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Monday, March 25, 2019

Not guilty? Not innocent

AN EDITED VERSION OF THIS POST APPEARS IN LETTERS TO THE EDITOR IN THE BOSTON GLOBE

The worst of this is Mr. Trump taking on the role of blameless victim. If Mr. Trump did not commit crimes, at least crimes relating to the scope of Mr. Mueller's investigation, it is not because his actions are above reproach, his moral fiber beyond question. Not because he made a conscious determination not to cross a line. Just that it didn't happen.

Donald Trump has spent a lifetime as an unscrupulous, manipulative, undisciplined businessman, husband and now President. There are legions of tales of his con games from his treatment of minorities in his housing complexes, his swindling of contractors, his cheating on wives, his payoffs of mistresses to keep silent, his abuses of his not very charitable foundation, his multiple bankruptcies to avoid creditors he has manipulated and deceived and on ad infinitum. He has demeaned and maligned those who stand in his way from political opponents to parents of a deceased war hero to foreign leaders to his own agencies from the FBI to the CIA and the Department of Justice, all because they had the audacity to speak of the far too evident flaws and deceptions of Mr. Trump. He has stoked the worst instincts in those who follow and believe in him, their bigotry, their xenophobia. He has reduced his office to the level of a reality game show, tweeting policy determinations in the middle of the night after consulting with no one but a television set turned to Fox news. He has courted autocrats and dictators, willing to turn a blind eye to their worst atrocities. He has treated virtually everyone else with disdain and contempt, none worse than immigrants across a constellation of nations whose only wrong was trying to flee violence, war, poverty and famine. He has stocked his administration with those willing to do his bidding no matter the reason or the result

So you will have to excuse me if I fail to agree with Mr. Trump's definition of exoneration. This is a man who is a walking talking definition of a criminal whether he is ever charged or indicted. So he managed, quite possibly, to slip away this time. But do not equate this with Donald Trump being blameless. No halos for this man, not now or ever. Not guilty is not the same as innocent. Not even close.

11 comments:

Bruce Egert said...

The Democrats and others who dislike Trump were dealt a stunning political set-back yesterday when Mueller stated that there was no collusion, conspiracy, common plan or coordination between the campaign and the Kremlin. As Americans we must accept this fact. As for obstruction, we must see the entire report, but, how could there be obstruction if Mueller's probe (which netted all the president's men and Russian operatives still at large) was unimpeded? The allegations against Trump will no longer be played out in a courtroom but rather in the political sphere, which presents a danger to Democrats. No, I don't like Trump's arrogance or many of his policies, but, the best approach to him is a vigorous 2020 campaign by a worthy opponent. But, unless the economy tanks, it appears likely to me that his chances for re-election are 50/50. To many, it will appear that he got away with it. To others it will appear that the deep-state forces of evil hatched a plot against him. Neither is true. But, this is no different, IMO, than the acquittal of Bill Clinton by the US Senate after he was impeached. Gore wound up losing in 2000 and those who prosecuted Clinton similarly lost. America wants solutions to problems and not rancorous political fighting, whether we like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Pinning my hopes on the Southern district of NY, DC has capitulated. Ugh!

HR

Anonymous said...

Well said. So sad.

AL

Mike D. said...

Robert, do you really think that the worst of this is Trump's acting like a blameless victim? The FBI unleashed its powers on a candidate for the office of the U.S. presidency, an astonishing first. It did so on the incredible grounds that the campaign had conspired to aid a foreign government. And it used the most aggressive tools in its arsenal—surveillance of U.S. citizens, secret subpoenas of phone records and documents, even human informants.

The wreckage is everywhere. The nation has been engulfed in conspiracy theories for years. A presidency was hemmed in by the threat of a special counsel. Citizens have gone to jail not for conspiracy, but for after-the-fact interactions with Mr. Mueller’s team. Dozens more have spent enormous amounts of money and time defending their reputations.

None of this should ever have happened absent highly compelling evidence—from the start—of wrongdoing. Yet from what we know, the FBI operated on the basis of an overheard conversation of third-tier campaign aide George Papadopoulos, as well as a wild “dossier” financed by the rival presidential campaign. Mr. Mueller’s no-collusion finding amounts to a judgment that there never was any evidence. The Papadopoulos claim was thin, the dossier a fabrication.

Which is all the more reason Americans now deserve a full accounting of the missteps of former FBI Director James Comey and his team—in part so that this never happens again. That includes the following: What “evidence” did the FBI have in totality? What efforts did the bureau take to verify it? Did it corroborate anything before launching its probe? What role did political players play? How aware was the FBI that it was being gulled into a dirty-trick operation, and if so, how did it justify proceeding? How intrusive were the FBI methods? And who was harmed?

No Robert, Trump's acting like a blameless victim is far from the worst part of this.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO..
Now if you will excuse me I must attend to my tears and fears...
Always a joy hearing your voice of reason.

PE

Anonymous said...

Compared to investigations of previous independent counsels, Robert Mueller's investigation was quite limited to a narrow track. I know that sounds ridiculous given that it has been 2 years, but the fact is the cope of the investigation was very limited. This has been the general consensus of many prosecutors. No doubt, the information Mueller's team provided the State of New York will yield further information. It is my opinion that some of that information will point to the involvement of Donald Trump with organized crime. It is also my opinion that the FBI has been aware of this fact, but is unable at this time to take action.because certain agents would be compromised. Martini please, shaken not stirred--Conspiracy Nut

Anonymous said...

Nice... you're expanding your geographic reach. As always, very well articulated

MV

Anonymous said...

You're all over the place!!

JS

Anonymous said...

Congrats.Expanding your territory!

MM

Anonymous said...

boston globe
a new venue!!!

FCL

Anonymous said...

Barr was always going to exonerate Trump. Always. We thought Mueller would be the knight in shining armor, we were wrong. Trump is an awful human being and maybe thats good. He holds up a mirror. We need to fight for the good and it will be a fight.

SK