The jury’s really out

We all like to say someone is innocent until proven guilty. But what about the Mueller investigation into the possibility of a Trump campaign conspiracy; i.e., to aid the Russian government in influencing our 2016 presidential election and, subsequently, obstructing justice?

There is no doubt in my mind that Republicans will largely characterize the Mueller investigation as corrupt and biased if the final report implicates President Trump or members of his campaign in any “collusion” or obstruction of justice.

They are already furiously preparing the ground for dismissing Mueller’s conclusion in the same manner they concluded that the Comey investigation into Hillary Clinton was rigged. Conversely, if Comey’s investigation had resulted in indictments against Hillary Clinton, Republicans would still be singing James Comey’s praises. In this case, if they like the results of the Mueller investigation, he will become an icon. If they don’t, he will be forever vilified.

But what about Trump critics like me? How will we respond if Mueller’s investigation completely exonerates Trump and his campaign of collusion and obstruction? Will we accept the results, or malign and denigrate Mueller and his team? That remains to be seen. My fear is that many Democrats may emulate Republican behavior by condemning Mueller if the call does not go their way.

I am prepared to accept Mueller’s conclusions, whatever they are, even if he finds no legal case to be made against the Trump campaign and administration, despite a plethora of anecdotal evidence that appears to be incriminating. I stated publicly (before Comey made his decision), that I was open to supporting a legal indictment of Hillary Clinton if that were, indeed, what Comey’s investigation concluded.

May public and legislative reactions to whatever the outcome may be, renew and confirm our commitment to the rule of law which has sustained us since our nation was created.

Tim Mannello


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