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Journalists at work

Over the past couple of years, I have followed news reports from reliable and professional publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others, plus online cable news hosts like Ari Melber and Rachel Maddow who try to present objective information backed up by documents and guest opinions on both sides of an issue. At the same time, Trump has screamed on Fox “News” (his go-to cable propaganda outlet) or twittered in caps countless times that professional journalists are presenting “FAKE NEWS.” Now we’ve learned via Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report that “Nearly everything Trump called “fake news” turned out to be true. While news outlets might have made the occasional mistake (as they do on any story), over and over again important revelations were greeted by the president with the cry of “Fake news!” only to be corroborated by the Mueller report,” wrote Paul Waldman in the Washington Post.

Although Trump has often claimed that he has had no contact with Russians and their interference in the 2016 election, the New York Times documented 140 contacts between Trump and his associates and Russian nationals and WikiLeaks or their intermediaries. And the Mueller report revealed at least 30 more contacts beyond those already known.

News reports also noted that Trump several times ordered Mueller’s firing. But Trump called the articles fake. His claim is bogus. Documents and facts in the Mueller report underscore that Trump indeed ordered that Mueller be sacked. If you want evidence, see Volume II, Executive Summary, pages 4-6.

On page 12 in Volume II, the Special Counsel’s Office lists events that could lead to charges of obstruction, such as Trump’s “January 27, 2017 dinner with former FBI Director James Comey in which he reportedly asked for Comey’s loyalty.” However, the Office wrote that although there was a potential for charges of obstruction, those charges would depend on “an individual’s action and intent.” That could not be determined.

The entire Volume II is about obstruction of justice, complete with copious footnotes. It reads like the basis for a novel, but this is not fiction. It is sometimes full of dry, legalistic comments. But I think it’s well worth perusal—if not in one sit down, at least a little at a time. Although no legal actions re Trump were made by the Special Counsel, it will be up to Congress to determine how to proceed. Already investigations are underway, at least in the House of Representatives.






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