What is all the fuss? Court orders, subpoenas, injunctions, obstructions? In a land far away, once called the New World, a new form of government, a republic, where a head of state is not a monarch, which is conducted with a rule or law and abides by a constitution. Three equal branches of government were devised: the Executive (the president, his advisors and cabinet); Judicial, (Supreme Court and Federal Judicial Center); and Legislative (Congress: House of Representatives and Senate). Separation of powers was devised to assure that no single branch of government would suppress or control the others, thereby having a system of checks and balances. When the executive branch endeavors to suppress the investigations of the other two branches, it is called obstruction of justice or abuse of power. We see such forms of governments in other countries. In these countries leaders rule with absolute authority. We are now witnessing attempts to obstruct justice in our own country. Our president is taking unlawful steps to stop investigations and to ignore congressional subpoenas.

The question now is, What is at stake? What does it matter? Why not “move on?” Central to the Mueller investigation is the security and integrity of our own elections. There is undisputed evidence, even before the Mueller Report, that Russia interfered both in the presidential election in 2016 to support Trump and in the mid-term elections in 2018. This obvious intrusion and interference have been publicly denied by the president even in the face of the findings of our own investigations by the FBI and the CIA. Robert Mueller reports that, “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

The Mueller investigation is complete, but Attorney General William Barr has taken it upon himself to fabricate his own version of the findings rather than release the report and the underlying documentation. Robert Mueller, himself, objected to the Barr statement by personal letter and phone call that the report has been misrepresented to the American people by Barr’s statement. AG Barr lied to congress about this opposition.

There are at least 10 situations demonstrating obstruction of justice mentioned in the Mueller Report already released to the public. If these were committed by anyone other than a sitting president, they would result in charges.

It is because of Barr’s misrepresentation and withholding the full report and underlying evidence that a furor is rising. If there is no evidence of impropriety, there should be no objection.

Senator Mitch McConnell says, “Case closed!” This is like trying to close Pandora’s box. President Trump is trying to do that by demanding an unlawful, expansive executive privilege and asking that all subpoenas to be refused. This is illegal, and telling … what is he trying to hide?

Now that congress is asking for the complete report, AG Barr refuses to comply, even after receiving a subpoena. By refusing to answer the subpoena, he will be charged with contempt. He appears to be acting solely to protect the president rather than the people of the United States. Trump’s declarations of “total exoneration” should welcome full exposure, not resist it. The American people deserve to know the whole truth to assure our democracy and the security of our future elections. Our free elections are the foundations of our government.

Could it be that the one-on-one hour-long conversation, May 3 between our president and our most prominent adversary, Vladimir Putin, was actually discussing plans for Russia’s future support and intrusion? We may never know, as there are no notes from these conversations. We do know that President Trump told the public when asked that he did not warn Putin not to interfere in our elections. He said, “We didn’t discuss it.”

Why would Donald Trump raise an objection to Vladimir Putin for his working on Trump’s behalf? In a tweet he referred to the “Russian Hoax” thereby refuting the concept of Russian interference once more. (The first was at Helsinki last summer).

What is really at stake here is our democracy itself. When we allow the executive branch to thwart investigations made by the other branches, stifle testimony, demand that subpoenas be ignored, prohibit release of documents, we have tyranny, no of justice.

This then is the time for congress, both sides of the aisle, to step up for action. Republicans have sat silently while their own power, their voice in their role to which they were elected, is discounted. The opportunity to stand for democracy and speak truth to power still exists.

This is not about who won the election in 2016. Let’s be sure of one thing – this is not a partisan issue; this is a democracy issue. This is a threat to the essence of our governmental structure. The election of 2016 is over. The results are the results.

Our future elections are at stake. Future elections need be secure, free and fair. The American people need to know the full report so that we can protect our elections and our form of government. Congress must pursue all avenues to get to the full report. Only then can President Trump be exonerated – or impeached.

Ann vonHoorn is a Tideland News contributor.

(14) comments

David Collins

Everyone is entitled to give voice to their opinions. Might be, could be, all that aside, show us the proof that you have that all these eternal investigations have failed to uncover. Trump does not have to prove himself innocent. You guys have to show absolute proof of guilt. Now, get on with your job if indeed you can. Time is passing you by and this tempest in a teapot is quite tiring.

kenwood

The "proof" is the Mueller report itself. If it exonerates Trump then why not release it in its entirety? It's as simple as that. If there is nothing to hide then why the cover up? To many, including members of Congress, are willing to put politics before country and claim they are patriots.

David Collins

In today’s political climate, leaks abound. If there was anything in that report that supported the many theories concerning Mr. Trump allegedly doing anything illegal, it would have surfaced by now. You can take that to the bank. Just think about how many hands and eyes this report passed on the way to being published. Someone would have dropped that bomb but nothing came of it. Nothing ! Might be’s , could be’s , if’s, and’s and buts are all the opposition has. Silly, silly, and silliest are what we have in the House these days. So sad !

00rolf

It has been proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that the dude in the White House has obstructed the investigation. That is a crime according to the Constitution. In addition: The dude in the White House claims to know everything and to have more knowledge and better memory than anyone. Why does he in his testimony (not sworn…) say that he doesn’t know or doesn’t recall on more or less all the questions?

kenwood

Head, firmly stuck in the sand.

David Collins

Could be that the questions were trick questions , irrelevant or just about made up stuff. Trump is a far greater man than I . I would not have allowed the little weasel to darken the front door . Just shows that Mr. Trump does not back down in the face of adversity .

JPadraig

Ann vonHoorn Is untitled to opinion but the fact that a contributor to your organization could so blatantly misrepresent facts is disturbing to say the least.

David Collins

Just part of the continual love fest between she and the editor of the failing Tideland News. Circulation rapidly falling to zero along with it’s staff. Sad .

EDITORS NOTE: For the record, the Tideland News circulation is not falling.

(Edited by staff.)

dc

Want to talk democracy and elections you should be most concerned about infkuences like BO weaponizing beauracrats and Clinton machine and DNC shenanigans.

Sagacity

Wow. Denial is a powerful thing. Evidence is all suspect if it doesn’t conform to your preconceived notions. Science is fake news. If reality doesn’t conform to what you want it to be then it must be suppressed. That’s what this administration does with climate change as one example. Mr Trump and this administration will be seen as despicable figures in American history. Trump has a long history of not paying his workers before being elected. He has been accused by 22 women over the year of assault/rape. He is apparently guilty of violating the emoluments clause in the constitution by profiting from his position while in office, he doesn’t read or listen to expert advisors, he has his (formidable) gut. Today he grinned as he told Putin not to interfere in our elections. He has no policies, only words. The great health care he promised in the primaries is nowhere but he promises a great one next term. The conservatives (I shudder to call them Republicans if this is what the party has become) have no health plan now or probably ever. They are are for corporate welfare. Universal healthcare exists in every other developed country and works better than ours on many metrics but conservatives like that we pay more than anyone else for less benefit overall. He obstructed justice. He can’t be charged while in office. If there is justice he will lose the election and be prosecuted and jailed...for a lifetime of criminal behavior. I could note more examples but...denial of facts and admitting to an error in personal judgement are hard pills to swallow or the Trump faithful.

David Collins

What makes anyone think that we, the citizens of the US, don’t interfere in foreign elections. We do it under the guise of igniting the spark of democracy and freedom for those oppressed folks. So, is not turn around fair play? To get angry and start wanting to jail everybody perceived to be involved is a bit nuts, is it not? After all, all they wanted to do was ignite the spark of communism and or socialism. Just a spark so what is wrong with that? Heck, we knowingly enroll our children into indoctrination classes called schools and colleges. So what could be wrong with that? During our own election seasons, we allow special interest groups, called PACS, to bombard us daily with silly and often dishonest claims about this and that candidate. Apparently this is OK. Is it not a form of meddling? Advertisers do this as well. The airways, along with the internet, are venues that support meddling in our lives all day and night. Apparently that is OK. Soooooo , what is all the fuss about?

kenwood

Correction. "We the people" do not meddle in the elections of foreign countries. Our misguided government meddles in other countries elections. Our misguided government invades foreign countries to effect regime change. Not "we the people". It borders on treason to justify foreign governments to meddle in our elections, no matter what our government does. Yes, treason.

David Collins

Sooooo, now posting an opinion is Treason. A bit off the edge of the map, aren’t we? Go for it, for all you are worth. Now you actually have a purpose, a goal or perhaps a calling.

dc

Didn't BO "meddle" with Israel and Brexit? Now, we have this "opinion" about a prez being charged after they leave office right? By the time Barr and Durham are done there just may be more than meddling.

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