The following is a news opinion and analysis published in The Hill.
With the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe now known to a significant degree, it seems apologies are in order.
However, judging by the recent past, apologies are not likely forthcoming from the responsible parties.
In this context, it matters not whether one is a supporter or a critic of President Trump.
Whatever his supposed flaws, the rampant accusations and speculation that shrouded Trump’s presidency, even before it began, ultimately have proven unfounded. Just as Trump said all along.
Yet, each time President Trump said so, some of us in the media lampooned him. We treated any words he spoke in his own defense as if they were automatically to be disbelieved because he had uttered them. Some even declared his words to be “lies,” although they had no evidence to back up their claims.
We in the media allowed unproven charges and false accusations to dominate the news landscape for more than two years, in a way that was wildly unbalanced and disproportionate to the evidence.
We did a poor job of tracking down leaks of false information. We failed to reasonably weigh the motives of anonymous sources and those claiming to have secret, special evidence of Trump’s “treason.”
As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.
And when we corrected our mistakes, we often doubled down more than we apologized. We may have been technically wrong on that tiny point, we would acknowledge. But, in the same breath, we would insist that Trump was so obviously guilty of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet that the technical details hardly mattered.
So, a round of apologies seem in order.
Apologies to President Trump on behalf of those in the U.S. intelligence community, including the Department of Justice and the FBI, which allowed the weaponization of sensitive, intrusive intelligence tools against innocent citizens such as Carter Page, an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.
(Continue reading at The Hill by clicking the link below.)