A man much wiser than myself, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said, "You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts." Alas, such words of wisdom are lost on the present occupant of the White House. We are subjected to a constant stream of electronic tweets insisting that there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. The reasoning behind this barrage of factual horse hockey is that if the President keeps on insisting it's true, eventually the American people will succumb to his reasoning. That's why the Trump White House is in full battle array, using the full weight of the Trump War Wagon to discredit the Mueller investigation.
One of the basic tenets of American jurisprudence is that an individual is considered innocent until proven guilty. On the basis of that assumption, I have to concede that the President is indeed innocent of any charges of collusion or obstruction. It's true. For all the time, energy and effort behind the Mueller Investigation, the Special Counsel's Office has yet to present any specific evidence proving that the President colluded with the Russians or attempted to obstruct justice. So, I guess you can score one point for Team Trump. The problem with that position, however, is that it rests on a mere technicality. There has been no evidence presented because there have been no formal charges made, as yet!
Lately we have been further subjected to a very strained bit of logic coming from the President, his chief of staff, and his trained mouthpiece, Rudy Giuliani. It goes something like this. The very fact that no evidence has been presented is reason to suspend the entire investigation into Presidential wrong-doing. This has the effect of turning logic on its head. The whole point of having an investigation in the first place is to gather sufficient evidence in order to make a formal charge of wrong-doing. And, at this very moment, that is exactly what Robert Mueller is doing.
The reason that the Special Counsel hasn't rushed into open court to file formal charges against Donald John Trump and his co-conspirators is that a good prosecutor wants to make absolutely sure that he or she has sufficient evidence not only to make an accusation but to sustain a verdict of "guilty as charged". Robert Mueller is acting as prudently as possible. He refuses to go off half-cocked and make a series of wild charges that will never stand up in a court of law. In my experience, this is called exercising good judgment. This is a highly complex, multi-level investigation of a myriad of crimes of various degrees of seriousness at every level imaginable. It will take a LOT of digging to unearth sufficient evidence to make these charges stick.
Just because the President and his cohorts are running around, banging on a tin drum, insisting that they are innocent will not alter the facts as gathered by the Mueller Investigation. Certainly the President is entitled to his opinion that he is not only innocent but totally blameless, but that in no way will alter the facts as they are presented in a court of law. Anyone can make very loud, very public declarations of fact, that does not make those declarations valid. I can insist that I offered the President a million dollars in order to insure that I will be named Ambassador to the Cayman Islands. I can state categorically that Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr. told me in the strictest confidence that they did indeed collude with the Russians, and not only the Russians but the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bulgarians too. My saying so will not stand up in a court of law if the only thing I have to back up my accusations is my word.
Yes, the Trump Team has proclaimed its innocence in tweet after tweet and in speech after speech, and they are entitled to voice their opinions that way. But there will come a day when Robert Mueller will reach the conclusion that he has enough evidence to convict those involved in the conspiracy against American democracy. He will present his factual evidence in a court of law, with all the corroboration required for a conviction. At that point it won't matter WHAT the President tweets. He will no longer be able to hide behind the presumption of innocence. At that point, history will judge that Robert Mueller did his job and that the hard work and long investigation of HIS team will be regarded by history as neither a witch hunt nor a hoax!!
Filed under: Politics