The long-awaited Mueller Investigation has finally been finished, and Americans are finally glimpsing some results of the probe into whether Trump colluded with the Russians. Both Democrats and Republicans are already drawing conclusions from Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the investigation, despite the fact that the whole report has been seen by no one.
The unclear wording of the summary has caused both sides of the political spectrum to draw different conclusions. Because the summary said that there was no evidence to suggest that Trump colluded with the Russians during his campaign, Republicans are concluding that Trump did absolutely nothing wrong and that he has been completely exonerated. However, because the summary also said that Mueller’s findings do not fully exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice charges, Democrats are concluding that Barr must be hiding something and that there are likely criminal charges against the president.
In the event of the full report being released and more information becoming available, both sides of this argument must be prepared to accept whatever is actually true about Trump’s legal standing at face value. If there is in fact no evidence that Trump actually did anything wrong, Democrats should accept this and not continue to treat the president as a criminal. However, if there is evidence to suggest that Trump did in fact obstruct justice, Republicans should not pretend that the president did nothing wrong.
The problem with the report not being released to the public is that the limited vague wording that was released to the public can be spun in many different ways, making the truth of the matter hard to figure out. Trump can say that he has been exonerated because the summary says he was in fact exonerated from collusion with Russia, but he conveniently does not mention how there might be evidence against him still for obstruction of justice. Also, Democrats can still suggest Trump is a criminal because of the summary’s suggestion of this evidence, making it easy for them to still smear Trump, especially during their presidential campaigns for 2020. It is in the interest of the country for the report to be released because then the total truth can be out and Americans will be able to make their own decisions on the matter instead of having both sides of the political spectrum point out different parts to serve their agendas.
It is notable that nearly everyone wants the report released; Democrats in the House and Senate and even Trump himself want the public to be able to read it. It seems like the only ones who do not want the report released are Republicans in the Senate, who blocked an effort to pass a non-binding measure that would let Barr know that Congress wants to see the Mueller investigation results. The results of the report should not be filtered through the attorney general, however. Senate Republicans should relent and allow the non-binding measure to pass so that the full report is hopefully released, and that the public can more easily interpret the results themselves instead of having it spun by different political interests. The truth must rise to the top.
Ben Crnic is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.