If Donald Trump was a Democrat the Republicans would be howling that just because the Russia investigation did not in the eyes of Special Counsel Robert Mueller turn up sufficient evidence to indict the president does not mean he is not guilty. Yeah, they would.
Prosecutors often think someone is guilty but at the same time realize that they don’t have a strong enough case.
(Yeah, like the case of that crazy actor in the news lately who claimed he was attacked in a racial and anti-gay incident only to have the cops and prosecutors turn around and claim it was a publicity hoax but then to turn around and drop the charges — inexplicably — saying they still believe it was hoax set up by the actor. We have to assume something made them think that they could not make the case — well some say celebrities get special justice — there’s that too.)
I have already stated in the previous post that I think a big problem in the Russia collusion case was that the main-stream press (I prefer that term over “media”, but the latter may be more accurate or descriptive) mixed opinion and fact too much, hurting their credibility and ending up with them having egg on their face when everything fell flat. I mean in the run-up to the submittal of Mueller’s report it was broadly hinted, well sometimes even stated I think, that the investigators had the goods on the president and that he was going down and shaking in his boots (shoes?).
I think it’s almost like in the run-up to the Iraq War when George W. Bush’s administration claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, broadly interpreted as meaning nuclear weapons or their components. When others supposedly in the know would point out that no such evidence existed I would hear people say “the president knows things we don’t”. Wonders of wonders, W. didn’t. Know things that we did not know (at least not on WMDs).
But in the Russia investigation we did find out a lot of things, and we have to wonder why Trump et al are so cozy with Russia and visa versa. Apparently Vladimir Putin really does not like Hillary Clinton (he could stand in line for that I guess — sorry Hillary, you’re likable enough or whatever Obama said — I just could not resist). Also it is established that Trump and his cohorts have a history of business deals or arrangements with the Russians. The Russians saw a chance to get some U.S. sanctions against them lifted and for Trump to hopefully look the other way in their aggressive moves on Ukraine and elsewhere.
But on the question of whether the Trump people and/or Trump himself actively did a quid pro quo or whether they worked hand in hand in election dirty tricks against Hillary Clinton, it seems there was no smoking gun or conclusive evidence.
And one has to realize that Hillary Clinton’s campaign may have gotten the ball rolling by trying to find dirt on Trump via the Russians. The infamous Pee Tape that no one has ever seen but is much discussed as if it were fact.
Politics is a dirty slimy business.
Well we knew Trump was a snake. We still know it. So now what?
We depend upon a free press to enlighten us and know which bums to throw out or where public outrage or support should be placed. But we must have confidence in it. I think some of the major outlets which we depend upon have let us down a little by making themselves vulnerable to attack by Trump over claims of bias. I don’t say that most of the reports on this whole affair were full of bias — but even if verifiable facts are presented, tone can mean a lot too.
CNN for one has become the FOX News of the left. I know it was burned early on in the Trump administration for trying to simply report the news without the FOX or Trump spin. Trump threatened CNN and others who would not print or broadcast their stories in accordance with his approval. That is not a free press. The New York Times was disparaged and threatened too. I think both CNN and the Times and others, while bringing us important information and, the Times in particular, doing invaluable investigative reporting, still erred in, possibly, presentation sometimes.
But then again, how much of what was reported was not true? I think most was accurate.
So now we know and we, as the electorate, can make our judgments accordingly.
I for one will stick with the mainstream press.
And gee I must add, although the Russia investigation has been brought to a conclusion, so far all we have is the spin given by the Trump administration. The accused get to write the narrative. The Mueller report has not yet been made public.
The congress may delve further, but it is beginning to look as if it would be wasted effort on the part of the Democrats. Maybe the diversion of the Russian investigation has worked in some ways to the favor of the Republicans and Trump. It has allowed them to skate by other public concerns.
Here’s something of major concern to me in all of this:
Is the FBI kind of like the American version of the KGB or secret police? I would prefer that the FBI stray away from politics. Investigating political campaigns, be they Trump or Clinton, is chilling to democracy. Where there is a serious crime, of course, there is a duty to investigate. But we don’t want law enforcement to become another separate branch of government, and we don’t want a president siccing the FBI on people (Nixon like).