Defending the innocence of President Trump on the Mueller Investigation

Timothy Kandow, Contributor

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On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, a Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller examined alleged collusion of President Donald Trump and his campaign with Russian governmental operatives in interference or illegal assistance in the 2016 general election. Nearly two years later, on March 22, 2019, Mueller released his long-anticipated report to the Attorney General’s Office.

In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees, Attorney General William Barr wrote: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election…” This was despite “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

While admitting the report does not convict Trump of a crime, it “also does not exonerate him.” However, there were no new incidents and the report was “not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

Once this letter was released, Trump tweeted, No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

This investigation has deeply divided the voting electorate and lawmakers across the country. Interference in an election of any level is illegal and should not be tolerated.

The report released, according to the Attorney Generals Office, has shown no sign of collusion or obstruction of justice. This thorough investigation has cost around $34 million, according to Politifact.com. Though one may argue this investigation was worth the cost to achieve justice in our election system, which most would agree, it is now time to move on.

Barr is set to release the Mueller report to Congress and have it made public by mid-April, perhaps sooner. If in fact there appears to be evidence of Trump having evidence beyond reasonable doubt to have colluded with the Russian governments in the 2016 elections, then let justice do its course. As of now, however, Mueller hasn’t recommended any new indictments against the president or anyone else which even Barr could not change.

A fundamental principle was birthed at the founding of this nation in amendments five, six, and 14 of the Constitution: the presumption of innocence. An individual is presumed to be innocent, free of any charge levied against him until proven with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime accused of. As this investigation moves forward, it is of the utmost importance this concept remains as the ultimate principle.

Trump and his campaign are completely innocent until he is shown by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt he colluded with the Russian government, and is therefore guilty. Until then, let us examine what we know and move with caution and impartiality.