News: Mueller Report Analysis

by Jake Bailey

On April 18th, after much speculation in the media, a redacted version of the Mueller Report was released to Congress, causing tremendous controversy, to say the least.

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The Mueller Report is the culminating result of a two year investigation by the Special Counsel into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. Ultimately and most importantly, the Mueller Report indicated that there was no finding of Trump, or his campaign, criminally conspiring with the Russians.

The Mueller Report stated that in regards to the Obstruction of Justice charges, they were unable to reach a finding, and leaves Congress the opportunity to pursue investigation on this front, if they so choose.

Additionally, the Report did find evidence of President Trump’s and Michael Cohen’s shared interest in building a Trump Tower in Moscow, Russia. The Report also found evidence of Michael Flynn trying to help President Trump’s campaign find Hilary Clinton’s emails. 34 people associated with Trump were indicted, some of whom have been convicted.

Trump, however, considers the findings a complete exoneration, likely because the investigation was initiated to reach a conclusion on the issue of criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and administration with the Russian government.  The president also takes issue with the legality of the investigation.

“It began illegally, and I hope somebody takes a look at the other side. This was an illegal takedown,” said President Trump.

And as he so succinctly put it in a tweet, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT.”

As far as prosecution is concerned, President Trump, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were all cleared of charges for interactions with Russian officials, and many people consider them fortunate to have escaped charges in the manner they did.

In a broader view of events, impeachment has been an extremely controversial topic among politicians as well as the general public.

Leaders of the Democratic Party and the House of Representatives have been conflicted over whether or not to pursue the impeachment of President Trump.   A primary consideration is that we are coming into the election cycle for the next President in 2020.  The controversy centers largely on whether it is wiser to move on and focus on the issues facing the nation, or follow this through to the end.  Congress requested and received a redacted version of the Mueller Report to review and make a determination.

According to ABC’s Mueller Poll, citizens are divided on the issue of impeachment.  While Trump’s approval rating is holding at 39 percent, over 50 percent of citizens believe Trump is guilty of wrongdoing of some kind and that he lied to the American public.

The responses from Democrats vary widely, as there are several different “blocs” of the Democratic Party.  The most liberal are calling for impeachment, the moderates are calling for a “ruling out” of impeachment, based on their review of the Mueller Report, and the conservative Democrats are calling for the party to move on from the controversy, even if they pursue other investigations.

The Republican Party also varies widely in their responses, as Republicans range from Trump enthusiasts to Anti-Trumper’s and everything in between. Those most loyal to Trump are calling on a continuation of the Russia investigation, with a focus on the origin of the investigation and the investigators, themselves.  Moderates are learning toward a focus on approving conservative judges and the issues facing the country (moving on), and those against Trump are using the Mueller Report as another reason to move on from Trump and select another nominee for the 2020 election.

Very few Presidents have endured the level of defamation of character, scrutiny, and slander that Trump has. The last President to do so was probably Richard Nixon, during the Watergate ordeal.

“The final blow came with the decision by the Supreme Court to order Nixon to release more White House tapes. One of these became known as the ‘smoking gun’ tape when it revealed that Nixon had participated in the Watergate cover-up as far back as June 23, 1972.  Around the country, there were calls for Nixon to resign.  At 9:00 pm on the evening of August 8, 1974, Nixon delivered a nationally televised resignation speech. The next morning, he made his final remarks to the White House staff before sending his resignation letter to the Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger,” says Watergate.info.

 Now, the Trump presidency hangs in the balance until the decision is made as to whether or not he will finish out his first term in office. 

 As expected, the two parties of politicians have passionate feelings about the release of the Mueller Report; and most are unwavering in their opinions.

According to EightThirtyEight.com, “Republicans who approved of how Mueller handled the investigation went up by 25 percentage points, from 21 percent to 46 percent, whereas the percentage of Democrats who approved of Mueller’s work went down by 15 percentage points, from 77 percent in February to 62 percent in March.”

Since the interaction between President Trump and Russia was proved to not exist, Russian officials quickly rushed to the side of President Trump and urged him to re-solidify the mutual friendship and respect between the two countries.

While Trump and his campaign were exonerated on the issue of conspiracy, there is no doubt that the Russian’s, on their own, interfered in the election.  Some say this has been occurring for many years.  Americans should be informed about the issue of foreign interference, which is anticipated to be attempted throughout the next election cycle.

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