Two things never cease to amaze me in watching the political world when the criminal justice system becomes involved. First, the number of experts that suddenly appear on social media. Secondly, the number of hypocrites there are out there when discussing such matters.
A lot of this happens because we as humans need closure, we want to know the whole puzzle. We want the facts to fit our narrative, we want to be reassured that our world is in order. We immediately assume what facts we do have that a person has been vindicated or condemned. And we push away anyone that offers a narrative or facts that contradict that.
The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.
Armchair Criminal Investigators
We are reeling from the recent James Comey book and its revelations. Those that opposed the President in firing Comey, did collective “right ons!” for the fired FBI Director. Those who are supporters of Trump dismissed his book as sour grapes and dirty politics. Then decried coverage as “fake news.”
To me, it was expected until I saw one person post a reminder not to buy Comey’s book since he was the one who caused Hillary to lose the election.
I had to stop for a moment. Assuredly there were more factors than just this one reason.
It got me to thinking about Comey and his tumultuous ride in the press during 2016, 2017 and 2018. To most people, the Director of the FBI was a relatively unknown person. Then, during the presidential election, Comey announced to the nation that there was not enough evidence to continue an investigation of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The right lost their lids. They just knew Obama ordered the FBI to stand down. This was proof positive of a corrupt FBI under Obama.
Then a few days before the election, Comey announced that evidence had come to light that was causing the Bureau to reopen the investigation.
The same result, only now it was Republicans praising Comey and Democrats accusing Comey of throwing the election.
Now Comey has become the lackey of Trump, the man that sold the Bureau’s integrity.
From the very beginning of the Trump Administration, there was a rocky relationship between the FBI and the White House. Skipping a bunch of smaller steps, Trump ultimately fired him.
Imagine my surprise when those that supported Trump (and praised Comey right before the election), suddenly accused Comey of shielding Clinton. So the man that was credited with sinking her presidential hopes somehow was protecting her from prosecution.
A reasonable person would suggest that if he wanted to protect her, helping her win the Presidency would have been the easiest course of action.
Enter Robert Mueller
As the suggestion of collusion with foreign powers mounted, and the suggestion that the firing of James Comey was obstruction of justice. After enough of an outcry came, it was decided to seek a special counselor to put the matter to rest.
In our modern politically charged world, it would be hard to find the right man for the job. He would need to be someone who was well respected. The Special Counselor would need to be a person that both sides would accept the findings of.
Much like the English Monarch,
A job that was intended for a god, but held by a mere mortal
They found it in Robert Mueller. A war veteran. Not only that, a decorated war veteran. A career FBI and Department of Justice agent and prosecutor. His record was exemplary. He brought down John Gotti. Mueller was the prosecutor in Noreiga’s case and the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 flight. Appointed by President George W Bush, he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
He would lead the Bureau through the aftermath of 9/11 and balance due process with protecting the nation from the threat of terrorism. He was so well respected that he was kept on during the Obama years.
Standing up to Cheney, he protected Americans from the illegal extension of the wiretap provision of the PATRIOT ACT. A registered Republican, respected by both sides for being an honest government agent in the age of agendas and politics. A true untouchable.
His only crime.
Doing his job.
Hypocrites, second-guessing the professionals.
I am one of those people that believe that the media holds a certain degree of responsibility in the whole Comey, Trump, and Mueller affair. Before I am burnt in effigy, hear me out. I am not saying anyything on their guilt or innocence at this point. Only how the media reports on it.
In the 24 hour news cycle, we hear only bits and peices at any one time. Then you have to add in that there are a lot of opinion sites that are taken as news sites (as a caveat, Common Sense is in no stretch to be considered a news site, but commentary). In the abscence of all the facts, most people fill in the blanks. In many cases, they prefer the comforting lie to the painful fact.
Unless you were part of the investigation at the FBI, or were a principal player in the E-mail affair, Benghazi, or any of a host of scandals Clinton was accused of, or have read all the facts that the FBI based its findings on, you are only guessing at why the FBI reached the conclusions they did. By accusing the FBI of leaving justice for politics without absolute proof is dangerous.
Likewise, as the Mueller investigation goes on, speculating at whether Mueller will find the goods on Trump to call for impeachment or accusing his team…..
And before I finish that thought, I want to touch on that. He has assembled quite possibly the best legal and criminal minds in America to look into the matter. It is BEYOND insulting to the reputations of the FBI and Attorney General’s office to suggest that men and women who have built careers and reputations as being the best would jeopardize their convictions for political reasons. Anyone suggesting otherwise is beneath contempt.
To continue, accusing his team of doctoring evidence is dangerous. We are not privy to the evidence that Mueller and his team has uncovered. Not a single one of us sees what they have access to. To then second guess the actions of the special counselor is without a doubt akin to deciding you need a bypass when the cardiolodist says you have heartburn.
I will not hide the fact that I feel that the facts will show that Trump and/or a portion of his campaign where involved in shady business in teh campaign that may merit prosecution. In fact we already see several indictments.
However, if after looking diligently over the facts as they present themselves, that Mueller concludes that Trump acted like a bumbling fool and was not a plaything of Putin, I will accept his findings.
To dismiss the criminal justice system when it gives a a result we do not like reminds me of a kid asking the Magic 8 Ball a question over and over again when it fails to produce the answer we desire.