Trump-Russia collusion investigations
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Special counsel Robert Mueller said that, in his view, the constitutional limitations on his role prevented him from charging Donald Trump with a crime, though he stated plainly that the report did not exonerate the president either. Photo: AP

Letters | The Mueller Report: or how Trump was let off the hook

  • The special counsel had enough evidence to question the president directly. His reasons for not doing so are pathetically inadequate
Imagine that Donald Trump were in the drug trade instead of running for president. Imagine that the Trump Tower meeting of June 2016 was not about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton but purchasing a large order of narcotics. In this scenario, Trump’s clique set up the potential drug deal, then examined the quality of the product and ultimately made a decision not to go through with the sale.

If this were the case, would the president and his campaign advisers (that is, Donald Trump Jnr, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner) be exonerated just because they left the product on the table?

Setting up the meeting is a crime. Examining the product with the intent to purchase is a crime. Allowing the contraband to be brought into your place of business or residence is a crime. Wanting to use the product “on the street” by distributing it to the public is a crime.

According to the Mueller Report, Trump was directly involved a year later in trying to prevent details of the meeting in the Trump Tower from becoming public. The report went on to state that Trump “directed aides not to publicly disclose” the emails written by his son and others. Trump also “dictated a statement” issued by his son that claimed the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children, not about seeking negative material about Clinton.
Executive privilege aside, it is painfully obvious ... that Mr Trump was given an inexcusable pass

Executive privilege aside, it is painfully obvious, from reading the redacted Mueller report, that Mr Trump was given an inexcusable pass by the special counsel. We now know that President Trump replied on 30 occasions that he didn’t “recall” or “remember” or didn’t have an “independent recollection” of events in his written answers.

By not sitting Trump down in person to demand truthful answers about his involvement with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election, Mueller essentially let the president off the hook. His excuse that doing so would be too time-consuming is pathetically inadequate. What the American people expected was the full truth and nothing but the truth. That expectation will never be met because the most crucial suspect was never questioned.

George Cassidy Payne, Rochester, NY