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In response

To the Editor,

I’ve been mulling over the letter of Mr. Terry D. Hallock (Times Observer, 19 August), and it contains some points I can’t leave without a response. The very first sentence reads, “… the ultra-long, expensive Mueller probe produced no evidence of collusion… Mueller’s hearing produced no anti-Trump ‘ammo’.” How many TO readers have read the actual Mueller report? I have, and let me tell you, it took a while. Our temporary Attorney General Barr came out with his famous “no collusion, no obstruction” remark so fast that it’s hard to believe he even speed-read it. Anyone who followed up on that statement knows that it is almost entirely misleading. Mr. Trump pounced on it, of course, because it was what he wanted to hear, but the people who quote it haven’t troubled to look into what the document actually says.

The report is quite readable, if you can handle a certain amount of legal terminology. It is cool, clear and precise, entirely free of political bias or even the faintest hint of name-calling, and it documents illegal and near-illegal acts down to the last computer keystroke. Sections having to do with ongoing legal procedures are of course blocked out (such deletions indicate, by the way, that we haven’t heard the last of some of these matters), but plenty remains on the pages.

The gist of Part One is that there was no collusion — not exactly, anyhow — but there was plenty of interest in colluding on the part of the Trump Team; they were apparently either too inexperienced or too inept to make use of it. The willingness was certainly there; didn’t Mr. Trump quite recently, when asked if he would make use of dirt from the “other side,” say that he would really like to have the chance? All right. We’ll let that point rest.

But let’s go to Part Two of the report, on the question of obstruction. Mueller lists and explains ten documented instances of attempts to obstruct justice, noting that attempting to do so is culpable even if the attempt is unsuccessful. The existence of these events is not in doubt; anyone who has been paying attention to the news over the last two years has seen them scrolling out in front of us as our jaws dropped in disbelief. But if you or I had committed any one of them as private citizens, we would be in jail. Donald Trump is not in jail, and will not be during his presidency, just because of a ruling somewhat in dispute that a sitting president cannot be indicted. (Afterwards, who knows?) In any case, it would be unjust to indict if it’s not possible to bring the alleged perpetrator to trial.

So Mr. Trump’s characterization of the investigation as a witch hunt is flat-out nonsense. No one finer than Robert Mueller, a man of scrupulous honesty and impeccable reputation — and a Republican, too — could be found to undertake this necessary examination of a question important to our very national foundations. The notion of foreigners being allowed to mess with our voting systems at will is terrifying.

Why do the foul disgusting media insist on blackening Mr. Trump’s reputation? There is good reason to do that. He deserves it.

The “fake news” calls him a racist and an Islamophobe. Well, no one can see into the soul of another, but he very clearly manipulates those who do hold those views. The main thing is that self-proclaimed racists and Islamophobes have latched onto him as their spiritual leader, and he says nothing to discourage them.

The “lying media” say he’s a misogynist? We have all seen more than enough of his conduct in this area, but I will just quote him on one point: “Women have to be treated like s**t.”

Our country is in more serious danger from this president than at any other point in our history. Resistance is now our duty.

Respectfully,

Dr. Karen L. Black,

Warren

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