Every morning when I awake, I turn on the radio with trepidation, fearing to learn about another illegal, stupid, or scandalous act committed by someone in the Trump administration. Unfortunately, my fears are almost always realized. This morning’s revelation involved alleged communication between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian intelligence agency prior to the presidential election.
Donald Trump has countered the accusations against him and people on his campaign and White House staff by decrying leaks to the press. Perhaps the leaks are illegal; I am unable to judge that. However, without the leaks we, the citizens of the United States, would not know how dysfunctional, craven, and incompetent the executive branch of our government is. Thank goodness that we continue to receive information about the scandalous goings-on in the presidential branch of our government.
So far, the only illegal collaboration that has been proven is former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in which Mr. Flynn hinted that Obama-imposed sanctions against Russia would be reversed after Trump’s inauguration. Those conversations violated an ancient law prohibiting private US citizens from negotiating with foreign governments, a law that admittedly has never been enforced. The public does not yet know whether Michael Flynn violated this law with the knowledge or even encouragement of Donald Trump. In any case, President Trump knew about Mr. Flynn’s behavior weeks ago but took no action against him until his behavior was revealed in the press. Donald Trump still blames the press for Michael Flynn’s resignation. From Donald Trump’s viewpoint, Michael Flynn’s illegal behavior is not responsible for his resignation. The blame lies with the press for reporting that behavior.
Today’s scandal is that someone leaked to the press details of a law-enforcement investigation involving Trump campaign workers’ communications with the Russian intelligence service. So far, there is no proof that Trump campaigners collaborated with Russian intelligence to the detriment of American democracy, but the question has to be asked: What other reason would Trump campaigners have for repeatedly contacting senior Russian intelligence officials? I am almost certain that they were not exchanging borscht recipes.
Still to be explained are exactly what information the Trump campaign passed onto Russian intelligence and how much Donald Trump knew about the affair. It seems likely that Donald Trump was complicit in traitorous acts that not only undermined Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the election but which also undermined American democracy. Donald Trump’s relationship and communication with the Russian government needs to be thoroughly investigated. If Donald Trump is revealed to have betrayed his country, he needs to be impeached and criminally tried as soon as possible.
The United States has had a number of incompetent (George W. Bush) and criminal (Richard Nixon) presidents during my lifetime, but this is the first time that our country has had a president who is suspected of selling out his country in exchange for assistance in winning an election.
Unfortunately, justice in this matter is far from assured. The new attorney general is a known racist and fawning Trump admirer named Jeff Sessions, who is likely to impede any FBI or other law-enforcement investigation into his boss’s possible illegal acts. As to Congress, it is dominated by Republicans who seem to view Donald Trump as one of their own who should be protected from justice, even though Mr. Trump was never a Republican of conviction and only ran on the Republican ticket as a flag of convenience. The attitude of congressional Republicans is incomprehensible. If Donald Trump is impeached and convicted, Mike Pence will take over as president, and he is a highly-partisan Republican. Logically, congressional Republicans should prefer a Pence presidency.
Although I do not approve of Vice President Pence’s radical right-wing ideology, he seems to be an honest person who would not drag the presidency through the slime of criminality as our current president seems to be doing. Although I disagree with Mike Pence’s political philosophy, which seems to favor the wealthy, I could live under his presidency.
Let us hope that Donald Trump’s apparent misdeeds are investigated and revealed to public scrutiny. It would be beneficial if this country had a president whose main concern was the welfare of the American people. Failing that, I think that most of us would settle for a president who is not a crook. It appears that the president we have now belongs behind bars and not in the White House.
However, do not expect speedy justice. Richard Nixon was re-elected to the presidency even when voters knew, or should have known, that he was a crook. It took a long time before his criminality eventually resulted in his impeachment and subsequent resignation. It may take a long time for most of the American public to realize that an immoral nut-job is running this country.
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