No matter what the Mueller report concluded, the hyperpartisan battle for political gain is certain to continue up to the day of the 2020 election. But the mainstream media outlets — print, radio and online — have a great deal to answer for already. For more than two years, our major news sources have bent over backward to give credence to every conceivable allegation with respect to President Donald Trump. The Star Tribune is just as guilty of a deeply misguided journalistic performance as the others. Front-page news reports, seriously impacted by the newspaper’s obvious leftist leanings, assured readers that the Great Smoking Gun was just around the corner. That gun, of course, would be the facts needed to bring down a duly elected presidency. A former national news reporter and editor, I have watched this implosion of journalistic standards of objectivity with great sadness. When our news organs are poisoned by partisan political favoritism, they no longer serve the public as an unbiased source of the news of the day. Now that far too many have reduced themselves to this state, they are no better than the internet’s cacophony of voices, outrageous and otherwise.
Mark H. Reed, Plymouth
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The “bombshells” everyone thought were coming will be. Mueller’s mandate was very narrow. He stayed within that mandate and did his job. Many people, Russians, have been charged for interference in the election. True, they will never see the inside of a U.S. court, but the evidence was there, and Mueller charged them.
Did Trump or his team collude? Maybe not, but they have shown a propensity for profound stupidity, which is what the Russians took advantage of.
Mueller, in his investigation, came across criminal activity by Trump and his family, outside of his mandate. He did as he should have and handed these cases off to the Southern District of New York and other jurisdictions.
It is this last point that leaves me baffled. We have learned, through Mueller and the SDNY, that Trump conducted criminal activity during the campaign and in connection with his own company, yet his base is willing to let it slide. I doubt this same “look the other way” mentality would have existed for presidents named Obama or Clinton.
The SDNY now has four to five active cases specifically targeting Trump. Trump has already been named as “individual one,” as a co-conspirator in campaign-finance fraud with his former attorney Michael Cohen. Yes, Cohen is a liar. That is what he did for Trump for a decade.
More is coming. Trump will think he is off the hook — until he isn’t.
Erika Christensen, Lake Elmo
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The adage is “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The Mueller investigation has laid a heavy and choking blanket of smoke over the nation, but now we are to believe the findings that there was no conspiracy with the Trump campaign and Russia. In other words, there was no fire! It’s hard to fathom, given the convictions and plea deals of George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, the indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, and the accusations against political prankster Roger Stone and his pal Jerome Corsi. Actions by these many individuals didn’t happen randomly and are not mere coincidence.
There must be full release of the Mueller report if we are to believe Attorney General William Barr’s summary.
Judy Vollmar, Hudson, Wis.
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The thorough Mueller investigation has completely cleared President Trump of Russian collusion, which was the charge that prompted the special counsel appointment. He did speak out against it publicly, but is it a crime to protest an unjust accusation? I suspect most of us would do the same, especially if it led to many of our friends, relatives and co-workers being questioned and vilified over two-plus years. The fact that he also held the most difficult job in the world would make this a major irritant. Isn’t it time to stop the harassment and bickering by both parties and solve the major problems confronting our country, such as a comprehensive immigration/border policy, Social Security viability, the national debt, fair trade, gun control, terrorism, affordable effective education, etc.? Let’s unite and do this!
James R. Allen, Edina
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Mueller couldn’t exonerate Donald Trump of obstruction of justice. So he passed the buck to Trump’s recently appointed attorney general to decide Trump’s fate. Sadly, Mueller punted, and it was a shank. Barr has been on record as saying a president cannot be indicted. Indeed, Mueller couldn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, but with the same evidence Barr did so unhesitatingly. It makes the full release of the Mueller report critically important to holding Mueller, Barr and Trump accountable.
Pete Boelter, North Branch, Minn.
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Watching and listening the nonstop coverage of the Mueller report, there has been endless discussion of how to deal with Trump on the obstruction charge. It’s all about Trump, good and bad. The collusion issue has become an afterthought. While the pundits wallow in obstruction, there being no collusion by Trump, it’s no longer worth discussing.
The Mueller investigation has indicted 13 Russian nationals for interference in our election. The report has made it clear that there was no American involvement with the Russians in corrupting the election. That’s the most important finding. Now that has been settled, once and for all, why is there is no discussion about actions against the Russians for their meddling? This entire investigation was based on the premise that something needed to be done about a foreign power meddling in our presidential election.
What are we going to do about the Russians? What about sanctions? What about withdrawing ambassadors? Which is more important to the future of our country — putting a stop to a foreign power interfering in our elections, or shining the light on Donald Trump’s peccadillos?
Dan Cohen, Minneapolis
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With the completion of the Mueller report, President Trump was having a big celebration. One wonders why he didn’t just say he was glad it was over and showed there was no collusion with the Russians. He could have said: “I knew that all along but understood why this investigation was necessary to assure the American voters that this was the case.”
One can also wonder why Democrats and other doubters don’t simply say: “We are relieved that these are the findings of the report, which we all hope to see in a fuller rendition, and now we can move on to look more closely at all the issues and actions of the president since the election.” So many of his associates have been involved in this investigation, and many tried and convicted of criminal offenses! The president has surrounded himself with these people, both before, during and after the election. Let’s all be glad to see there was no collusion, but continue to delve into what has happened since November 2017.
John Oldendorf, Lake Elmo
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Now that Mueller’s report exonerating the president is in, how about appointing another special counsel to get to the root of where the conspiracy began? Justice needs to be served. Besides, it could be very interesting to see where the path goes.
Richard Burton, Ramsey
They screwed up my lunch order again. There are implications.
For the second time in as many business days, and the fourth time this year, my lunch order was incorrect when given to me. Just an FYI to food-service workers: If you can’t get the right toppings on my food, you’re not going to get $15 an hour, you’re going to get replaced by a machine. (I should know. I’m a software engineer specializing in the automation area.)
Jeffrey Krasky, Minneapolis