The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

Source: National Review | April 18, 2019 | David French

I’ve finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel’s Office. We’ve become accustomed to Trump making up his own facts on matters great and small, but to see the extent to which his virus infected his entire political operation is sobering. And the idea that anyone is treating this report as “win” for Trump, given the sheer extent of deceptions exposed (among other things), demonstrates that the bar for his conduct has sunk so low that anything other than outright criminality is too often brushed aside as relatively meaningless.

If I were to list all the important lies in the report, I’d be reproducing much of the report itself. So let’s focus on the most important elements. We already knew that Michael Flynn lied about his communications with Russia, George Papadopolous lied about his contacts with a person he believed to be connected to Russia, Roger Stone lied about his attempts to obtain information from WikiLeaks, Michael Cohen lied about Trump’s continued efforts to negotiate a deal with Trump Tower Moscow, and that Trump had repeatedly misled the American people about those same dealings.

We had previously known that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, had lied about his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, a person the FBI has assessed as having contacts with Russian intelligence. But now we know the significance of those lies. They included covering up the ongoing transmission of internal Trump polling data to Ukrainians and a Russian oligarch, covering up communications about a proposed Ukrainian “peace plan” that would entail granting Russia a “backdoor” means for Russia to control eastern Ukraine. Moreover, because Manafort deleted messages and sometimes used “encryption applications” when he sent messages, we may never know the full extent of his communications — or his lies.

When asked about the Trump team’s contacts with Russia, key members of his campaign staff and administration responded with blatantly false statements. These statements may not have been deliberate (they could have believed internal lies and repeated them innocently), but they were nevertheless completely and totally wrong. Hope Hicks said, “It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.” When asked about any “contact or coordination” between the campaign and Russia, Reince Priebus said, “Even this question is insane. Of course we didn’t interface with the Russians.”

The campaign did, indeed, interface with the Russians — including in Trump Tower, when Donald Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer in the explicit hope of gaining dirt on Hillary Clinton.

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Trump himself of course got in the act. He famously edited Donald Jr.’s draft statement disclosing his Trump Tower meeting to disguise his real purpose, and — even more significantly — tried to order Don McGahn to lie to the public about McGahn’s claims that Trump had directed him to fire Robert Mueller:

These lies have multiple consequences. First and most obviously, they demonstrate that the president’s word simply can’t be trusted. Yes, I know that there are readers who will immediately respond that “we already knew that” or that his dishonesty is already “priced in.” But don’t forget — as recently as last year, 76 percent of Republicans still believed that Trump told the truth “all or most of the time.” I personally know many people who believe that Trump’s ability to “tell it like it is” is one of his chief appeals.

Second, the extent of the lying across the Trump team shows that Trump’s lies can’t be contained to Trump. Even honest people who believe and repeat Trump’s words or the words of key members of his team can find themselves deceiving the public. Those who resist Trump’s efforts to deceive can find themselves overruled and publicly shamed. It was to Donald Jr.’s credit that his instinct — after news of the Trump Tower meeting started to leak — was to be transparent. It is Trump’s shame that he forced his own son to put out a misleading statement instead.

Third, the lies help demonstrate why the underlying investigation was so very necessary. When our intelligence agencies are aware of Russian efforts to interfere in the election and tilt it toward Trump, they know Trump officials are in contact with Russians, and they know that Trump officials are lying about those contacts, then it makes cries of “witch hunt” sound hollow indeed — especially when the actual results of the investigation demonstrate that the special counsel declined to prosecute multiple individuals who had Russian contacts, including members of Trump’s own family.

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  • Discussion
  •  Consistent #29007

     slhancock1948 #29008

    It would, but I’m more incensed that the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama get a complete pass while ANY republican will be run out of office. I was a Cruz supporter but even Cruz would not have made some of the decisions that Trump has made that I totally am in agreement with. To move the embassy to Jerusalem…how many R presidents have made such a campaign commitment, but never followed through? How many would allow Netanyahu to annex the Golan? None. How many have hamstrung the IDF so that they were forced to leave abruptly from military endeavors they were winning so that Israel could not get the upper hand? Remember south Lebanon? From Reagan, all the way until Trump. Nixon agreed to help Israel in the 72/73 conflict that left them seriously compromised on the battleground, but at least they won a partial victory, still enough to humiliate the Arabs. Both Bushes demanded that Israel give up lots of land for a peace that would never result in any kind of peace because we all SHOULD know by now that the Arabs want no state of Israel and no country of Israel anywhere else in the world. It is an ongoing atifada against Jacob and Esau. Yes, it goes back that far! All Mohammed did was to bring the Arabs into agreements with each other on a wider scale to try to eliminate Israel once and for all.
    Please be careful to not judge everything the president has done with a lens of hatred and intolerance. We do ourselves more harm than good when we refuse to recognize the good deeds one does, even if you don’t like the man, and I am not asking you to like him, but as self-professing Christians, we need to also guard what we say. Obviously, God allowed Trump to win for His purposes of which we are not privy to. We need to pray that Trump seeks out and receives godly wisdom, daily! Yes, he needs a filter on his mouth, but he’ll pay for his “sins” one day. How come we didn’t rail against Obama publicly when he openly stated a lot of anti-christian nonsense?
    I never expected Trump to be exonerated, but he was back-handed by Mueller by the way that he released the report then allowed the Marxist media to make whatever they wanted of it. He knew they’d make a big deal out of anything, even if it was a nothing-burger, to take down a president with an R behind his name. They HAVE been out for him since the days he won the election, so let’s not join the riff-raff. Hold your tongues, or you’ll do even more damage to any future candidates. Our party is already going leftward without encouraging real conservatives to stand down and not take the risk of ruin of reputation in order to run for office.

    It’s often said of Christians that we murder our weaker members instead of being a beacon of hope and help to them when they are going through a storm of life. We knew what Trump was before he was elected. He says he’s had conversion experience and only God knows for sure, but we all know (those among us who are believers) that salvation is a process, not a one-time event. So, all the more reason to lift the man up in prayer and to ask for God’s mercy for us ALL. We are on the brink of destruction as it is. We do not need to encourage our enemies of the faith and cause the weaker brothers among us to stumble. We need to fervently pray for one another and that our leaders will want to know God’s will for us as a people. I know this sounds laughable, but if WE don’t pray, who else will?

    It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish Cruz had won, but some things that I have read about Cruz since the election that were closely-guarded secrets during the campaign, have been troubling me. He is a dominion-theology supporter. They (to include himself and his father) think things will increasingly get better once Christians cease control of government and that WE will usher in the new millennium, allowing Jesus to come back to reign. Let me tell you that this is way off from the Truth of Scripture. NOWHERE can that be found; it is a doctrine of man! Whether godly men adhere to it or not is irrelevant. It is a false theology. Jesus, Himself, will come back and destroy the Antichrist and his false prophet, fight the armies amassed against Israel, and take control of the planet and reign. We are willfully blind to think we have the power to do that, even collectively!

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

     slhancock1948 #29010

    I pray that we seek discernment from God in these wicked days to know what we should and should not take to task. We need to focus on the real issues that are destroying our country, not the ones that are superfluous! THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT!
    Let’s not waste our time on all the things that capture that minds of the weak-willed and the ungodly. We have better things to be caught up in. Work while the day is still light, for the dark is rapidly descending upon us, when man can work no more.

    Pray for my son, Jaime, and his family in Jerusalem, while he is finishing his masters degree at Hebrew University. 4 of our grandkids are there…a little jealous that they are all fluent in the language and speak as native-born, and I can understand some of the spoken, but cannot read the written! They can do both. They are all in elementary school! They are having an educational experience that few Americans will ever have. They didn’t even have to drop a year in school, due to the language, and are at the top of their classes! (Tell me how that is fair! LOL!) God will use them one day, as I know this is not all for nothing. He prepares us for what he has for us to do in life. I am anxious to see how He does use them! I pray that they remain faithful to Him no matter what!

    Proud Grandmother…and grateful that God has kept all our 3 children in the faith and close to Himself. What more could you ask for but that!

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

     EVERYDAY #29012

    What gets me is how many supposedly devout Christians embrace Trump as someone akin to Jesus. Seems they totally ignore, not just the debauchery with women other than his wife. but the complete lack of morality and conscience at all levels. Trump doesn’t just mislead or gloss over the truth. He lies an he makes others lie for him. Yet, Trump fans don’t really care — because he’s making America great again. Or something. As president, Trump is not like the rest of us. Those of us not enamored of him expect our leaders to be honest and above board. We want them to set an example for the rest of us. The example Trump sets, particularly for our young, is abhorrent.

     ConservativeGranny #29014

    Whatever higher power was involved in the election of a man like Donald Trump it wasn’t God. I have a pretty good feeling that it was the other guy. Trump’s immoral behavior illustrates this and he has dragged so many down with him. Look at how he has led many Christians to put blinders on and excuse his immorality and lies. For me, this is more likely the work of evil rather than good. There is nothing about Trump that has made America great again but completely the opposite. The willingness of many Americans to accept lies, deceit and criminal actions just because a President may do something they like once in awhile is not flattering to Americans. Quite the opposite and it is destructive of our Republic. A Republic cannot survive when the bar for our leaders has been so lowered.

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