In his recent piece on Robert Mueller (Monday's Tribune), columnist Rich Lowry starts from misinformed or intentionally deceptive premises.
He faults Mueller with not starting from a presumption of innocence, which would puts Mueller in the role of jury instead of that of investigator.
In carrying out an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Mueller was faced with indications of possible involvement by the Trump campaign in the Russian interference.
Mueller found evidence that led to numerous indictments of Russian nationals and also of figures associated with the Trump campaign. He did not find evidence of a conspiracy connecting the president personally to election interference by the Russians. However, his report identified 10 instances of obstruction (four of which fulfilled criteria that would normally warrant a criminal indictment).
Since other instances of obstruction demonstrated only some of the required criteria and given the precedent of not indicting a sitting president, Mueller reported his findings as he should have, evidence of a crime for which the DOJ wouldn’t be issuing an indictment.
Investigating obstruction often leads to evidence that an offense was actually committed (as fans of detective narratives well know). Lowry’s insinuation of partisan motivation on the part of Mueller shows deference to Trump’s supporters who saw the investigation as a “trial” (which it was not) that would decide innocence on the issue of collusion.
Mueller’s investigation had a nobler aim, that of protecting our democracy by investigating possible connections between Russian interference in our elections and activities of the president.
Jean Hindson, La Crosse