," Maddow reported.
"They scrambled to make sure it was basically memorialized and cataloged and recorded in such a way that it would leave traces, that people would see it and those efforts to preserve that intelligence carried on up until the final hours of the Obama administration," she continued.
"So in the final days of the Obama administration there is this rush to preserve intelligence in case the incoming folks try to cover it up or destroy it," Maddow explained. "There is a rush to leave tracks of the intel itself and the deep and unprecedented concern caused by that intelligence within the very top levels of the administration."
Maddow noted the efforts to protect the data would now be tested, if CNN and The Washington Post are correct that special counsel Robert Mueller is wrapping up his investigation by next week.
The host noted the outstanding questions about the efforts taken to protect the intelligence and investigations.
"But if this thing is ending, how will we know the circumstances under which it is being ended? Who is allowed to say what and under what circumstances about how this thing is wrapping up, if it's wrapping up?" she wondered.
"If what's happening now is what they worried from the very beginning that this is how it would all ultimately end, then were the doomsday plans those officials put in place up to this challenge?" she asked. "Did they do enough?