Guard Against Russians

Editor, News-Register:

The recently released Mueller report, a redacted version of the official investigative summation that is now available for public review and scrutiny, and that was compiled by a team of professionals headed by former FBI director, former U.S. Justice Department official and veteran of the Vietnam War, the highly respected Robert S. Mueller III, which documented the extent of possible Russian involvement as well as their possible coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, as well as possible obstruction of justice being committed by those determined to have been involved. The investigation has proven to be quite thorough indeed, having reportedly questioned approximately 500 individuals of interest, while serving approximately 500 search warrant and issuing 2,800 subpoenas.

As a result, to date, six Trump allies and/or aides have pleaded guilty or have been indicted. In addition, 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies have been indicted, respective to their involvement in attempting to illegally impact the 2016 presidential election and/or attempting to obstruct the investigation by providing false or misleading information during the investigative process.

Included in the six Trump aides and allies who have pleaded guilty or were indicted are: Former Trump attorney and vice president of the Trump organization Michael Cohen, former national security adviser to the Trump campaign George Papadopoulos, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign consultant Paul Manafort, former Trump deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and former longtime Republican campaign operative and ally of Trump for over 30 years Roger Stone.

Despite all this, President Trump’s continues his attempt to delegitimize the Mueller investigation — incredibly and perhaps desperately referring to the study as a “witch hunt,” as evidence to the absolute contrary is staggering.

Although President Trump has yet to be criminally charged himself, he is endlessly stating that the investigation somehow found that he was exonerated and was not involved in any kind of collusion with the Russians or was involved in obstruction of justice — conveniently ignoring those who were acting on his behalf as well as Russians who have been charged and/or convicted, or have pleaded guilty of this heinous act that was implemented for his benefit.

Apparently, President Trump feels no sympathy for those who performed illegal acts in his service, provided he is not charged personally.

Also, as clarified recently, Mr. Mueller has stated that, “While this reportedly does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not excuse him,” and has also revealed and listed 10 possible acts of obstruction committed by President Trump, as a result of this investigation. I wonder what may have been the conclusion if President Trump had consented to be interviewed during this procedure. Nevertheless, the Mueller investigation has indisputably proven that the Russians were actively involved in attempting to influence the election of 2016, and all measures must be taken to ensure that such does not occur again to come in 2020.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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