The two-year investigation of the president by the special counsel has been completed and the report finally released to the public. Well, at least a redacted version. We know that the President Donald J. Trump lied to the country. He lied to Congress. (And he likely would have lied to the special counsel, had he answered the questions.)
This is Trahant Reports.
When a “source” tells a reporter something we do our best to corroborate that information elsewhere. Special Counsel Robert Mueller did that, too. Only he did one better: His witnesses talked under oath. In other words: If they lied, and were caught, they would go to jail. So witness after witness told the special counsel a different story than the one the public was told.
President Trump says the report clears him. He tweeted last week: “As I have been saying all along, NO COLLUSION – NO OBSTRUCTION!”
But the report says something else. “If we had confidence” that a thorough investigation of the facts, “that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”
The president called this investigation an outrage and said no other president should be subject to such acts. But the report resulted in dozens of criminal prosecutions and convictions and some 14 criminal pending cases.
Now the problem in Congress is that Republicans and Democrats are reading the report quite differently. House Democrats say they will subpoena the entire document and will hold public hearings. On CNN, the House’s majority leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland said impeachment would not be “worthwhile.” However other Democrats say the Constitution requires Congress to go forward.
Rep. Tom Cole, a Chickasaw, R-Oklahoma, said the report “doesn’t change the prior conclusions of the 22-month investigation. Redacted or not,” he said, “the report confirms that there was no collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign, nor was there sufficient evidence to justify indictment for obstruction of justice.” He said the thorough investigation is over. The results are clearly in. Now it’s time for Democrats to also conclude with their politically motivated investigations and their dubious charges against the president.
So, given the divide between Democrats and Republicans, impeachment is unlikely.
But what about official acts of lying?
There is now documented evidence that the White House press office, including the current occupant, Sarah Sanders, made up stories to protect the president. The report documents at least seven instances of Trump’s press secretaries lying in their official capacity.
Sanders, the president, some government officials, and many Trump supporters, are quick to chant “fake news” when they disagree with the reporting in any news story. The fake news is what the White House was creating.
I am Mark Trahant.