Exonerated?

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Newsflash! Russia meddled in our 2016 presidential election (continually denied by DJT). This was confirmed by Robert Mueller’s investigation and indictments of twelve Russian operatives (people who’ve been mistreated by the investigation according to DJT).

That Robert Mueller’s investigation didn’t find illegal collusion or obstruction of justice means there wasn’t enough evidence of behavior rising to the level of criminal prosecution. What we probably have in Mueller’s report is plenty of behavior that would rise to the level of wrong in many of our eyes. DJT claims he wants it made public, but we’ll see Mitch McConnell or others try to block this.

Our standard for political leaders should be higher than criminality. But, the spin is that the president has been exonerated (absolved from blame for wrongdoing) from collusion, conspiracy, and obstruction.

Representative Steve Womack‘s press release represents spin as if dictated by the president. “I’m glad the investigation is over and the American people can know the truth—no collusion and no obstruction. This was nothing more than a political witch-hunt from day one, and Democrats should be held accountable for the hyperbolic rhetoric and fabricated scandals they forced on our nation. It was both extensive and expensive. It’s time to move on. I hope they will turn their attention to more productive issues.” – Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. 

Our behavior bar for political leaders needs to be a little higher than “he didn’t get indicted on any criminal behavior.” “Nothing more than a witch-hunt” would imply that there were not multitudes of indictments as a result.

“Hyperbolic rhetoric and fabricated scandals they forced on our nation” and the absence of any mention of Russian interference sounds like gaslighting (manipulating others into questioning their own reality). I’m sad to see this technique applied to Steve Womack’s press release. It is a sign that gaslighting is now part of our culture.

I must disagree with Steve Womack’s final statement that “it’s time to move on.” We could have moved on long ago if only our country’s leader had exhibited more ethical behavior. We must pay close attention, and we need our representatives to pay close attention, too.

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