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There is little doubt that Donald Trump is a notorious liar. That needs to be underlined in regard to the Mueller report. Trump crows that the report showed “no collusion, no obstruction.” He lies on both counts.

The report made neither claim. Robert Mueller states clearly that the Special Council’s aim was to see if Trump had “conspired” to break the law, not to look for “collusion.” The report states that the evidence was not strong enough to conclude that Trump had committed the crime of conspiracy, but the report did not conclude “no collusion.” The report states “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Trump claims “no obstruction.” The report does not so assert. It concludes neither that Trump obstructed justice nor did not obstruct justice. Mueller hesitated to indict the president for obstruction since there were “difficult (legal) issues that would need to be resolved.” One issue is the question of whether a president can be indicted. The Office of Legal Counsel holds that a president cannot be indicted.

While the report does not conclude — nor deny — that the Trump obstructed justice, it did make a list of Trump’s activities that appear to be obstructions. This list can now be used by the House of Representatives as evidence that would justify impeachment proceedings. While a sitting president may not be prosecuted for a crime, he can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” (Constitution: Article II, Section 4)

Wayne Johnson, Racine

 

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