This investigation into whether Donald J. Trump’s presidential colluded with Russian election hackers is as serious as it gets.
I mean, we’re talking essentially about an of act of treason … potentially, allegedly.
I’ve referred to it as “the Russia thing,” which is what the president called it in an interview not long after he fired FBI Director James Comey. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of what special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to ferret out.
Quite obviously, I have no inside knowledge of what Mueller is looking at or what he might find. I simply read the news like everyone else and am able to draw some conclusions from what I read and hear.
Virtually no one disputes that Russians meddled in our 2016 presidential election. Intelligence analysts say it happened; they say the Russians acted singularly. The only important person who doubts what the spooks have affirmed is the president of the United States. He keeps equivocating.
This is an important matter on many levels. It exposes the vulnerability of our electoral process to foreign interference. The Russians are (a) very good at this sort of Internet sabotage and (b) they remain our most formidable international adversary.
Trump keeps saying he wants to cultivate relations with Russia. How does he do that when the Russians are not to be trusted at any level to keep their word on anything?
The election meddling by itself is bad enough. Any notion that a presidential campaign worked in tandem with a foreign adversary to have a demonstrable impact on our election goes straight to the heart of protecting our nation’s interests against governments that seek to do us harm.
Mueller’s investigation is going to take time, as it should. There can be no rush to judgment on something so intensely important as this. The Mueller probe has many avenues down which it must go.
It must determine whether Donald Trump Jr. actually sought to receive dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Rodham Clinton; it must learn whether Trump Sr.’s firing of Comey constitutes an obstruction of justice; it must learn whether the Trump campaign actually greased the Russians’ path that enabled them to meddle in our sacred electoral process.
And none of that includes any possible financial connection between the president’s business empire and the Russians — which he has denied. Oh, but then again, are we supposed to believe the president’s assertion that he has no business deals in Russia?
The No. 1 issue on the table must be whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and a foreign power. If the special counsel delivers a formal complaint that it occurred, well, ladies and gentlemen … then we’ve got a serious constitutional crisis on our hands.