2019-04-10 / Editorial

LET US REJOICE

Michael N. Searles

There are not that many things about which we can rejoice. In a world of conflict and ill will it’s always good to get some good news. The Mueller Report is completed with the integrity of our nation still in intact. This occurred as numerous threats and charges against Robert Mueller were hurled from the White House. The phrase “witch hunt” was used so often it’s surprising that it didn’t summon a coven of witches. At this point, the full Mueller Report has not been released and the public is left to discuss and debate the four page AG Barr’s summary.

In this time of indecision, the President has proclaimed total vindication and exoneration. The fact that the President was not charged has received resounding praise from high places. This feeling of exhilaration has been brought about because the report does not proclaim our President is a traitor. How many nations can forthrightly say their head of state is not a traitor? Well, we can! The very thought that this conclusion is a moment for rejoicing is astounding. While NO COLLUSION rings out through the land, the evidence of Russian interference and cooperation with the Trump Administration is staggering. The list begins with the President and extends to his advisors and appointees. While the President is not a traitor, it is obvious that he trusts the leader of Russia over our intelligence officers. The President has held at least five meetings with the Russian leader without any American advisor present and no notes made available.

While the Russians hacked our electoral systems and used social media to influence the 2016 vote, the President has been very reluctant to charge them with the offense. In a news conference, the President said, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," The President fired FBI Director James Comey because of the Russian matter and then invited the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak to a closed door meeting at the White House to celebrate the firing. While the President publicly stated that he had no dealings with Russia, his son Eric Trump reportedly bragged about access to $100 million in Russian money saying, “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” At this point in President Trump’s administration, he is being labeled the most corrupt President in American history.

Presidential historian Robert Dallek argues that no American leader has acted with more unadulterated self-interest as Trump and in terms of outright corruption, Trump is worse than both Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding. The statement is astounding on its face since Grant and Harding oversaw the most flagrant instances of graft in American political history. While Professor Dallek is willing to give some leeway to Grant’s naiveté, Dallek sees something more nefarious is at work in the White House of Donald Trump. The man who promised to drain the swamp has appointed a laundry list of individuals who have admitted lying to the F.B.I. or having secret meetings with Russians. The list includes: George Papadopoulos, a former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign; Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son; Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser; Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general; Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser; Michael D. Cohen Trump’s former lawyer found guilty and sentenced; Paul D. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman indicted and sentenced; Rick Gates, Manafort’s associate, indicted and found guilty; Roger J. Stone Jr., a prominent informal adviser to Mr. Trump, indicted; and Carter Page, an early foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign who was questioned by the F.B.I. but not charged since he was a man who knew too little. Most of the above individuals were questioned, indicted, plead guilty, and sentenced in Trump’s first two years in office. Let us now see what the future brings.

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