President Donald Trump is claiming “complete and total exoneration” after the release of a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Call it what it was: A witch hunt
By Tim Young
Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed on May 17, 2017, by then-acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
Those orders meant that the special counsel’s office was tasked to find Russian collusion with the Trump campaign or anything else the investigators might come across while looking.
To put the Mueller investigation into perspective: Imagine being pulled over for speeding, then held for 90 minutes because the police decided to search you for drugs. Even though you aren’t in the possession of drugs, the police bring in a drug-sniffing dog, remove you from your car, and then search your car even though the dog didn’t positively identify any drugs.
That’s an incredibly unfair scenario, but it arose directly from your traffic stop, so they claim it’s OK.
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Now add to that traffic stop scenario that while searching your car, the police found your tax returns where you claimed you donated to charity last year, and they don’t believe that could possibly be true, so they launch an investigation into your tax returns. Oh, and by the way, you weren’t speeding — the police pulled you over because of a rumor that you were a speeder. If this happened to a friend or a fellow American, you’d be enraged and want the police department and whoever made those initial claims investigated.
President Donald Trump appropriately called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt over the past 22 months. He knew that neither he nor his campaign colluded with Russia — but he also knew that like the police in the scenario, had the FBI been given free pass to investigate anything that “may arise directly from the investigation,” political opponents would be overjoyed with excitement to see what would come out of a final report.
Millions of dollars and hours of investigators’ time were wasted looking into what amounts to rumors that Russian officials colluded with the Trump campaign, with hopes by political opponents that any other crime would be found. That’s why Democrats want to know whatever else turned up — they know its potential to be free (taxpayer funded) opposition research.
There was no Russian collusion — exactly what the investigation was supposed to be looking for. If other completely unrelated things are in that report, it just proves Trump’s point that it was a witch hunt.
If you aren’t upset about what just happened to the president, it’s your political bias talking, not your common sense.
Tim Young is a political comedian and author of the forthcoming book “I Hate Democrats/I Hate Republicans.” You can follow him on Twitter: @TimRunsHisMouth.
What others are saying
The Wall Street Journal, editorial: “The end of the collusion illusion should also cause the media to do some soul-searching about rushes to judgment. For two years, with the help of ex-Obama officials, they spun anecdotes of contacts between Russians and Trump campaign advisers into a conspiracy. With few exceptions they went well beyond First Amendment oversight into anti-Trump advocacy. … Many in the press also took President Donald Trump’s denunciations against the investigation and his odd solicitousness for Putin as an admission of guilt. But Trump is often his own worst enemy, and bursts of ego and anger aren’t evidence of anything but predictable Trump behavior.”
Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post: “It should be no surprise to anyone that Trump’s reaction to the Mueller report is to attack reporters for doing their jobs. … It’s important to acknowledge the value of the serious journalism because there’s a real risk that news organizations will take the edges off their coverage of this subject now. You could see it starting to happen over the weekend. … With some regrettable and damaging exceptions — individual stories that seemingly went too far — reality-based news outlets have done quite well on this story. And it’s far from over. So this is no time to retreat.”
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA TODAY: “Actually, it was always a crock, dreamed up immediately after Hillary Clinton’s election-night defeat by her staff to explain away failure. As reported in the campaign book ‘Shattered,’ by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, Clinton refused to take responsibility for her defeat, and the day after her concession, top officials gathered ‘to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. … Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.’ … Will we see any accountability for the many ethical — and probably legal — breaches involving Trump’s bureaucratic opposition? Stay tuned. But the ‘Russian collusion’ narrative has now imploded.”
What our readers are saying
If Attorney General William Barr is being honest in his letter about what is in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, then why not release it to the public? You would think that they would want us all to see that President Donald Trump could be exonerated so this entire thing could be put to rest.
— Joanne Momano
What America got on Sunday was the “Barr report.” I wanted this investigation to wrap up, and it hasn’t. Trump wasn’t exonerated, so it’s Congress’ job to complete this saga, now. If the president isn’t fully exonerated, he doesn’t belong in office!
— Brenda Jackson
A four-page interpretation by a (presumably) Trump lackey is not a report from a two-year investigation. If there’s nothing to hide, let’s see the evidence in public, with congressional oversight.
— Colleen Fritze
I am glad that Trump isn’t a Russian spy. I just want the truth, and I want to know where we are in our politics. Is it OK for a presidential candidate to ask a hostile foreign power to do research on political rivals? Is it OK to attend a meeting where a hostile foreign power is offering “dirt” on a political rival? When Russians or any foreign power comes knocking offering “dirt,” is it OK not to call the authorities? What are the rules, and have they changed?
— Gabe Topp
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