On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr released a letter to the Congressional Judiciary Committees summarizing the conclusions from Robert Mueller’s highly publicized and highly politicized investigation. The investigation lasted almost two years and began after the polarized 2016 election, and during that time Mueller’s findings have been on the minds of politicians and citizens alike on both sides of the aisle.
Many on the left have stood firm in the speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia. For them, the Mueller investigation was a necessary step that would show collusion and lead to the impeachment of President Trump. Most of the right remained committed to the President and, as he often stated, believed the investigation to be a witch hunt stemming from “corrupt” FBI officials, fake news and false “dossiers.”
What Barr’s letter tells us is that Democrats came out on the losing end of the Mueller investigation. Mueller’s report revealed that Russia engaged in multiple efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, something that was revealed by other agencies and officials long before the end of this investigation. However, there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, per Burr’s report.
This is a blow to the Democrat’s stance, considering that many prominent members and potential presidential candidates have stood by a belief in President Trump’s collusion. Many believed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost because President Trump didn’t play fair — an accusation that fell on many deaf ears on the right and a position that has now been rendered demonstrably false.
The president may not be completely out of the woods though. Mueller found that there exists no compelling evidence to show that President Trump took part in obstructing justice, but at the same time he is also not exonerated. This leaves many still questioning whether the president broke the law. The Department of Justice will most likely not pursue any further investigation into these matters, but there is still a lot about the president that is going on. There are many investigations and lawsuits regarding the president’s organizations and actions in the past. Some of these may give way to indictments, but none of them will lead to impeachment.
Congress will continue investigations into the president, but what will they find? Mueller’s investigation was supposed to be the nail in the coffin for the Trump presidency, but Democrats are now conceding that the investigation is a win for the president. Some have vowed to increase the intensity of their investigations and are calling for the entirety of the Mueller report to be made public. I believe the report should go public to the fullest extent possible, but it will only reiterate what Barr has already told us. Increasing the pressure for Congressional investigations into a matter that has now been largely settled only plays into the president’s notion of a “witch hunt.” Any organization or campaign finance violation will most likely be a padded slap on the wrist, as most transgressions are addressed for high-profile people.
Ultimately, the road to impeachment is just an empty rallying call for the left that many will most likely see as a silly campaign ploy.
So, where do we go from here?
President Trump is different from previous presidents in many ways. You may like or dislike him for this, or maybe you are indifferent about the whole thing. However, he has been under constant attack.
I am not saying that Congress shouldn’t carry out its duty to due diligence and exercise its balance of powers. I am not saying that the public should just turn a blind eye to the administration or the rest of government. But I think it’s time that the nation turns away from polarizing people and starts focusing on the issues.
In a previous op-ed, I wrote about how we need not abandon our ambition, passion or causes but ought to step away from partisan and political hate. In this instance, I am advancing the same claim. We have reached a point where most presidents will be a polarizing person doing some polarizing thing, but should we really let something like that define our political generation?
We remember the founders along the lines of fighting for the building of a nation and the perfecting of our government, while we remember people today as Republican or Democrat. Must we stagnate ourselves in constant political turmoil, or can we go back to the difficult work of nation building with a passion for good government and the American dream?
Tyler Harmon is a first-year Private Interest and the Public Good master’s student. He is a guest writer from Colerain, Ohio.