The first campaign advertisement of the 2020 presidential election has been penned and delivered. It was nearly two years in the making, reads at over 400 pages, cites hundreds of people who work in government with first-hand knowledge, and delivers a ton of information.
That first campaign ad was penned by Robert S. Mueller III. It is his Special Counsel Report investigating Russia’s siege on our 2016 election. I don’t think Mr. Mueller intended his investigation and research to become a political ad, but it surely will end up being just that.
Russia did, in an act of unprovoked aggression, attack our country through cyber activity that likely did sway unwitting readers, misleading them with faulty information in selecting the person for whom they would eventually vote. Campaigning should be done by Americans following U.S. laws, not by foreign operatives, especially foreign operatives with nefarious intent to do our country harm.
We should take the information in the report and immediately put our best minds on a mission to put a finger in the dike and repair the inadequacies of our cyber communication systems so that any future attempts can be sniffed out and thwarted. Having a country whose leaders wake up every morning trying to cause the downfall of our nation should illicit immediate reaction to stop it. We need to take the findings seriously. But, I fear we are not doing so. I fear that all the warnings and evidence from the Special Counsel’s report, all the earnest work, will be left in its 448 pages because, for self-serving purposes, the president continues to shy away from admitting he received foreign help–even if an admission means clearing a path for making future elections safer. Mr. Trump is putting his personal need for self-importance over the best interests of the country.
Special Counsel Mueller wrote his report in two parts. Part I gave the details and evidence about the Russian attack on our freedom and is the part in which supporters can find the political advertisement to reelect Donald Trump. Those who favor Mr. Trump will highlight a few of the sentences that make a case that, thankfully, the president and his staff did not abet and plot the Russian attack with our global adversary. Those sentences will be touted as “complete exoneration” of Mr. Trump, due to a twist in the intent of hyper-cautious Founding Fathers who were trying to create a citizen run government that was tyrant/oligarch proof. They wanted to define an executive leader with extremely limited powers and accountability to the other branches of government. Along the way, over the last 240 years, precedent has been added that suggests, contrary to Madisonian thought, presidents are legally answerable only to Article 2 impeachment and not the Article 3 courts.
The case for reelection can be made because the report is fairly clear that when investigating the Russian attack on our election, the president was found not treasonous.
Part II takes on activity after the Russian attack and lays out the Democratic case to elect someone else into the Oval Office. There are ten areas cited in which Mr. Mueller suggests the president may have tried to use his influence and power to block the Russian investigation from proceeding–the legal term is obstruction of justice. It is suggested in the report that a congressional investigation should determine whether or not impeachment should be followed by a Senate trial concerning these possible obstructions.
The written report lays out a series of events in which Mr. Trump ran head-long toward the river of illegal activity, hell-bent on doing a cannonball dive into the waters of crime. Mueller’s investigation suggests that a group of West Wing aides including the White House lawyer, the chief-of-staff, a secretary or two, and a political advisor kept Mr. Trump out of legal jeopardy by taking information off his desk, giving verbal warnings about the illegality of some activities, and even ignoring requests that seemed like orders. Those assistants hog-tied the president and pulled the ropes to keep him from completing his cannonball–he should thank them.
The political ad fodder here is that Mr. Trump may not have acted illegally–he may not be subject to criminal conviction, but he had intent and willingness to do so. We do not legislate morality or ethics, but voters can and should use America’s ethos to match a candidate with our vision for our country. Donald Trump does not exhibit the ethical personal qualities needed to be conciliatory, empathetic, or historically/legally knowledgeable about our condition. Nor is he curious enough to learn and develop these leadership qualities.
The fact that Mr. Trump may not be legally liable for criminal prosecution is far too low a bar to clear to remain our president and moral leader of the free world.
The Mueller Report is fascinating reading and contains information upon which our Congressional leaders should take serious and immediate action to protect our right for free and accurate elections. I hope the leaders and security agencies take heed. The report also has plenty of fodder to feed the political animals and be used by them as “proof positive” both Mr. Trump and whomever becomes his Democratic challenger should get your vote. This election will take diligence by voters to search, read, and get it right.
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