I hope all of you took the time to watch Mueller read his statement about the findings of the special investigation and what he could and could not do according to law. The law matters to him – a lot. Not so much to the person at the center of the investigation.
I was working so I could not watch it, but I did read accounts of the reading on a few different news websites.
David Frum’s column gets to the heart of the Muller report and distills it in just a few short paragraphs:
Obstruction of justice, though, need not be clandestine to count as a crime. What matters is intent—and that must be judged by Congress, not a special counsel subordinate to the Department of Justice and bound by its rule that a president cannot be indicted.
The full report is rich with details. But that’s the essence. A foreign power interfered in the U.S. election to help the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign welcomed the help and repeatedly lied about it. The lying successfully obscured some questions the investigation sought to answer; in the end, it found insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy. President Trump, in public and in private, worked to stop the investigation.
Those are the facts. What are the remedies? Mueller underscored at his press statement: He did not exonerate the president. Under the Department of Justice rules he was subject to, he lacked the power to act.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration refuses to take steps to secure the next presidential election against the interference that swayed the last.
I have two questions:
Congress – Will you carry out your duty to oversee the Executive Branch or will you let the president get away with obvious crimes for which only your branch of government can hold him accountable?
Trump – will you do anything about interference in American elections by hostile foreign governments, or will you shrug it off hoping you can benefit from the interference again in 2020?