On Russian Interference

Among the most disturbing aspects of the investigation into Russian influence in the last Presidential election is the fact that a large number of people have formed opinions long ago. As a result, I realize the comments that follow may very well offend those on both sides of the political spectrum.It seems to Thinking Man that any rational person would want any investigation into a potential crime to be fair, thorough, without political influence and goes wherever the evidence leads. The routine political back and forth during the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller showed clearly that many people don’t feel that way…which ought to be disappointing for any objective and thinking person, and a sad commentary on our country. It was reassuring, however, that along the way several Senators including Republican Senators urged patience and said they would wait to see what evidence came from the investigation. As with any crime, murder, burglary, or election laws, that’s the way it should be.

With that as a background commentary, news surfaced yesterday that gives credence to the fact that the Mueller investigation.
Former White House counsel to President Obama, Gregory Craig, has been charged with making flase statements and violating election and lobbying laws by lobbying on behalf of a foreign government without reporting it. Craig has been charged basically for working with and doing the thing as former Trump campaign advisor Paul Manafort. If you remember, Manafort was indicted and charged with crimes and was sentenced to prison. On a related note, the brother of former Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta was Manafort’s business partner in the lobbying group that lobbied for Ukraine and the subject of the criminal charges.

Also forgotten was news and evidence that surfaced during the investigation that Russia was helping the campaign of Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries.
While we should always await the results of a criminal investigation before passing judgment, Thinking Man has said on a number of occasions that we already knew Russia tried to interfere in US elections. Why? Because they have done so every election since the 1920’s and in many cases archives opened after the fall of the Soviet Union show they often gave money to certain candidates. An international monitoring agencies have reported that they interfered in the elections of over fifty countries since 2014. They have always tried to do that and, let’s be clear, they will continue to try to do it. That’s who they are and that’s a reason why they are an enemy. The real question was not did they interfere but did any candidate work directly with them to do it. And that was what Mueller was investigating.

And credit to him, he has brought charges against members of both parties when he found crimes to be committed. He shared evidence that both Democratic and Republican candidates may have received help, or at least attempts to help, from the Russians whether the candidates involved knew it or not. That’s fair. That’s going wherever the evidence leads. And that’s what should be done in a criminal justice system.

As an aside, one can’t help but ask why the news media hasn’t devoted the same level of coverage to people charged within both Republican and Democratic Parties. Why hasn’t Gregory Craig or Podesta gotten the same level of news attention as Paul Manafort? Frankly, they all seem a bit shady but they seem to be treated differently by the media.
But the bottom line is that the Special Counsel looked at both. And brought evidence and brought charges regardless of party affiliation. That’s as it should be and we should be thankful to Robert Mueller for doing his job

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