I’ve tried to stay mostly quiet on national politics of late, because it’s proved so divisive but also from feeling like I’m not adding anything original to the conversation. I’m still not sure if I’m doing that, but sometimes you just need to speak up.
With the summary of the Mueller report, the actual Mueller report, and President Donald Trump’s constant tweets and statements, it’s sometimes easier to just ignore it all.
But I’ve got two main conclusions from all of this:
1. No “Collusion”
The Mueller report did not come up with any evidence that Trump conspired with the Russian government to influence the election.
That’s good. I’m thrilled with that.
As much as I dislike and disagree with Trump, it would be catastrophic for this country to have a president—any president—conspire with a foreign government to win an election. It’s very good news that it does not appear that Trump himself did that.
Trump repeatedly dismisses the entire investigation by saying “no collusion” (let’s just ignore the fact that “collusion” is not a legal term, something Mueller quickly spells out). While Trump is right about this single point, that’s not a justification to dismiss the rest of the investigation.
While this investigation did not find that Trump conspired (which is good), it did find all kinds of wrongdoing (which is bad). Multiple people who were close to Trump (remember that he picks the “best people) have gone to jail.
So this is not a report anyone should dismiss as a witch hunt or a waste of time or resources. Doing so indicates a serious misunderstanding of the nature of the report.
The Mueller report makes it very clear that Russia attacked our election:
“There were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”–Robert Mueller, May 29, 2019 statement
Trump has repeatedly denied this fact. Remember Helsinki, when Trump literally took the word of Russian President Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies.
Not only did Trump deny Russia’s involvement, but he repeatedly tried to obstruct the investigation. The Mueller report outlines multiple cases of this happening. And that’s a big deal. Again, Muller’s statement:
“When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”–Robert Mueller, May 29, 2019 statement
So a foreign government interfered with our democratic election, it benefited Trump, he denied any interference happened, and when his administration began an investigation into what happened, he repeatedly tried to obstruct that investigation.
Trump tried to stop us from finding out what Russia did.
In my mind, that’s high crimes and misdemeanors.
Do What’s Right
Of course now we turn to the highly political question of impeachment. I heard House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat in charge of the House who will ultimately decide whether or not to pursue impeachment, say:
“We want to do what’s right and what gets results.”-Nancy Pelosi (Fox News)
That’s an odd statement, because those two things don’t necessarily go together.
You can do what’s right and not get any results. That’s called integrity. You do what’s right not because it gets you results, but because it’s what is right.
In the current political climate, the U.S. Senate is unlikely to impeach Donald Trump.
If he has obstructed justice, then it is the duty of the U.S. House to impeach him. Let the Senate do what they will, but you still do what’s right.
Many Democrats are arguing about the potential political fallout of a failed impeachment. They’re looking for the maximum political gain, going for the crass political win of what gets results.
I think that’s gross.
If Trump has done wrong, hold him accountable. To hell with the political fallout. (And frankly, I think seeing negative political fallout is a miscalculation, but whatever, that’s not why you do it.)