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FACT AND FICTION

Certain facts in our society cannot be denied by our political leaders. Facts about the legitimacy of investigations and the related outcomes. The need for our society to get answers to questions that impact the credibility and foundation of our democracy. Regardless one’s political affiliation or the ideology one subscribes to, a basic level of political honesty is needed. After too many years of divisive politics, our political leaders need to be able to accept the result of fair and free elections as well as independent and objective investigations. 

The legitimacy of the Russian investigation is viewed differently by competing political sides, based largely on the outcome. Initially, President Donald Trump stood firmly against what he described as a political witch-hunt, but his view shifted since the outcome provided him a political exoneration. Democrats, who once vowed to defend the investigation, appear ready to cast doubt on its findings or if it went far enough. For both, the outlook over the nearly two-year inquiry depends solely on the outcome. For the public, the importance was identifying what occurred and responsibility for those actions. 

The fact of the matter was the intent and purpose of the investigation and the need for an independent special counsel was legitimate. Robert Mueller is legal mind well respected across both realms of American politics, and his team made up of highly skilled professionals. The team had the resources, the access, and the time needed to follow every lead and root cause all the issues. If there was any criminal behavior, one can be assured that the Mueller team would recommend appropriate criminal charges. Combined with past House investigations, Senate investigations, and an FBI inquiry, there should be confidence in the outcome as all led to the same conclusion. 

Politically, the outcome may be difficult to accept for Democrats, who successfully coalesced the anti-Trump sentiment for electoral victories and campaign financing. The Trump collusion narrative create political cover for the party after the disappointing 2016 cycle and galvanized sects of the left that never will accept the outcome. Now that the messaging put forth on every nightly broadcast is proven false, many prominent Democrats must defend their credibility. Either double down on the accusations or admit to contributing towards the hysteria. 

Congress certainly has the constitutional authority to oversee the actions and behaviors of the other branches of the federal government. Typically, oversight covers the behaviors and policy decisions done during the time in office, not on the campaign trail. Political retribution or campaign information searches are not legitimate actions under the oversight authority. Review of the finances of a political candidate also strays from what one would perceive as credible oversight. Oversight authority is traditionally limited to the actions and policy decisions made regarding the office. 

Many Americans already made up their mind about the Russia narrative long before the redacted report or summary was ever released. Now that the public has more information, the continuation of investigations into the matter will undoubtedly be perceived under the political witch-hunt claims. There is little credibility to the idea that the Democratic House can produce additional legitimate information not brought forth by the past four major investigations. The investigations are clearly political in nature, as many prominent Democrats already know there is no foundation for impeachment. 

The federal government should investigate the sources and materials that drove the Russia investigation in the first place. The public should know if the Steele Dossier was simply a discredited report improperly relied upon or if it was political tool paid for and created for the purpose of impacting a political process. Since there was not evidence of collusion, the actions taken by the federal government at the time of the 2016 election need to be investigated. Surveillance of a political candidate is not generally considered appropriate. The subsequent inquiry will provide a final piece to the complete picture. 

There is not really a constitutional crisis taking place. The claim appears overblown. The Trump Administration is far from the first to selectively adhere to Congressional subpoenas, as the previous one ignored ones directly related to public policy. Attorney General William Barr appears to have acted in accordance to prescribed regulations and historical precedent. Again, there is question of the legitimacy of the oversight tactics, as many seem more about politics rather than substantive policy. 

Issues facing the American political system are rarely black and white. The important aspect is to understand the facts and the fiction surrounding these issues. Understand where there is substance or political engineering. Know the facts and discover the fiction.