Dear America,

The remarkable thing about the Mueller report isn't what it's release has done to illuminate the partisan divide in Washington.  It isn't the fact that, so far at least, it hasn't demonstrated Donald Trump's cupidity, lack of integrity and narcissism, but rather that it has, again so far at least, obscured those of his overt acts that have reified those character flaws on national television and in the media generally.  For example, it has been admitted by Donald, Sr.'s attorneys that he dictated the statement addressing a New York Times report of a Trump Tower meeting between Donald, Jr. and a Russian lawyer, which was also attended by Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, explaining away that meeting prior to the 2016 election as a discussion of a Russian ban on Americans' adoption of Russian children that was intended to retaliate for the Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned Russian human-rights abusers.  In the elder Trump's dictated statement for his son to release, the then-Republican-nominee denied that there was any discussion of the campaign for president.  However, after evidence was recovered in the form of revised disclosures filed with the government about foreign contacts by Kushner and Junior's testimony to congress on the subject, and after Trump had been elected president, Donald, Sr.'s lawyers admitted that one of the purposes of the meeting was to acquire derogatory information about Hillary Clinton for use in the campaign.  The son may have wanted to tell the truth, but the father apparently orchestrated what was at best a prevarication, but was in reality an outright lie for public dissemination in aid of his campaign.  Then of course there is the Comey firing.

You may recall that Trump fired Comey, then the director of the FBI, citing his handling of the Clinton email investigation and public pronouncements he had made ostensibly in violation of standing Department of Justice policy, especially those made after it was determined that no prosecution of Clinton was in order.  In his letter firing Comey, Trump thanked him for thrice telling him that he himself was not under investigation vis-à-vis the Russia investigation.  That effusive gratitude was the tip-off for me.  Trump wasn't firing Comey because of damage he had done to Hillary Clinton; he was firing Comey because of damage he feared Comey might do to him, and thus had to point out that no accusation had yet been made so as to preempt claims about his real motivation.  We were eating dinner when we heard about that letter and I said to my wife, that's the first domino starting to teeter...the first among many more to come until one of them finally falls and brings the others down with it.  Trump had plainly attempted to obstruct justice with the Comey firing, and brilliant strategist that he is, he admitted it in an interview with Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News a few days later and in a White House meeting a couple of Russian diplomats that was being recorded by all the television news media.  He had claimed initially that a memo he had ordered from Assistant Attorney General Rob Rosenstein recommended firing Comey and that was why he did it.  But on television, with his bare, deceitful face hanging out for the nation to see, he admitted that he was going to fire Comey anyway because of the Russia investigation, which Comey wouldn't let go.  If that, a confession of nefarious motivation that is recorded on national television, isn't enough to prove obstruction of justice, then obstruction of justice cannot be proven and therefore, no such crime exists.

Bill Clinton was impeached over an alleged attempt to indirectly suborn a perjurious affidavit--a statement made under oath--by Monica Lewinsky relative to conduct in which he had engaged with her and then lied about at deposition, another kind of sworn statement.  The evidence apparently wasn't strong enough to prove the crime or obstruction of justice, but impeachment was what Clinton deserved.  That the Republican senate majority was only 55 when two thirds, or 67 were required to convict made the trial a fools errand, but except for the aleatory benefit of partisan numbers, Clinton would have been the first president impeached, and rightly so, but what eventuated instead was a popular backlash of sorts.  Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, won the popular vote for president in 2000, though George W. Bush won the electoral college...just like The Donald: kind of a reverse coincidence.

My guess is that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats learned the lesson they needed to, and now, impeachment is virtually an impossibility without, as Pelosi put it, bi-partisan support, and the Mueller report isn't likely to provide that, especially after Attorney General Barr gets through with it.  Still, come 2020, the Democrats now have something to remind the American voters of.  If Hillary Clinton was corrupt because she used a private server for her official emails--much like Trump's daughter and son-in-law have now been caught doing--Trump is corrupt times three or four.  Do you want that kind of man for president, America?

Your friend,




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