The Mueller report concluded after a great amount of time, money, inconvenience and inflicted pain that there was no “Russian collusion” (that trope so repetitively hyped in the media). But of course Mueller and aides then left the gate open re the issue of presidential obstruction. Then came the recent Nadler-Schiff House hearings, where fawning Democrats sought added damage to Trump, while Republicans encountered an increasingly feisty Mueller in his use of terse, evasive replies, or time-consuming generalities.
OK: some might consider what follows partisan, but my view is that it’s still vital that several investigations move forward toward answers Mueller couldn’t or wouldn’t give regarding at the least, one key question; and that is ... why was there such a compelling necessity for a special counsel in the first place? Exactly what was the role of an odd, unvetted, Democrat-bought dossier here? What did prominent “Deep State” denizens (Comey, Rosenstein, etc.) have to do with it? If answers that emerge show clearly that there was no good reason to hatch a special counsel, particularly a Comey buddy (and with Democratic zealots as his aides), then anything Mueller concluded even ambiguously in his report becomes null and void, and worse, illegal.
Is examination of the special counsel’s etiology merely mendacious? Less so, it seems to me, than Leftist efforts to hatch ever more investigations of the president, and not least, impeachment proceedings.
After Mueller’s report and House grilling, action on all this remains essential. Including punishment for quondam operatives in high positions, positions they may well have abused? Possibly. Many Dems want to punish, punish, punish. Isn’t it time for two-way justice to come into play, and not simply as revenge?
A second pressing necessity in the post-Mueller era is also crucial: i.e., to show clearly how innocent lives were ruined by prosecutorial procedures resembling those of the former Soviet Union! I can’t speak with authority here on figures like, say, General Flynn. But George Papadopoulos’ riveting “Deep State Target” should be required reading on the subject. It’s by a David who faced a slew of corrupt Goliaths, and what a massive, horrifying series of prices this poor gent paid.
For Washington bureaucracy gone corrupt is now an uncontested, appalling fact. And you see it in all its smelly finery here, starting with State Department wonks who didn’t like Papadopoulos’ new ideas re authoritarian Turkey; and then with G-Men who it’s true, were only following orders, but who snapped at him (as he suffered their slings and arrows) that all this was the price one pays working for Trump! In the process, did they employ questionable, intimidating, hair-raising procedures? Absolutely. Not to mention the use of bully lawyers who really ought to be called out. The Deep State? Where does one begin? And where, in fact, does it end?
What Papadopoulos went through far exceeded his relatively short spell of incarceration. He also endured months and months of tension-filled waiting, and en route, saw friends and associates scatter, themselves afraid to be in his orbit, except for one gallant lady who cared deeply about him. He also knew he was being constantly watched, and drained his finances to pay defense lawyers who weren’t always up to snuff. And of course he lost anything like a routine in life, while also wrecking his career!
My brief summary of this book understates by many miles all the needless pain here. Especially in the second half, the book becomes horrifically compulsive reading, page after page. A person like Papadopoulos should never have had to endure this degree of “Muelleritis.” So again: should it all be investigated now? Whether you’re conservative, liberal, in-between, or even a radical socialist: for certain.
Will justice then get visited on persecutors who let power go giddily to their heads, impelling them into gleeful, repetitive, no-one-touches-me acts of sadism? Who knows?
But a serious attempt needs to be made. After Mueller, it’s become the correct and necessary thing to do. So that it never happens again? Not only. But also so that perpetrators of such injustice are themselves brought into the sunlight and given back at least a bit of their own. Yes, after that interminable “special counsel” nightmare (some would say charade) that did so much harm for such questionable reasons.
B.B. Singer has taught at several area colleges including Niagara University.