Most people no matter their political leaning, most people would think that investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson attempts to be fair and factual in her reporting. So, when the former CBS reporter took to The Hill in an op-ed concerning the continued pursuit by Democrats on alleged obstruction of a crime that wasn’t, she wrote that it smacked of “desperation.”
A friend of mine who is — I’ll just say it — a devoted Trump-hater recently was talking about President Trump’s obstruction and asked what I thought.
After listening to his views, I told him there’s plenty about which to criticize the president, as is true of any political leader. But the obstruction charge doesn’t make logical sense. I used an analogy to explain why. When I finished, this friend still hated Trump — but surprised me by saying, “Nobody’s ever explained it that way. That makes sense. You should write about it.”
Obviously, I don’t kid myself that this analogy will “make sense” to everyone. But after listening to both sides and looking at the publicly available evidence, here’s how I see it:
If you were a person of some authority and murdered someone, and prosecutors set out to investigate, and if you spoke publicly against the investigation, proclaiming your innocence and calling the probe a “witch hunt,” and if you worked behind the scenes to use your influence to fire the lead investigator on the murder case — that would seem to be a pretty clear case of obstruction of justice. You, as a guilty man, would be trying to stop authorities from finding out the truth.
But imagine, on the other hand, that you are innocent — accused of a murder you didn’t commit. Not only that, imagine you knew there was no murder to begin with because you saw the victim walking around after the supposed murder. Then, imagine you found yourself the target of the murder investigation by a team that included people who had declared you to be their sworn enemy and expressed strong desires to take you out. Then, imagine this team that included biased investigators began leaking false information to the national media to implicate you in this crime that you knew you didn’t commit.
Imagine that this cloud of the murder you knew was never committed hangs over you, month after month, until it drags on for years. It’s distracting you from your ability and authority to do the job in the public’s interests. But every time you speak publicly to defend yourself and proclaim your innocence, the media and your political enemies declare you to be a liar and say you are obstructing the investigation.
It begins to look like the fix is in.
Under these circumstances, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t possess a desire to stop a potentially conflicted investigation by your political enemies into a crime that was never committed — least of all by you. Since you are innocent, your attempts to stop an unfair investigation could be fairly seen as an attempt to see justice done, not to obstruct it.
She went on to add, “If special counsel Robert Mueller is correct and there was no coordination of any kind between any American and Russia, then the latter analogy seems more applicable to President Trump than the former.”
“If Mueller is right, then Trump knew from the start that he didn’t conspire with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” she added. “Nonetheless, he became the target of a supposedly independent investigation which, it turned out, included top team members who expressed personal disgust and hatred for him as well as a desire to take him out.”
Attkisson pointed out that every time President Trump decided to defend himself, it seems that the Mueller Report has sided with that defense despite the wranglings of his opposition.
She then made a clear point about any attempts Trump may have thought about in replacing Mueller in the investigation.
This cloud of supposed collusion, a crime that never happened, hung over Trump month after month until it dragged on for years. For someone who’s innocent, it would obviously begin to look like the fix was in.
Trump’s alleged conversations about trying to switch out Mueller, as documented in interviews with the special counsel, could fairly be interpreted as attempts to seek justice, not to obstruct it.
Attkisson even admits that she and others thought the outcome of the Mueller report could have produced evidence that Trump was Putin’s agent, based on leaks and reporting, but she concluded, “it wasn’t the case.”
She then said that all those who publicly opposed him for two years might “carry more weight” if only they would admit to the fact that they “chased their tails” for those years and that “when they finally snagged it, realized they hadn’t captured the enemy.”
Following that admission, Attkisson adds that those people would at least regain some bit of credibility in acknowledging they were wrong to then possibly target actual Trump policies that they oppose or find objectionable.
Instead of Trump being a liar on this point, his critics were found to be just that. Even Robert Mueller has admitted that Trump was exactly right when he said that his campaign had not colluded with Russia.
Attkisson then concluded, “I’m no political expert but, to me as an Average Joe, the continued focus on supposed obstruction of a crime that wasn’t committed simply smacks of desperation.”
I think that’s exactly how most Americans who actually have listened to a sliver of what has taken place over the past two years think.
Despite my disagreements with President Trump over what I see are serious constitutional issues, which I’ve made no bones about, it has always seemed clear to me that when it came to “Russian collusion,” there was nothing there, except the wasting of the American people’s time and money and a lawless push for impeachment.
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