Tag Archives: witch hunt

‘Witch hunt’ keeps reeling ’em in

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officials, accusing them of conspiring to meddle in our electoral system.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he briefed the president “fully” on the grand jury indictment.

So, what does Donald John Trump do? He tells the world yet again today that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling is a “rigged witch hunt.”

Mr. President, this is the farthest thing possible from a “witch hunt.”

It has produced indictments and confessions of wrongdoing; key Trump administration aides are now cooperating with the Mueller legal team. There has been tangible, demonstrable evidence that Russians have attacked the heart of our democratic system of government.

And the president keeps calling it a “witch hunt.”

Outrageous.

Trump’s legal team keeps moving the goal posts

I’ll begin by stipulating the obvious, which is that I am not a lawyer.

Therefore, I am having difficulty understanding the logic of Donald J. Trump’s legal team, which is now insisting that special counsel Robert Mueller produce evidence of a crime before the president agrees to meet with him.

Eh? What? Huh?

Mueller is looking into myriad questions surrounding the president’s conduct. They include possible obstruction of justice, collusion with Russian election meddlers, campaign finance violations and maybe some shady business dealings.

So now we hear that the president’s legal eagles want Mueller to actually have evidence of a crime? Are they suggesting that Muller indict Trump first and then bring him for some Q&A?

What kind of goofy strategy is that?

I’ve always understood that a prosecutor — which is the role Mueller is fulfilling — needs to interview witnesses prior to compiling criminal complaints that might result in an indictment.

Trump’s legal team keeps moving the goal posts. Trump keeps changing his tune: He’ll talk to Mueller, then he won’t; he calls Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt” and a “hoax”; then he’s back to wanting “100 percent” to talk to the special counsel.

The bizarre drama continues.

Meanwhile, the other principal in this saga — Robert Mueller — remains the cool, calm professional. He is saying nothing. He is just doing his job.

DOJ starts journey down a slippery slope

Donald J. Trump has leveled an extraordinarily serious allegation against the FBI: that the law enforcement agency spied on his presidential campaign for “political purposes.”

An investigation into that charge has commenced. The Department of Justice’s inspector general is taking the lead.

I am heartened to some degree that the IG is conducting this probe. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from anything related to the Russia matter, given his own bias as a campaign operative and the role he played in helping formulate the future president’s foreign policy.

The decision to bring in the IG fell to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe into the Russia matter.

This battle between the president and the FBI has been unprecedented at many levels already. That the president of the United States would condemn the FBI in such harsh terms, let alone doing the same thing to the Justice Department, is unheard of. Some observers have suggested the president’s strategy to discredit the FBI, DOJ and Mueller may be paying dividends for him in the eyes of the public.

I, as one American voter, find Trump’s strategy to be offensive in the extreme. That’s just me, though. You already know how I feel about Trump and his unfitness for the job to which he was elected.

He’s called Mueller’s probe the “worst witch hunt” in U.S. history, apparently ignoring the fact that in the 17th century, women were actually killed because some colonists thought they were, um, witches.

With all the leaks that have permeated this investigation, it’s fascinating in the extreme that Mueller’s team of legal eagles has been hermetically sealed against such leakage. He has remained silent, preferring to go about the task to which he was assigned: to find the truth about Trump’s election-year relationship — if any existed — with Russian goons who meddled in our election.

I want the inspector general to conclude his own probe in fairly short order. My hope is that he he can root out all the facts and make a reasoned, dispassionate finding on what Trump has proclaimed so hysterically.

However, the slope is mighty slippery. Watch your step, Mr. Inspector General.

You aren’t ‘vindicated,’ Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

Settle down, sir. You need to guzzle a couple more Diet Cokes and then take stock of what has just happened with regard to the “Russia thing” that has you tied up in knots.

The Republican chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee has released a memo that alleges the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and the FBI are “biased” against you. Yet you contend that the memo “totally vindicates ‘Trump'” in this investigation into whether your campaign colluded with Russians who tried to influence the 2016 election in your favor.

I’ll differ with you, sir. The memo doesn’t vindicate — or convict — anyone. It’s been revealed as a fraudulent document. It cherry picks circumstances with the aim of discrediting Mueller’s probe. I hear the Democrats are planning to release a counter memo to refute what Republicans have alleged.

Your continued tweet tirades against the so-called “witch hunt” do not help your assertion, Mr. President, that you are innocent of any wrongdoing. They merely cause many millions of Americans — folks like me — to wonder: Why is the president so damn worked up if there’s nothing to uncover?

Hey, at this point I don’t really care if you keep using Twitter to project your message. I guess it’s become the medium du jour for pols, entertainers and pundits to communicate. In fact, this blog post will be distributed via Twitter as well.

I do care about the messages you send out there, Mr. President.

You say the memo “vindicates ‘Trump'”? No, sir. It does nothing of the kind.

And please, stop referring to yourself in the third person. John Kanelis cannot stand it.

Witch hunt, Mr. President? C’mon!

Donald John Trump awoke from his all-too-brief Twitter nap to bang out a few words of “wisdom” this morning about the latest bit of big news.

The president tweeted: “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!”

There was more: “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

Yet another tweet needs to be challenged

Mr. President, I believe I will take issue with you.

Robert Mueller’s appointment this week as special counsel aims to answer some serious questions about the president’s connections with Russian government officials. It also seeks to get to the bottom of whether Trump sought to obstruct justice by “asking” then-FBI Director James Comey to back off his investigation of Michael Flynn, the president’s disgraced former national security adviser and his own ties to foreign governments.

There might be more to uncover.

Witch hunt? The “greatest … in American history!”?

I don’t think so.

Let me cite a couple of recent examples of actual witch hunts that eclipse the examination of the current president.

President Bill Clinton was impeached because he was untruthful about a relationship he had with a White House intern. Did that relationship have any material impact on his duties as head of state and commander in chief? No. But the House of Representatives hounded him incessantly before finally approving articles of impeachment. Clinton went to trial in the Senate and was acquitted. That, Mr. Trump, was a witch hunt.

One more example deserves a look.

President Barack Obama’s legitimacy as commander in chief was questioned by his enemies over a bogus allegation that he was born in Africa and that he wasn’t constitutionally qualified to serve as president. Who led that inquisition? Oh! That would be reality TV celebrity/real estate mogul Donald John Trump. Obama said all along he was born in Hawaii, one of the 50 U.S. states. He produced a birth certificate after badgering by Trump and other arch-enemies of the president. That wasn’t good enough to satisfy them. Finally, while campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump said in a single sentence that Obama was “born in the United States.” That was really big of him, don’t you think?

How about knocking off the crap alleging the “greatest witch hunt” in history, Mr. President?

The president clearly is no student of history and doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about — on this or anything else!