Opinion | Knopf: Trump’s misdeeds are obvious, Mueller report or no Mueller report
For The Record
As we await the public distribution of the Mueller report, let’s consider what we already know. Mueller concluded Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. He indicted 34 Americans and 26 Russians. With the exception of Roger Stone, who is awaiting trial, all Americans have been found guilty or plead guilty. Mueller’s investigative team is the most productive in history and completed its work more expeditiously than any other special prosecutor.
Eighty percent of Americans want to see the report, but even without it we already know what happened.
Never in the history of our country has a candidate for president asked a foreign hostile nation to dig up dirt on the opposing candidate. Trump did. For the record, he said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find (Hillary Clinton’s) 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” The press will reward Russia? Or Trump will reward Russia?
We know irrefutably that the Russians began attacking Hillary’s server the same day Trump submitted his request, not clandestinely, but at a rally, covered by cameras.
We know in his first months in office, Trump held an unprecedented meeting, by himself, with two Russian officials, and passed classified information, outing an Israeli spy.
The payoff. Why was he not impeached? Politics.
His base is angry, well-organized and proved to be more formidable at the ballot box than the majority of Americans who allowed him to be elected. Politics is no more than a popularity contest, and it’s no more logical than a high school cheerleader election. Trump sold himself better than Hillary Clinton did. He engaged and mobilized voters. There was no way, at the nascence of his term, to get rid of him. Democrats didn’t have the votes then, and they don’t have them now.
We don’t need the Mueller report. We don’t need more indictments from the Southern District of New York, which believe me, are coming. We don’t need a U.S. House of Representatives investigation, which I’m sure is coming. We need the public to comprehend the trick played before their eyes and still playing on YouTube.
Let’s say you order a pizza, and it’s delivered, and you pay for it. You didn’t make the pizza. You probably never talked to the person who prepared the pizza. You talked to the order taker. So no direct connection between pizza prep and your door. But it’s your pizza.
The problem is everyone is looking for collusion, direct linkage. Trump publicly requested Russia’s help to win the election. Russia took the order, and started hacking the same day. Russia filled the order. Trump paid for his order by handing the Russians classified, highly sensitive data. He revealed the identity of Israel’s spy embedded in Syria.
I think the confusion is conflating clandestine with espionage. We think of the two words as somewhat synonymous. Who would ever engage in espionage in plain sight and over a microphone? Trump did. The American people have to realize what they already know, and demand justice for themselves. Not just Democrats, the majority of Americans in both parties.
Nancy Pelosi demonstrates her superior political savvy when she says no to impeachment. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” she added. “And he’s just not worth it.”
The problem is the security issue isn’t behind us, it continues, with Trump’s ordering top secret clearance for his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who experts consider a security threat.
His advocates say his security clearance process was handled through the usual channels. Yep, and his clearance was rejected. His family’s real estate holdings are highly leveraged, and in the past Kushner sought funding from the Chinese and the Russians.
When he was getting top secret briefings last year, it is believed he divulged information to Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who said he had Kushner in his pocket.
After their chats in Saudi Arabia, which were said to extend to 4 a.m., Prince MBS, as he is called, did some house cleaning. According to The Intercept, Saudi royal family members, who had been identified in President Trump’s classified Daily Brief were arrested and at least one tortured.
We got problems. But the first issue is helping our friends, neighbors and relatives, true MAGA supporters, see the truth. It’s as plain as the noses on their faces.
Republicans are taking victory laps. The president is claiming exoneration, when U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the opposite. The AG’s four-page summary said the report does NOT exonerate the president. We must all be vigilant in our conversations, so POTUS, the creator of “fake news,” does not win this round. As Late Show host Stephen Colbert said, “… not being indicted for betraying your country is a pretty low bar.”
See our digital edition for links to source material for this column. Susan Knopf is a local resident of Summit County, and weekly contributor to the Summit Daily News.
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