Letter to the Editor

Trump investigation

Monday, March 25, 2019

If you love our country you should take comfort that the president didn’t willingly collude with a foreign enemy to take control of our democracy. The rule of law is working, no matter your opinion of the person holding the office. The sole and narrowly defined directive for the special counsel was to only investigate if there was willful collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign (“willful” being the operative word here). It was needed since all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree Russia worked and is still working to influence our elections, particularly by using lies and propaganda to influence how weak minded people vote. Why the president believes the enemy over the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies and why nothing is being done to stop that is a whole other issue. The narrow investigation did not preclude ignoring unrelated crimes found in the process just as police won’t ignore a murder when investigating a robbery. Many crimes uncovered in the process are rightfully being pursued by state and local enforcement agencies.

Now with that said, the investigation uncovered crimes resulting 199 criminal counts, 37 people or entities charged including seven pleading guilty, one convicted and five getting prison time. Many charges were for obstruction of justice and lying about Russian contacts. Why the lying and obstruction if there was no collusion? The president will pardon those crimes for the very reason they didn’t need to lie or obstruct because there was no collusion. Mark my words.

While collusion alone would justify removing the president from office, criminal charges may not justify that action just as ethical and moral violations that aren’t criminal may justify removal. Which leads to the two year backlog of congressional oversight that started less than 100 days ago. Congress is just one of three equal branches of government, same as the executive office (quiz time: name the third one). Congress is mandated to do oversight into abuses of power, obstruction of justice, violation of rules for public servants which prevent enriching oneself and bypassing safety rules that protect the country. According to the DOJ, there is only one person in the whole country that cannot be indicted for a crime, a sitting president. They can be indicted after they leave office but the statute of limitations could very likely have run out. Lesson learned? Get elected president if you commit crimes.

I know most people don’t know or care about the fine details and differences between the special counsel and congressional investigations, but they are extremely important and most importantly, congress is doing the job the founding fathers created. I have faith the rules of our democracy will work whether the citizens like and or believe in the results.

— Diane Smith, Spencer