Perhaps I’m a prideful person, with an exaggerated desire to be treated as a person of reasonable intelligence. Make that probably. When someone insults my intelligence by trying to get me to swallow a proposition that is clearly false, I tend to think it’s either an insult to my intelligence or perhaps evidence of the other’s lack of it.
Asserting that the Mueller report was a complete and total exoneration of President Donald Trump is a pretty good example of that kind of proposition.
On the issue of whether Trump actively participated in a conspiracy with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election, Robert Mueller concluded that he had not found sufficient evidence to recommend charges against Donald Trump. That is a far cry from anything that could be called “total and complete exoneration.” If Trump had said, about that conclusion, that he was relieved, I would have no complaint, at least about that claim. (I would be relieved, if it were me.)
Trump on the other hand, insists on referring to the crime by the wrong name (there is no crime called “collusion”) and then exaggerating the nature of the finding as “total and complete exoneration.” But at least here, he would not be wrong in claiming that Mueller found no evidence that he participated in such a conspiracy (although others in his camp seem to have been trying to participate in one, for which Trump asks that we assign him zero responsibility). OK.
But in the matter of the crime of obstruction of justice, which in this context would mean efforts to interfere with and impede the investigation of whether Trump had conspired, Mueller specifically said that his findings DID NOT EXONERATE Trump. And there is much in the report that borders on evidence of such a crime.
There is a lot of speculation about this. Did Mueller believe that there was evidence sufficient to lodge such a charge against Trump, but that where a sitting president was involved, the only entity authorized to charge him would be the Congress through the impeachment process? That is a leading theory. Other possible theories exist, which is among the arguments for asking Mueller to come before a congressional committee and explain what he meant by not-charged-but-not-exonerated of obstruction of justice.
You know all this. But back to the issue of insulting intelligence. Instead of acknowledging this very, very shall we say awkward not-charged-but-not-exonerated status, Trump (or whoever writes under his name for the purpose of rallying and fundraising from his base) continues to play the – I would say – Mueller-totally-exonerated-me card.
I know this because, as I’ve previously mentioned, a friend passes along to me the emails that go to the mailing list of the Trump-Pence Trump Make America Great Again Committee, and here are two recent ones, that were time-stamped just one day apart, both of which claim exoneration, and both of which move quickly to solicitation of campaign contributions, and one of which is signed by Donald Trump, with nice mugshot of him included, although I have no clue and plenty of skepticism about whether the actual Donald Trump has direct knowledge.
Here they are, from last week, just one day apart, and both ending in a desperate plea for campaign contributions:
Dear Your Name Here.
The summary of the Mueller Report said there was NO COLLUSION, but you already knew that. So Democrats and the Fake News claimed the full report would tell a different story….
Sorry haters: NO COLLUSION & EXONERATION AGAIN!
How many times do I have to be exonerated before they stop? WHAT A JOKE!
Sadly, this is just the beginning, your name here. The attacks and lies will keep coming because Democrats know they don’t stand a chance in 2020. That’s why we need to fight back BIGGER and STRONGER than ever before.
Let’s send a HUGE message to all of the Trump Haters by raising $1,000,000 in the NEXT 24 HOURS.
Please contribute $5 in the next 24 hours to help us CRUSH our goal and send a powerful message to the entire nation that this WITCH HUNT must end.
I know this is an enormous goal. That’s why I’m only reaching out to my top supporters.
I have asked to be given the list of everyone who contributes before our deadline. I hope to see your name, Your Name Here.
Contribute in the next 24 hours to send a powerful message to the entire nation that this WITCH HUNT must end.
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
My friend, by the way, has never contributed to Trump’s campaign or any of his committees, a fact which Trump (or whoever) acknowledges in the next day’s email, while urging my friend (and others who, for some reason, get these emails despite having never contributed) to do so.
Although this second one is not signed by Trump, or any other named human, it does include another copy of the day one email below the day two pleading. Here’s day two:
The Mueller Report confirmed what we have known all along – NO COLLUSION!
There was never a single ounce of evidence to support claims made by Democrat conspiracy theorists like Adam Schiff, but that didn’t stop the FAKE NEWS media from reporting their bogus claims to push their anti-Trump WITCH HUNT.
We need to FIGHT BACK. We need YOU to step up and help us CRUSH our ambitious goal of raising $1 million.
President Trump noticed that you have never donated to our movement. There has never been a more important time than right now to publicly show your support of President Trump.
Even if it is only $5, your contribution will give us the resources we need to DEFEND the President.
Contribute $5 or more IMMEDIATELY to DEFEND President Trump against the left’s lies and attacks.