Mueller report reveals Trump’s corrupt intent and abuse of power: Shouldn’t Congress start impeachment now?

SPECIAL COUNSEL Robert Mueller’s redacted 448-page report has been made public. In excruciating details, it paints how the 45th president abused his power with corrupt intent through his campaign’s unethical and immoral communication with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, and how he himself obstructed justice to defend himself, his campaign and his family and business.

Collusion

The almost two-year investigation involved interviewing people within the Trump orbit, including his own staff. However, Trump himself shunned a face-to-face interview with the Special Counsel to give his testimony under oath, choosing to instead submit written answers to questions that were incomplete and laced with the usual legal cover of “as far as he can recall.”

Mueller determined that Russia indeed interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election using cyber attacks to help Trump win by hurting Hillary Clinton.

Despite the numerous contacts between officials of the Trump campaign and Russia that the president and his people lied about and covered up, Mueller wrote that “Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any campaign officials as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal.”

While Trump directed aides on multiple occasions not to publicly disclose emails setting up the meeting, the Mueller report affirms that Trump himself dictated a misleading statement to the press, saying the meeting primarily discussed adoption.

Mueller likewise wrote in his report that the president’s efforts to mislead press on the Trump Tower meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials, including Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were not criminal.

On the issue that Trump adviser George Papadopoulos was told in April 2016 by a Kremlin-linked professor that the Russians had thousands of hacked emails that were damaging to Clinton, Mueller wrote, “No documentary evidence, and nothing in the email accounts or other communications facilities reviewed by the office, shows that Papadopoulos shared this information with the campaign.”

Obstruction of justice

Mueller wrote, “While This report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Trump’s newly appointed Attorney General Bill Barr, who wrote a summary of the Mueller report prior to making public the redacted version, and again made a public statement upon its release, claimed that Trump had been completely exonerated,

Barr conveniently left out the context of this statement to provide political cover for Trump.

Mueller wrote that the issue was complicated by two key factors: 1) Under the Department of Justice practice, a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, and 2) A president has a great deal of constitutional authority to give orders to other government employees.

The Mueller report stated at least 10 instances when Trump tried to obstruct justice. The president’s multiple efforts to obstruct justice only failed largely because the people around him prevented him from doing so.

“The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” the Mueller report stated.

FLASHBACK to the time when Trump found out about the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate on the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice, the Mueller report stated that Trump said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f*cked.”

If we talk about accountability, we go beyond what is determined to be a criminal act and discern the thought process, intent, rhetoric and behavior we should expect from the president of the United States.

House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff said:

“Whether these acts are criminal or not, whether the obstruction of justice was criminal or not, or whether these contacts were sufficiently elicit or not to rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy, they are unquestionably dishonest, unethical, immoral and unpatriotic and should be condemned by every American…”

The debate now: Should the Democrat-led Congress now start the impeachment process to remove Trump from office? 

Isn’t obstruction of justice an impeachable offense? It seems we cannot rely on the Republicans in Congress to make the President accountable because they are thinking of their own political survival and they need Trump’s popularity among the Republican base to get them re-elected.

What about the Democrats? Will they choose political expediency for fear that impeaching Trump will hurt the Democrats chances in 2020? When will we make Trump accountable? How can we make the case that actions have consequences If we give Trump a pass for the Democrats’ own political agenda?

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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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