No collusion? Huh? How could that be? The vast majority of the Dem party and the media have been assuring us there was. Well, I guess they were wrong. In my opinion, either they are stupid, or they think we are to believe them.
The long-awaited and much-anticipated Mueller Report has been completed and submitted to Attorney General William Barr. Barr and Rod Rosenstein, his deputy, have reviewed the report, and they have issued a statement that (1) the report did not call for any additional indictments, and (2) neither Mr. Trump nor his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. It should be noted that various US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia did, however, interfere with the election, although Russia has consistently denied it did so. In any event, there has been no evidence presented that even one vote was affected.
The report did not absolve Mr. Trump of obstruction of justice. Critics have latched on to that like a lifeline. They cite his firing of FBI director Jim Comey as evidence of obstruction, but they conveniently forget or ignore the fact that even the Clinton campaign was unhappy with Comey and wanted him fired. A decision on obstruction will be up to the attorney general. In my opinion, the case for obstruction is weak, but we’ll see.
There is strong bipartisan support for Barr to release the full report. The president, his supporters, his critics and the public all want to see it, and the likelihood is he will do so, except for Grand Jury testimony and “classified” information, if any. The release of the report should clear up the cloud of suspicion that has plagued Mr. Trump his entire presidency, and it should end the investigations of him and his campaign, what some have labeled a “witch hunt.”
Congress should now be able to proceed with the business of governing. It should be able to address various issues that Americans really care about, such as healthcare, border security, terrorism, infrastructure, and the economy. But nooooo! Not happening, at least, not yet. Leading Dems, such as Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, and “Chancy,” have indicated that separate Congressional investigations will be forthcoming. I would caution them to tread carefully. A recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll disclosed that 50% of Americans agree with Mr. Trump that the entire investigation has been a “witch hunt,” compared to 47% who do not. That same poll disclosed that only 28% were in favor of his impeachment, while 62% were opposed.
For over two years the Dems and most of the media have been pounding us with accusations regarding President Trump. He colluded with Russia to steal the election; Russia/Putin is blackmailing him; he is a Russian spy; he is a puppet of the Russians; he is the “Manchurian Candidate;” he committed treason; and on and on ad nauseum. I could fill this entire blog with their inane rhetoric, but I will settle for a few select quotes:
1. Adam Schiff – There is a “stream of evidence.”
2. Tom Perez – There is a “mountain of evidence.”
3. Jerry Nadler – “We know there was collusion.”
4. Richard Blumenthal – “The evidence is pretty clear.”
In addition, politicians from Adam Schiff, to Jerry Nadler, to Kamala Harris, to Cory Booker, to AOC, and commentators, such as Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Carl Bernstein and Chris Matthews, have been pushing for his impeachment. Nancy Pelosi, to her credit, has been more cautious. She has stated she would not support impeachment unless the evidence against Mr. Trump was “compelling, overwhelming and bipartisan.” Now that the report has been released and does not prove any of those accusations, the aforementioned critics, have switched the narrative. Now, they want to pursue their own investigations. Essentially, they want to keep investigating until they find something damaging (or until Mr. Trump completes his second term, which will likely come sooner).
In my opinion, the Mueller investigation was conceived and commenced based on FISA warrants of very questionable legality. Also, Mueller’s team was composed almost entirely of individuals with a bias against Mr. Trump. This was a “plus” for Dems, but now it is a “negative,” since it precludes them from accusing the team of pro-Trump bias. The team was extremely relentless and thorough. It tried really hard to find something damaging. Over the course of 2+ years it issued some 2,800 subpoenas, interviewed some 500 witnesses, and spent some $400 million of the taxpayers’ money. Some of their tactics and motivations seemed heavy-handed and excessive (e.g., the Stone arrest), but I would give them an “A” for effort. The fact that after all that, the committee could not find any collusion is very significant and should be dispositive. But, apparently not enough to satisfy some hardcore critics.
Nadler’s committee has reportedly sent some 80 letters of inquiry to some 60 individuals, many of whom will likely be summoned to testify. I’m not aware of all the names, but I have heard that Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele, who were involved knee-deep in the so-called “fake dossier,” were not among them. That strikes me as curious, to say the least.
For over two years, we were told constantly by most Dems and most of the media to wait for the Mueller Report. It would “nail” Mr. Trump. It would prove he colluded with Russia to “steal” the 2016 election. It would end his presidency. He would be impeached. He would go to prison, as would members of his family and inner circle. Now, even though Mueller and his team were given tremendous latitude to investigate whatever they wanted, the report has been issued, and it has exonerated Mr. Trump from collusion.
For two plus years, the American people have been subjected to exaggerated and false claims from Dems and their allies in the media who, blinded by their irrational hatred for Donald Trump, rushed to judgment before the facts were in. The above quotes were a small sample of the irresponsible behavior of those who should know better. By the way, this was not the only time they have done so. The Covington High School and Jesse Smollett stories are two other recent examples. Some have advocated that those who acted irresponsibly should resign or be fired or, at the very least, apologize to the American people, but I will not hold my breath waiting for that.
Regarding the Mueller Report, Peter Baker, writing in the NY Times, opined “the darkest most ominous cloud hanging over [Mr. Trump’s] presidency was all but lifted…” He added that in his opinion the Dems were now “on the defensive.” I would concur. They staked a great deal on the report, politically, and it did not fulfil their hopes. Now, many Dems are thinking, “now what.”
In my opinion, there should be investigations into the conduct of the likes of John Brennan, James Clapper, Jim Comey, Loretta Lynch, and Peter Strzok, among others, who may have acted inappropriately or illegally with respect to this matter. Also, Adam Schiff keeps saying he has evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Trump. I say, either disclose it or cease and desist.
A note of caution for Trump supporters. The Southern District of NY and NY State are investigating Mr. Trump and certain of his business activities. We’ll have to see what develops there. I understand a sitting president cannot be indicted, but what they might find could hurt him, politically, and there is a chance he could be indicted after he leaves office.
Finally, for the good of the country I would hope that at least one of the 2020 Dem candidates will have the courage to say that “enough is enough” and focus on the issues. The Dems should realize that the best way to oust Mr. Trump is not through bogus investigations; it is to defeat him in an election. Of course, I won’t hold my breath for that either.