Bye Bye Sarah

Alan Zendell, June 15, 2019

In an administration that has come to be known for lies, alternative facts, and fake news, there has been no better poster child for the Trump brand than Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. It was apparent in her statement immediately following the announcement of her resignation last Thursday. Sanders proudly proclaimed her legacy was one of openness and transparency, while the world, excluding the president’s hard core base was issuing good riddances.

Representative of those who were happy to see Sanders go was David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barrack Obama. Upon hearing of Sanders’ resignation, Axelrod said her legacy as White House press secretary will be one of “defending the indefensible, and not being truthful with the American people.” While Axelrod is clearly partisan, he has never been a political attack dog, and he has freely criticized Democrats as well as Donald Trump and his staff. Most notably, he recently took Joe Biden to task, seriously questioning the viability of the Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 nomination for President.

White House Press Secretary is a tough job. With someone like Donald Trump in the White House, the degree of difficulty soars by orders of magnitude. To be successful, a press secretary needs to be tough and self-confident. She needs to stand up to the aggressive White House press corps, but balance her strength with civility and at least the appearance of openness. In the opinion of most observers, Sanders did neither. As Axelrod put it, “In this job, she was called upon to choose between her fidelity to Trump and her fidelity to the truth, and she chose Trump.”

She did so not only with her words, even adopting the president’s own pugnacious, in-your-face style. She seemed to have a perpetual sneer on her face whenever the cameras were on her, and to my ears at least, she always spoke with whiny disdain. Unlike her predecessor, Sean Spicer, who was clearly not up to the job and often seemed uncertain and uncomfortable in the role, Sanders always appeared to relish it. Her unquestioned loyalty to the president, while admirable from one point of view, knew no limits in terms of partisanship and lying in his defense.

VICE News recently documented the most flagrant of Sanders’ failures to tell the truth. As we have all seen in recent years, every media outlet is guilty of some degree of bias, but the website “” rates VICE Media as center-left leaning (the lowest level of bias on their seven point scale) and very high in factual reporting.

In case you’ve either given up listening months ago or you just don’t remember, VICE recounted some of Sanders’ most flagrant distortions of the truth. Concerning the firing of James Comey, she asserted that he had completely lost the confidence of the  rank and file of the FBI, a lie made up in what she referred to as “the heat of the moment” that was later refuted by the Mueller report. Then she lied, first about whether Trump had paid hush money to a porn star, and later about whether he knew about the payments. When Trump fired Omarosa Manigault-Newman, Sanders claimed that the Trump administration had created more than three times as many jobs for African Americans as the Obama administration. The truth is that more than four times as many African-American jobs were attributed to Obama than to Trump.

The list goes on. Sanders tweeted a video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta that had been altered to make it look like he had assaulted a White House aide. She claimed that 4,000 suspected terrorists had been apprehended trying to enter the United States from Mexico when in fact the number of migrants who appeared on law enforcement watch lists was six (6). She claimed that the Obama administration had wire-tapped the Trump campaign and that Trump had never encouraged political violence at his rallies.

If you view Sarah Sanders as an employee of the President, she did her job impeccably. Trump was her boss, but I would argue that she was first and foremost an employee of the American people whose taxes paid her salary. From that perspective, she was nothing but a shill for Trump, and her obvious antagonism for the press and the First Amendment may have done more to widen the partisan divide in our country than anyone in the Administration except Trump himself.

I happily join those who wish Sarah goodbye and good riddance. Will her successor be any better? Not likely, considering that the only qualification for the job in the Trump White House is unflinching loyalty to the president.

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A 3-M Week

Alan Zendell, June 11, 2019

This is not an attempt to convince anyone to buy or sell 3M stock. Rather, it’s a mildly depressing look at the way Donald Trump massacred the thirteenth letter of our alphabet this week.

The first M is for Mexico, which is also the M in the agreed to but as yet unratified USMCA, the trade agreement that is supposed to replace NAFTA. According to the president, USMCA was needed because NAFTA was the worst deal ever negotiated in the history of the United States. Of course, Trump has also described the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Paris Accords on Climate Change as the worse deals his predecessors ever made, though he has offered nothing to replace them.

A quick read of the US Trade Representative’s summary of the USMCA offers no specifics to prove that it actual improves the US position in trade with Mexico and Canada, and most observers describe USMCA as NAFTA on an allegedly more level playing field (though the USTR summary offers no specific evidence of that) with a couple of “new chapters covering Digital Trade, Anticorruption, Good Regulatory Practices, [and how] Small and Medium Sized Enterprises benefit from the Agreement.

Since the Office of the Trade Representative is essentially a shill for the White House, this description is about the rosiest spin anyone could put on USMCA, which using Trump’s own words would make it only a marginal improvement over an agreement that is in a four-way tie as the worst in our history. The whole USMCA thing was quintessential Trump: lies, exaggerations, bullying threats, and a thinly veiled cloak of xenophobia and racism. In May, his administration came full circle by lifting the tariffs on steel and aluminum with which he started his little heroic operetta of phony crisis followed by fearless leader rushing in to save the day.

That’s the kind of alternate reality Trump lives in, and this week he added a layer of absurdity worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan as he announced he’d “reached a deal” with Mexico that averted his latest round of bullying tariff threats. Trump proudly proclaimed that he had brought Mexico to its knees, forcing them to control the flow of migrants through their country to our southern border. The centerpiece of the intimidation/extortion deal was Mexico’s agreement to send thousands of its national guard troops to police its own southern border with Guatemala…but wait, wasn’t that the same agreement that had been made months earlier before Trump announced new tariffs?

By now we’re all familiar with the Trump playbook. It’s pretty short since he only knows one play. Trump up (the phrase may have been coined for him) a fake crisis, create chaos among his own Congress and business communities, revel in how his actions make the stock market dance, and then pull out a meaningless victory that accomplishes nothing that didn’t already exist. Are you as tired of all this as I am?

This brings us to M number 2 – the Moon. Trump had bragged for months that he was revitalizing NASA and increasing its budget to restore its former greatness. We were going back to the Moon, and would land astronauts there, including the first Selenian woman, by 2024. He touted the Moon effort loudly for weeks until it suddenly occurred to him that the Moon was fifty-year old news.

So he changed his tune. Why spend all that money doing something we’ve already done, which gets us to M number 3 – Mars. Apparently, we’re finally going to Mars because Trump said so, though there was none of the inspiration in the announcement that we felt when John Kennedy told us about Project Apollo. Just more of Trump’s brash, uninformed brags. You see, Trump forgot that the plan all along had been to establish a base on the Moon first and then use it as a jumping off point to Mars.

In his uniquely inarticulate way, he managed to conflate the two efforts in one huge gaffe when he tweeted that “the Moon is part of Mars” over the weekend. As much as I consider Trump a dangerous embarrassment and a horrible excuse for a leader, I don’t believe he actually thinks the Moon is part of Mars. But that doesn’t excuse making all of us cringe at his ludicrous tweet. I don’t know whether it would be worse if our president was dumb enough to believe the Moon was part of Mars, or that he’s simply content to sound like a moron whenever he sees television lights or a computer keyboard.

I said at the outset that this would be only mildly depressing. That’s because we’ve heard this stuff so much we’re becoming dulled to it.

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Defeating Donald Trump

Alan Zendell, June 2, 2019

To listen to the pundits with their prediction models, defeating Donald Trump in 2020 will be a monumental task which is made worse by our outmoded Electoral College. Those same pundits told us Trump would never win the Republican nomination, and up until a few days before the 2016 election, assured us that he had little chance of beating Hillary Clinton.

Almost every House and Senate Republican seems to be telling us that Trump’s base is so strong, it makes a mockery of integrity. They fear his base so much that they never speak up and tell the truth about the president when the cameras are rolling, as many of them do in private, off-the-record remarks. Trump’s shameless pandering and bullying, his willingness to do anything to win, regardless of how venal and immoral has made them forget why they were elected.

While it’s true that short of a smoking gun proving Trump committed felonies, the core of his base is immovable, Republican cowardice in the face of existential necessity is actually an affront to the other two-thirds of the electorate. Those people who voted for Trump hoping he would grow into the office, those who didn’t vote because they disliked both candidates, and those who bought into the right wing’s twenty-year long hate-Hillary campaign couldn’t care less about who Trump’s base supports.

Beyond that, we can at least hope that those Americans who were willing to believe anything they read on Facebook last time have learned something. Far too many people in this country displayed a frightening level of intellectual laziness combined with a herd mentality that made them easy to manipulate by fake news and Russian bots. Those who realize they were suckered in 2016 are angry now, angrier than they’ve been since they were lied to about Vietnam and the misguided decision to fight in Iraq.

There have been many times when we doubted Americans’ ability to get it right when things looked bad. In the 1970’s I was among the millions of people who feared that our system was being undermined and it might collapse. But American voters have always shown great resiliency when it mattered most, and they will this time, too. Forget all the nonsense about how difficult it will be to defeat Trump. Ignore the people who are paid handsomely by the media to get it wrong, as long as they stir up controversy and increase ratings. Think for yourself. It’s not that complicated.

Despite all the factors working against her, including Russian interference and James Comey inexplicably and irresponsibly inserting himself into the campaign weeks before the election, Hillary Clinton still won the popular vote in 2016 by more than three million. She ran an abysmal campaign that was rife with tactical mistakes, she was abandoned by many Bernie Sanders supporters who felt the Party had rigged the primary, and her strategists completely missed what was happening in the rust belt states. It was a perfect storm of incompetence and unanticipated events.

The fact is, Trump’s base hasn’t grown since he took office – it’s still barely more than a third of the country. Trump only wins again if all the things that went wrong for Clinton in 2016 happen again. But of the Democratic candidates with enough name recognition to matter this time, none has a disapproval rating remotely as negative as Clinton’s was. With Trump’s continued attacks on women’s rights, immigrants, and refugees, it should be child’s play to energize voters sympathetic to those issues. 2020 is the Democrats’ election to lose, which they might do if they fail to heed the wise counsel of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and keep trying to sell Socialism to an electorate too ignorant to even know what it is.

Given the 2016 debacle, 2020 should be easy. As James Carville might say, it’s the Electoral College, Stupid. 2016 was lost in the rust belt states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Democrats should easily be able to take at least three of those states back, and possibly all four, given former Ohio governor Kasich’s disdain for Trump. How? By showing voters how they’ve been hurt by Trump’s trade war, and how Trump’s tax bill will not help working people as their temporary benefits are sunsetted. By asking rust belters, as Ronald Reagan did successfully, if they’re better off today than they were four years ago, and tellling them how Democrats will do better..

If Democrats want to win the rust belt back, their best hope is a team of Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar. They’re both popular in those states, and they’re centrists who avoid the extreme positions that marginalize large segments of the electorate. Priority number one is defeating Donald Trump. Democrats should save their policy debates for after they win.

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Trump Should Be Thanking Mueller

Alan Zendell, May 30, 2019

Though it was certainly unintentional, Robert Mueller did Donald Trump a huge favor when he defined the scope of his investigation as he did. As he made clear both in his report and his televised remarks, yesterday, Mueller treated an opinion by the Justice Department’s General Counsel as undisputed constitutional law, when in fact it is a matter of great dispute among law professors and judges.

The opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime while he is in office is just that. It is neither law nor regulation. It is not based on established precedent and has not been approved by any court. Despite Mr. Mueller’s statement that prosecuting Trump would be unconstitutional, the Constitution says no such thing.

It’s not difficult to understand why Mueller wanted to avoid taking his investigation into uncharted legal territory. Whatever he did was bound to be controversial with a volatile, thin-skinned president watching every move he made. For his findings to be credible he had to frame them within clearly defined boundaries.

Various legal scholars are now weighing in on whether Mueller’s ultra-conservative approach was the right one. In today’s Washington Post, Rosalind Helderman quotes one former federal appellate judge who thinks Mueller could have gone further even if he believed the president couldn’t be indicted: “the fact that a president cannot be prosecuted does not foreclose a finding by a special counsel of whether a president committed a crime.”

Mueller could have reached the same conclusion, but chose not to because, “it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.” Clearly, Mueller was bending over backwards to ensure that there could be no hint of political bias (against Trump) in his investigation.

The Post article also quotes George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who said that “neither the Constitution nor writings by its framers refer to a desire to make the president immune from criminal prosecution.” The legal status of the DOJ ruling would be clearer today if either of the Special Counsels investigating Presidents Nixon and Clinton had tested it in the courts, but like Mueller, both Ken Starr and Leon Jaworsky chose not to challenge it. In those two cases the threat of prosecution was unnecessary. As Mueller made clear, the Constitution provides for other means of trying a president – impeachment. In Clinton’s case it was attempted and in Nixon’s the certainty of a conviction in the Senate convinced him to resign.

As a result, Mueller was constrained by a Justice Department policy opinion that a sitting president may not be indicted or prosecuted regardless of the evidence, because doing so might prevent the president from carrying out his constitutional responsibilities. It’s impossible to know how the Supreme Court would rule if the opinion came before them, but that sounds like an extremely flimsy basis for determining whether the president is a criminal.

The Constitution also provides a remedy for a president who is temporarily indisposed and unable to carry out the duties of his office. The president steps aside for the duration of the indisposition and the vice president assumes the role of acting president. Could that apply to a criminal prosecution? Apparently none of the people appointed to investigate presidents since 1973 were inclined to ask that question.

Given all that it’s hard not to conclude that Mueller was not only fair and unbiased in his investigation, but he did Trump a huge favor by not challenging the DOJ opinion. Instead of carrying on like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum and viciously attacking Mueller, Trump should be saying, “Thank you, Bob.”

But this misses the essential point that despite Mueller’s unquestioned integrity, and Trump’s televised irrational tirade in which he called Mueller a Trump-hater and “one of the worst people in the world,” the conclusions of the Special Counsel’s report couldn’t be clearer to anyone reading it with an open mind. As more than a thousand former prosecutors and federal judges have publicly stated, the evidence in volume 2 of the report would have resulted in indictment and prosecution if the subject of the investigation had been anyone but the president.

On second thought, a thank you would be wholly inadequate. Trump ought to finally give Mueller the refund he asked for after changing his mind about joining Trump’s golf club.

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Master of the No Deal

Alan Zendell, May 28, 2019
The Master of the Deal flew off to Japan this holiday weekend to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, one of his few reliable allies in east Asia. When North Korea was firing ballistic missiles over Japan in 2017, Abe needed to ensure that he could count on the American military to defend his country, but it was more than just garden variety saber-rattling. Abe knows his own history. He is aware of the atrocities committed against Korea by Japan during World War 2, and even two generations later, people, especially paranoid North Koreans, remember things like that.
While other world leaders ridiculed Trump behind the scenes, Abe held his nose and did what he had to. Like his counterparts in other countries he understood that the price of assured support was uncompromising loyalty, and no matter what outrageous things Trump said or tweeted, Abe always agreed and never contradicted him.
The Memorial Day visit to Japan was a natural choice by a president who feels under siege at home and privately, in most of the rest of the world. A bilateral trade agreement was in the works, and Trump’s ego badly needed a win. It should have been a slam dunk, but Kim Jong Un changed the game.

Understanding full well that Trump is unnerved by Joe Biden’s popularity and likability, Kim directed his state media to attack Biden as “a fool with low IQ.” At about the same time, Abe, with support from John Bolton, Trump’s war hawk National Security Advisor, was accusing North Korea of violating their agreement to stop testing missiles, and Trump was again proclaiming to the world that he is a stable genius. How did Trump react?

He shot himself in both feet. First, he shocked everyone by ignoring his real agenda and agreeing with Kim’s assessment of Joe Biden. It was a perfect storm for Trump, sucking up to Kim and attacking the man most likely to unseat him in a single photo op. But what about Abe’s concern over those missiles? No problem for Trump. He disagreed with both Abe and his own people, announcing that Kim’s missile launches didn’t trouble him a bit and humiliating Abe in the bargain.

Just when it seemed that Trump would return home leaving everyone shell-shocked, he seemed to recall that he was there to strike a trade deal with Japan. He still had one bullet left, and he used it to kill whatever faint hope remained for a successful outcome, threatening Abe with massive tariffs on Japanese automobiles. The Master of the Deal left Japan with no trade deal and no end to his tariff war with China in sight. Waiting for him in Washington were angry, shocked politicians of both parties because the main headlines following his trip were that he used the international stage to attack Joe Biden, and that he incomprehensibly continued his love affair with Kim at the expense of everything else.

Even Trump supporters must ask themselves what that was all about. Does anyone believe that Trump making nice again with Kim against the advice of virtually everyone improved the situation with North Korea? It’s been clear to everyone that a successful negotiation with Kim will only happen if China uses its influence to push him toward an accommodation. Yet Trump continues to antagonize China seeming to believe that he can take on the entire world single-handedly while alienating his own advisors and allies as well as his own Congress.

This goes way beyond style and dispensing with political correctness. The president describes himself as a brilliant deal maker, but absent the advantage his money gives him in business, his approach to negotiation based on misdirection and chaos isn’t working. There is no evidence that any real progress has been made in improving our relationship with any of our adversaries – Russia, China, North Korea, Iran – and as for our allies, most of them hope that if they simply ignore Mr. Trump, there’s a good chance that he will be gone by the end of next year, and the world can return to “normal.”

Trump’s bullying tactics in the world of business don’t work either on the international stage or in dealing with Congress and the courts. Rather, they paint a picture of Trump as someone who has no respect for truth or any form of correctness. Why would anyone, either a foreign head of state or a Congressional leader, deal with someone who can never be trusted to follow through on anything he says or promises unless they had no alternative?

One of my favorite children’s stories is the emperor’s new clothes. Trump has shown clearly that the master deal maker he promised he would be must feel quite chilled whenever the wind blows.

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Founders’ Wisdom

Alan Zendell, May 21, 2019

It’s fashionable, these days, to focus on what the Founders got wrong, and there’s plenty of fodder to feed that trend. Writing nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago, they couldn’t possibly have gotten everything right.

The most glaring example is the Electoral College. It made sense in the 1770’s when only white, male landowners could vote, and both transportation and communication were limited by the speed of a horse. To be fair, though, we can’t blame the winner-take-all thing on the Founders. That horror was a machination of the state legislatures.

Other glaring errors involve the Bill of Rights. The tortured wording of the Second Amendment, which was clearly intended to assure that citizens could be counted on to uphold order when militias were required, has allowed the unfortunate interpretation that individuals may own their own personal arsenals, unrestricted by local statute or common sense. And the First Amendment, which spells out which specific rights and freedoms Thomas Jefferson meant when he referred to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has a huge hole in it that we’re still fighting over today: the right to basic health care. But to be fair, no one imagined there would be much health care to be entitled to back then.

There’s no doubt, however, that the Founders got the most important things right. The two things that set our republic apart from the monarchy it divorced itself from are the separation of powers and the procedure for removing an unfit president.

The Constitution clearly defined three co-equal branches of government. The checks and balances we learned about in fifth grade were intended to assure that the executive (president) could never become a tyrant. They also recognized that circumstances might arise in which a president was found to have committed treason or other “high crimes and misdemeanors” serious enough to disqualify him from continuing in office.

We’re seeing the power of the Founders’ wisdom on both these points play out every day. It’s painful to watch, and many people take that as a sign that the system is broken, but they’re wrong. The process by which two entities as powerful as our Congress and our Executive Branch share power and balance each other is necessarily complex and laborious. Behemoths and battleships weren’t meant to turn on a dime, and neither can our government. If all that inertia against change results in argument and struggle, so be it. The other side of the coin is coup or revolution – there’s really nothing in between…

…which brings us to impeachment. It’s time we stopped all the irresponsible blather. Democrats wring their hands and pull their hair over the partisanship that makes impeachment nearly impossible. They rail about the unfairness of having to deal with a Republican majority in the Senate which has joined ranks to form a human shield around the president. Republicans ignore subpoenas and use every political and procedural trick to prevent Trump’s foes from gathering ammunition against him. The resulting anger and frustration are made worse by the juvenile tirades of the president.

With all that, the clear statements in the Mueller report that Trump likely committed acts that rise to the level of obstruction of justice, and the Justice Department’s opinion (that’s all it is) that a sitting president may not be indicted all seem to be a perfect storm driving us toward a constitutional crisis.

Ohmygod, the sky is falling, it’s the end of the republic! Except that it isn’t. This is the way the process is supposed to work. Removing a president from office shouldn’t be easy. If it were we’d soon be a banana republic. And as awful as it looks and smells, partisanship actually assures that the process works. A president should not be convicted of impeachable offenses unless the need to remove him or her is so clear that even his political allies agree.

We faced a very similar situation forty-five years ago. President Nixon was accused of obstructing justice in the Watergate investigation, and the country lived through crisis after crisis as a Republican controlled Senate staunchly defended him. I believed at the time, that the future of the United States was at stake. But when the smoking gun was found, and it was clear that the president had committed felonies, partisanship gave way to statesmanship. The process worked as the Founders intended, and it will this time.

The leaders of the Democratic Party understand this. That’s why Speaker Pelosi and her Committee chairs who are working hard to find evidence to prove Trump’s guilt or innocence avoid talking about impeachment. They know the process will work if they persist. In any case, 532 days from now the people will have an opportunity to decide if Trump should continue in office.

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Impeachable Behavior?

Alan Zendell, May 20, 2019

There are many ways to look at Saturday’s extensive tweets by Republican Justin Amash, who represents Michigan’s third district in the House of Representatives. Amash accused Attorney General William Barr of deliberately misrepresenting the conclusions reached by Robert Mueller, asserting that Mueller detailed several instances in which Amash thinks President Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice. He was the first House Republican to endorse impeaching the president.

When the (redacted) report was released, Senator Mitt Romney (R, Utah) said he was sickened by the actions attributed to Trump by Mueller, but there wasn’t enough evidence of obstruction of justice to justify impeachment. As usual, Romney started out looking and sounding statesmanlike, but quickly dissembled into meaninglessness. If there wasn’t clear evidence of obstruction, exactly what sickened the Senator sufficiently to make him speak out against Trump on his own? What was the point?

When S. E. Cupp, conservative commentator turned Trump-hater reacted to Mr. Amash’s tweets by exclaiming, “This is big!” I could only think, “Really?” Amash represents a “safe” Republican district in a state Trump won by the narrowest of margins, and if there was any reason to believe Amash’s tweets would influence a sizable number of voters, they might be a big deal. But since he and Romney are the only two Republicans in Congress who’ve said anything negative about Trump, and no one seems to be rushing to join the flood of criticism, I’d file the incident under interesting but insignificant.

Remember Jeff Flake? He not only spoke out early against Trump’s dishonesty and generally immoral behavior – he even published a book about it. Flake was generally praised as a man of integrity, but did a single Republican stand up for him when Trump took him down?

Amash seems like a decent guy, a libertarian Republican of the Ron and Rand Paul variety. He’s honest, and he speaks his mind, but he’s hardly a consensus builder. He’s frequently out there on his own, much like his idols the Pauls, a lone wolf who doesn’t much care if anyone agrees with him. Not exactly someone to build a movement around, S. E., and as Romney correctly noted, impeachment can’t go anywhere without the Senate, and the Senate isn’t there.

With Barr in place, the Department of Justice won’t be changing its policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted any time soon. We have to accept the fact that Trump is presently not impeachable. Nor is he chargeable while he’s in office.

Does that mean all the tantalizing hints in the Mueller report should be ignored? Absolutely not. It would be unconscionable to not follow up on what Mueller said and implied. Every president can and should be held accountable. If Trump can’t be arrested or impeached, he can be dealt with the old-fashioned way. With an election in less than eighteen months, the current fight between the White House and the People’s House is really about whether every American deserves to know the truth about Trump on Election Day.

If you need a reality check, one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Mueller, a life-long Republican, is a responsible investigator. It’s inconceivable that he would have filled his report with unsupportable red herrings and allegations. The evidence is out there, as they used to say on The X-Files, only this time it really is. Mueller’s staff produced thousands of pages of interviews, analyses, carefully supported conclusions, and other related work products. The House of Representatives, knowing they exist, has a constitutional responsibility to study them.

If that weren’t clear enough, no administration has ever asserted that Congress does not have the right to investigate the President as aggressively as Trump has. Ask yourself why. Is it just that Trump’s narcissism sends him into a rage whenever anyone challenges him, or do his people know there’s great potential political damage lurking in Mueller’s files?

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudi Guiliani has said many times that the strategy of blanket refusal to comply with all subpoenas is a delaying tactic. Trump’s allies believe they can stall the process in the courts long enough that nothing damaging will affect the election, and they might be right. Judging by how gridlocked and partisan our entire government is, it’s clear that stalling and preventing anything from being done is what most politicians do best.

Still, it’s the only way we’ll ever know the truth. The House Chairs must keep pressing or Trump will get off scot free and might even be re-elected. That simply cannot happen.

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