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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. (Continued...)
Read the rest of my article in The Hill by clicking the link below:
J. Kevin MacDonald says
THANKS FOR BEING SO VERY BRAVE, MS. ATTKISSON!
may The Lord continue to bless you and keep you safe.
Marie Fuentes says
I’ve been reading you since the CBS ordeal but this article is so right on the money. I just can’t understand why more people can see what I see
They are out of there minds..
Reverend Karlan Fairchild says
Very well reasoned analysis of the current chaos caused by the incredibly biased and abusive mainstream media. And it's beyond my realm of comprehension that nobody among the sheep who comprise the inside-the-beltway-establishment-horde of reporters had any type of gumption to step outside of the herd and do some actual, investigative reporting, something which used to be part-and-parcel of calling oneself a reporter. And now that the "Deep State" is at risk of being revealed as the criminals which they are for leaking classified documents and that would explain their desperation at the moment. The "deep-state" appears to be apoplectic about being uncovered for their participation in the attempted coup d'e-tat, and now that President Trump has ordered declassification of intelligence documents, they might have a reason to be frightened. Desperation, for certain.
Bill S says
Sharyl...you are what journalism should be. Keep up the good work.
I purchased your book Stonewalled and I am passing it around to my friends and family to read...including my brainwashed millennial son. I'm hoping it will open his eyes. Thank you!
Tim Wedding says
So much logic and common sense! Unfortunately, the sheeple of our society, and those who must deflect attention from their own wrong doing, won't get it.
Dick Lanier says
SA has raised a legitimate question: why would Trump obstruct an investigation when he knew that he was innocent? I admit that I have no hard answer for that. All I know is that Mueller has documented in great detail actions that Trump took that many people believe does in fact constitute obstruction of justice. Everyone is, of course, entitled to make their own judgment on that point. But you can't use the excuse that Trump was "frustrated" or "angry" or in any other particular emotional state in doing so. Someone's emotional state is only relevant when deciding on the punishment for some crime, not whether that person is guilty (I'm not counting insanity as an emotional state). Republicans impeached Clinton in part for lying to Starr about the Monica Lewinsky affair even though he had the defense that he was merely trying to spare his family the embarrassment of admitting to infidelity. Why would he not be able to use that defense when apparently it's OK that Trump uses a similar defense? And you also can't use the argument that Trump can't have obstructed the investigation because there was no underlying crime. Collusion and obstruction are two different things. You don't have to be guilty of one to be guilty of the other.
But I would like to raise another question similar to the one that SA raised. If the Mueller investigation was a witch hunt/hoax as Trump has declared, who, specifically, are the hoaxers? And why would they push for an investigation knowing that Trump would be exonerated on the collusion charge? That seems counterproductive to me. Until Mueller's report came out, the anti-Trumpsters were free to claim almost any connection between Trump and Russia. Now that the report has cleared Trump of collusion, they can't make those claims any more. They are in a much weaker position. And assuming that it was a hoax, they had to know that it was going to turn out that way. Not very smart.
There's another question that needs to be considered. This article has language which to me amounts to an attack on the character of those involved in the investigation ("the fix is in", " 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"). I assume that this language is intended to claim, indirectly, that the investigation was not handled fairly. Since I don't know any of the people involved, I can't say that that is not true. So where is the unfairness? What specifically did Mueller do that was unfair to Trump? It seems like a cheap shot to me to make such a claim and not back it up with specifics. How can I evaluate that claim without such details?
All I know is that Robert Mueller was considered one of the most honest people in America when this investigation started. Then Trump made up a story about Mueller "begging" for the FBI directorship (a claim that has been debunked by Steve Bannon, no less) and suddenly he's "conflicted". And a lot of people seem to be swallowing that line without thinking about what it means. Because what it means is that Mueller (and the others on his staff) who have all served their country with dedication and distinction their entire adult lives suddenly went rogue, en masse. That seems completely unfair to Mueller and highly unlikely to be true unless someone can point me to some evidence that I haven't seen so far.
The previous argument doesn't prove anything, of course. It is certainly possible that Mueller, et. al., suddenly changed their stripes. But Occam's Razor says that it's almost certainly not true.
And, in the end, this supposedly unfair investigation exonerated Trump. Yet the complaints keep rolling in. How unfair could it have been?
I value legitimate discussions on political topics as long as they are logically based and don't attack someone's character. Perhaps I misinterpreted some of the things in this article. If I did, what are they? Where is my logic flawed?